Sometimes I really enjoy liberally minded papers, such as the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) and The Age in Australia, the New York Times and certainly the Guardian. Only problem: already suffering from information overload, I just don’t do it often enough – which is not totally regrettable because a lot of the material offered is crap; I couldn’t care less whether the Australian TV series ‘Kath and Kym’ is unleashed on the US (where it probably will fail anyway) or whether Mariah Carey surpasses Elvis in record sales. Sometimes though there are gems, like yesterday’s SMH article on a small Australian business called ‘Fully Stoked‘.
Behind Fully Stoked is Maria Arnold who worked for many summers in Uganda to help saving chimpanzees, following in a smaller way her hero Jane Goodall (Arnold read Goodall’s books when she was nine years old and she was more than stoked when she was able to play host for her on Goodall’s recent Australian tour). After helping in Africa for a number of years, Arnold decided that there must be a way to better support the work done in Africa, especially after some groups stopped working because of the lack of funds; which is part of the story how Fully Stoked came to life – as an ethical clothing brand that sells online and via wholesalers.
One aspect that makes Fully Stoked stand out from the rest of the rag trade is that its production is 100% sweatshop-free and focused on continually minimising its ecological footprint: from the partial use of organic fibres and natural dyes to solar panels on the roofs of some of its manufacturing facilities and attempts to reduce transport. And they invite you to visit their greenhouse page to find out how you can help supporting their efforts.
The other aspects that makes Fully Stoked so special is that the business gives a whopping 30% of its profits to environmental projects, such as a couple of chimpanzee conservation organisations, Bush Heritage Australia, and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.
Visiting the Fully Stoked website is like entering a sustainability dream. The company works with other businesses who share the same philosophy and who produce either raw materials or make the clothing. American Apparel in Los Angeles for example, which manufactures their standard product line, considers every step of production from a ‘green’ perspective – from recycling over 3 million pounds of fabric scraps annually, to covering the warehouse roof with solar panels, planning to convert more than 80 percent of its cotton consumption to sustainable cotton, diverting all types of possible wastes from landfills (including not just the above mentioned yarn scraps but also paper, plastic, wooden pallets, cardboard tubes and cones, metal, and electronic wastes). State of the art solar panels cover the LA factory roof providing 150 kW of clean, renewable power, which provides around 15% of their overall energy needs.
Another example is the Brazilian manufacturer of their new organic range, a cooperative that invests in local businesses, employs local people and supports small farmers that grow organic cotton, uses very little water to grow the crops, recycles cotton to ensure that no material is wasted, uses natural dyes, does not include in its production bleach or other chemicals that may be harmful for your skin or for the environment, and donates 2% of sales to the “Young Citizens’ City Orchestra”, a project that turns under-privileged children into professional musicians,.
Apart from selling clothing, Fully Stoked also offers books, palm oil free soaps and bags made from rags. Click on any of the images below to read the brief background of the products indicated – whether you’re into sustainability or just interested in the concept, it makes exciting reading.