A deeper dive.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but some words you just can't capture. Like "efficiencies", "partnership", or "unofficial mayor". If you're looking for the full story behind why you can feel good about our new Dirt Collection, look no further.
What makes our Dirt Collection so sustainable?
Better technology and better chemistry.
Let us explain: Traditional dyeing techniques involve dyeing large rolls of fabric before cutting patterns and sewing a garment together. With the garment-dyeing process we use, the garment is dyed after it's already been sewn together, so any fabric scraps made from cutting patterns don't get dyed. We save water, dye, energy and waste.
Advanced technology at our factory is the real star of the show. The machinery we use is so efficient, it allows us to use lower temperatures, less toxic dyes (GreenScreen Certified™), and 95% less water. The benefits only compound from there: these efficiencies mean we minimize energy use, waste output, wear and tear on the garment, and last but not at all least, minimize exposure to factory workers using safer substances and processes.
If that's not enough, we believe the ultimate sustainability is durability, so we designed the Dirt Collection for just that by opting for a hardy 7.6 oz cotton stretch canvas, and over-stitching the seams. We also use responsibly-sourced certified organic cotton, of course.
What partnership means to us.
We often refer to the factories we work with as our "partners" because we approach them with the same mindset we have for choosing brands for collaborations, or who we bring on to our ambassador team. We ask ourselves: Does this connection feel organic and authentic to us? Do they share our same values? Do they have the expertise we need to fill in our gaps?
In the case of our Dirt Collection factory partner, the answer to all three questions was an enthusiastic YES.
Finding this factory felt like stumbling on a gold mine. But in reality, we made our own luck. Exploring new technologies and new partners so we can continuously grow more sustainable is business-as-usual for us. "Prospecting" might be a better way to describe it than "stumbling".
We knew we'd found a partner when we walked in and were greeted by a “Do Good” wall mural. Touring the factory, it was clear that they truly cared about their people and the planet. Not only did they invest in eco-friendly machinery, but they also power it with renewable energy and treat their own wastewater.
When we returned from Vietnam, we set our design team free with a brief to design a collection that plays to this factory’s strengths and embodies our approach to sustainability down to the last detail. That’s what partnership is to us: meeting the factory halfway to make something even more amazing than we would have come up with in a silo.
Behind the Scenes: meet the faces of our Dirt Collection
Meet Shaina, staff photographer and model. Shaina came to us from Madewell as a store merchandiser. She loves to run, eat vegan and sing. Fun fact: She and her husband Zack are high school sweethearts from North Carolina. They just purchased a home here in Colorado—congrats you two!
Meet Daryl, our former staff photographer and current model. Daryl’s from Memphis and has been working with us in one way or another for years. He’s the unofficial mayor of Fort Collins (where our marketing team is based) and is an extremely talented portrait and lifestyle photographer. Fun fact: He hates compliments so we’re sure we’ll hear about this later.
Meet Eri, a model and longtime friend of Topo Designs. She specializes in moody poses (what a talent!), but off camera she’s got the biggest smile of all of them. Fun fact: Eri is an artist, as skilled in painting as she is in embroidery and soft sculpture. She also once owned a pet snail.
Photoshoots get a little more complicated in a pandemic. We’re so grateful to Shaina, Daryl, and Eri for making it possible to shoot safely and consciously with as few people as possible on set.Dig in to the entire Dirt Collection here.