Sustainability is a big deal to us. Let me say it again, the fashion industry can do better! As an individual and in my business, holding myself responsible for my carbon footprint is something I take very seriously and am make a conscious effort to minimize. The fashion industry, by default, will never be 100% sustainable because consuming is not sustainable. That doesn't mean we have to be neglectful of its impact and do what we can to eliminate wastefulness.
I believe sustainability is a spectrum. With so many areas to focus on, environmental, humanities, community and more, it can be difficult to hit every point. Never the less, here's what were doing at Rushmore to help make a difference.
- Purposeful Purchasing:
Each month, we have a small carefully selected assortment of products that we call a "collection". These collections are filled with only 6-8 pieces of each style and we do not restock items more than once. We take many things into consideration when we select products for our collections.
Many brands, in order to eliminate waste and over production, produce only as many garments as ordered by the buyers. I work very hard to choose products 6 months to a year in advance in order to purchase from companies who are thoughtful in their manufacturing. About 35%-45% of our products are purchased this way.
We also focus on brands that practice conscious efforts to create fair wage jobs in the US. Our basics, like our Perfect Tees (formerly Boxy Tees) and jeans are designed and manufactured in the US. We also have several other brands that design and manufacture most of their products in the US. About 15%-20% of our assortment accounts for this.
Next, is what we call "investment pieces". Fast fashion has had its time. We are here to focus on building a wardrobe with quality, timeless, and unique garments that your grandchildren will be begging you for.
- Recycling :
Corporate and large scale companies are notorious for being incredibly careless with their trash. At Rushmore, you can guarantee that if it can be recycled, it probably is. About 60% of the trash that new products arive in are being recycled and we working on finding a way to repurpose the other 40% by the end of 2023, keeping it out of the landfills.
- Packaging :
When it comes to paper goods in a business, it's easy to go overboard. We like to focus on just the necessities. Our bags, though "as is" are rather boring, we believe that fancy and frilly bags are not sustainable in our business. If you have to question if it can be recycled, that's a hard no for us. We have learned to screen print the brown paper bags ourselves so we don't have worry about the negative impact of shipping bags back and fourth to a printer. We also use recycled fiber padded bags for our online shipping, recycled (post consumer) tissue paper, cotton string and paper based tags for our products, and are constantly switching to paperless forms for the operations side of the business.
- Community Efforts :
A large piece of sustainability is the impact your have on your community. When it comes to social efforts, Rushmore is always looking to improve and move the needle forward. From our "t-shirts with a purpose" to biannual littler clean ups, we are invested in Alton and are ready to be a staple in the community based efforts.