Mountain Made Life and the crew would like you to know exactly what goes into our products as well as who you're supporting through the purchase of said products. This page will show you everything, the brands of shirts and dyes we use to the organizations we support, as well as why we've made the decisions we have.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is a certification that was created in the hopes of creating better working/trading conditions in developing countries while promoting sustainable methods of producing goods.
When you buy a Fair Trade certified product, you can rest assured that the people and ecosystems along the chain that got a product into your hands aren't being unfairly exploited.
So this all sounds good, but it's farmed in India, what about the carbon footprint?
As a green business, HAE Now actively helps combat the reality of shipping and it's effects on the environment. HAE Now uses minimal packaging, and is currently able to reuse or recycle 80-85% of materials. HAE Now uses paperless systems and does not conduct mass mailing. They use reusable, eco-friendly supplies, and natural biodegradable cleaning products.
To ship products from India to California HAE Now mostly uses ocean shipping. According to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, ocean transportation has the lowest eco impact with carbon emissions of approximately 15% of road and less than 1% of air. Since routes are mostly developed in existing waters, developing and maintaining a waterway draws much less on our earth’s resources. The shipping industry is also subject to some of the strictest international regulations on pollution and modern ships are increasingly held to high environmental standards.
Tees & Long Sleeves
We buy our shirts from HAE Now, a Fair Trade certified wholesale retailer located in Hercules California, and one of the only ones in the United States.
HAE Now sources it's cotton from the Chetna Organic Project in central India.
Chetna is a collective made up of thousands of small to medium land owners who practice eco-friendly and sustainable farming. Chetna provides fair pay and employment to men and women. It also helps to create opportunities for communities to thrive by investing in community projects like new services, local businesses, child care and schooling.
So now you know who, but why?
Cotton represents around 35% of the total textile market and Monsanto's genetically modified cotton accounts for roughly 95% of the cottonseed worldwide, you might think that growing cotton bigger and faster would be better, but it's not.
Sterile GMO Cotton seeds break the cycle of regeneration and threaten biodiversity, wildlife, and microorganisms within the soil.
GMO farming shifts the power from small farmers and land owners to huge corporations.
Cotton has some of the highest pesticide uses with nearly $2.6 Billion worth of pesticides sprayed on cotton each year (Pana).
According to WHO, an estimated 40,000 deaths and 3 million cases of health issues are directly caused by agricultural pesticide poisoning a year.
When seeds and insects become resistant to pesticides more and more is applied to achieve the same effect, catching farmers in a cycle of destruction. Approximately 200,000 farmers in India commit suicide each year when faced with devastated fields, contaminated water, and large amounts of debt (WHO).
Now that you know the facts about genetically modified cotton (and you might be a little bummed) here's the good news, we don't support it. Organic cotton is the only way to go, and again, here's why.
Natural cotton is grown with sustainable practices such as manual farming, crop rotation, and botanical pest control.
Organic standards ensure that safe ingredients are used that do not compromise the health of workers or the planet.
Organic farming practices are regenerative, crop rotation and manual farming to help maintain healthy levels of soil.
Cotton is a huge industry and it's used for more than just your clothes, cottonseed is used as feed for livestock and cottonseed oil itself is used for many processed snack foods. As far away as it might seem, cotton is close to you, by buying organic you're using your voice as a consumer and a human being to help add to the environmental movement.
We ship out our wonderful products to you in a durable 100% recycled poly mailing envelope from EcoEnclose.
With plastic waste quickly filling up every corner of our planet, we chose to find a solution that is both economically viable for us and reduces our consumption of precious raw materials as much as possible.
Not only are our packages 100% recyclable, but 100% reusable as well. Made with two sticky strips so that they can be repackaged and sent again.
We use Jacquard Professional Quality Screen Printing Ink to print our shirts. It's a water based ink with a slightly alkaline PH, making it more durable and long lasting.
Aside from the it's durability this ink also sets after 72 hours of air drying which means we can save power letting it dry rather than heat setting it. This ink is also water soluble making it easy to clean up with just water, meaning no hard chemicals going into the environment. Combined with all this, the ink is produced in the United States, so it's really a no brainer why we go with this ink
As you may or may not know, we screen print our shirts ourselves. In order to maintain an environmentally conscious system we buy our screens from Anthem Screen Printing based out of San Francisco.
Shipping is quick and not much gas is used to get it from them to us. The screens are made with a metal framing for durability. We use each screen until it can no longer be used, ensuring that we waste as little as possible. On top of this, when it comes time to make a new shirt we take the emulsion off of the screen we’re done with and reuse it for whatever design is next.