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Howie’s Shows How to Make Truly Sustainable Clothing

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With all the talk of green clothing these days, one thing seems to be missing from the conversations: Sustainability. The old fashioned kind. As in how long it lasts. Yes, you can make clothing last by repurposing it into something else, but what if you’re just not that crafty, or don’t want to spend the time doing it?

UK clothing company Howie’s has another idea: Make sustainable clothing that lasts. A long time. Enough so that when you’re done with it, passing it on doesn’t mean getting a ratty, worn, frayed garment. It’s been built so well it can last for a decade, maintaining quality.

Their Hand-Me-Down line does just that.

Howie’s puts it well when they say,

“We live in times of limited resources but unlimited desire to consume them. The answer though is real simple: to consume less as a consumer; to make a better designed product as a manufacturer.”

What does that look like?

The jacket uses a material called ventile, an exceptionally tightly woven cotton made from 30% more yarn then typical fabric. And? And that means that it is resistant to water, without the need for and subsequent wearing out of external treatments to the fabric.

The bag uses heavy waxed canvas, the buckles are rustproof aluminum, and designed in a hook shape, skipping the possibility of later breakage of components.

The tweed is based on organic wool, coming from free range sheep, courtesy the Ardalanish Tweed Weavers on the Isle of Mull. Dye comes from Woad, an herb that Howie’s says looks like a cross between spinach and sugar beet.

All this doesn’t come cheap,but as Howie’s says,

“Some will look at the price and say it is expensive but over time it will prove itself to be one of your best things you ever buy.”

It’s parallel, in my mind, to businesses taking a longer term view vs. a purely quarterly earnings focus.

Readers: What other examples of green clothing with a focus on quality do you see out there?

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