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The beauty of so many modern companies is that many support and educate the public about important causes, allowing the consumer to connect to bigger issues while supporting a brand that gives back. One such company is One Tribe Apparel, a Bohemian fashion brand that began when two travellers fell in love with Thailand’s Bohemian styles, and decided to bring them back to to the west in a socially conscious way. This includes a product line that’s sourced and made in Thailand by local artisans who are paid fair wages. This includes gorgeous Bohemian finds such as the fun “Summer Dreams” bucket bag, Elephant Harem Pants, colorful Kimonos and much more.
In addition to offering stunning pieces, your purchase also supports a company that gives back in quite a special way. For every purchase made, One Tribe Apparel donates to the Elephant Nature Park in Chang Mai, Thailand, which rescues and cares for endangered animals so they can roam freely in a safe environment. Amazing, right!? We were certainly inspired and know you will be, too! To learn more about this socially conscious company, we spoke with Suzette Williams, partner at One Tribe Apparel to learn more about how One Tribe Apparel is breaking geographical barriers and uniting women around the globe with a shared passion for travel, culture, and conscious fashion!
Interview with One Tribe Apparel
Wellness Patterns: How did the idea of One Tribe Apparel come about?
Suzette Williams: One of the amazing things about traveling to Thailand is that you’ll meet people from all over the world. I’m from Australia but in addition to great Thai friends I’ve created bonds with people from Africa, Europe, South America and almost everywhere else in the world. It’s this incredible melting pot for travelers and that was the initial inspiration for One Tribe Apparel to bring together a global community through art and fashion.
Wellness Patterns: Tell us about your connection to Thailand.
Suzette Williams: We’re based in Northern Thailand now but I first lived down south on the islands. It’s beautiful, it’s old fashion in some ways where the wifi isn’t that strong so people hang out on the beach and drink a coconut or a beer while taking in this breathtaking nature. It has some of the best food in the world and the people are amazing. There’s just something about Thailand that’s hard to put your finger on, many people come back again and again or they come once and decide they want to move there.
Wellness Patterns: Tell us about your partnership with Elephant Nature Park.
Suzette Williams: One thing many travelers & tourists to Thailand may not know is that many of the commercial elephant rides and attractions are very dangerous for the animals. They are abused & chained & whipped from the time they are babies to make them compliant and obedient. It’s really sad to see and most people don’t know what their contributing to and just want to interact with the elephants. We strongly advise people to never ride an elephant especially if they are strapped in to any kind of basket. This article does a good job explaining the work of the elephant nature park and the plight of the other elephants in the country – https://expertvagabond.com/elephants-in-thailand/
What elephant nature park does is provide a safe sanctuary and rescues and buys elephants that have been poorly treated. At the park you can feed the elephants and interact with them in a fun and safe way that doesn’t hurt them.
We love the mission of the park and since many of our products have the traditional Thai elephant on them we felt it was a great way to give back. Right now we make a donation for every sale of every product we sell but we’re working on exclusive products in the future where 100% of profits will go to the park.
Wellness Patterns: Why do you think fashion should have a conscious connection?
Suzette Williams: With fashion we’re inspired by culture by nature by animals and by our communities. I think it’s only right to give back as a thanks for that. In addition to our work with the park we hire local designers & artists and we make sure all manufacturers we work with have good working conditions and fair wages. It’s possible to do all of these things and still make a profit and we think it’s great that many fashion companies and companies in general are doing this as well.
Wellness Patterns: What are some plans for the future of One Tribe Apparel?
Suzette Williams: The original concept for One Tribe Apparel was that every year we would pick a new destination like Nepal or Bali and do a clothing line featuring the artisans of that location. Unfortunately, that’s incredibly expensive and logistically difficult but we still love the vision. We plan on keeping our roots in Thailand but would love to add styles from Nepal next. As for our product line we’re going to be greatly expanding our collection of bohemian handbags and our yoga accessories like straps and bags.
For more information, please visit: https://www.onetribeapparel.com
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One of the easiest steps that anyone can take to become a greener consumer is to seek out green companies. And thankfully there are more options out there these days that have even hit mainstream stories, making it even easier to shop ethically. One of our favorites is ECOS, a company that makes all of their products with plant-derived cleaning agents! Started in 1967 with a singular mission: to make affordable environmentally-friendly cleaning products that would not only tackle life’s dirtiest jobs but also protect the planet’s precious resources in the process. Amazing, right!
Today, they continue to adhere to these values and now offer more than 200 environmentally friendly products. We are huge fans and recently had the chance to try out some household staples, like the ECOS Hand Soap, ECOS All Purpose Cleaner and ECOS Dishmate that we use on the daily. Not only do these products effectively clean up all of the grit and grime from life, they do so without any yucky add-ons. You can opt for a mild scent (we are digging the citrus/green combo of the lemongrass), or opt for an equally powerful collection of products from their free and clear range.
Additionally, all of their products are mode in the U.S. at one of four manufacturing facilities that are carbon neutral, water neutral and Zero Waste Platinum certified, saving over 53 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually and diverting over 95% of all waste from landfills. To learn more about this company, we had the chance to speak with Jenna Arkin, Earth Friendly Products’ Product Development Director. Read on to check out even more about ECOS and why they are one of our favorites.
Interview with ECOS
Wellness Patterns: Can you tell us what it means to produce products in a carbon neutral, water neutral facility?
Jenna Arkin: We power our sustainable manufacturing plants with 100% renewable energy, including solar panels at each facility. Since we became carbon neutral in 2013, we’ve saved over 53 million pounds of carbon dioxane annually. That’s the equivalent of removing 5,089 passenger vehicles from the road each year! Water neutrality is a measure of “zero net water usage.” We achieved this by significantly reduced our water use and by supporting programs that restore water to critically depleted ecosystems.
Wellness Patterns: What does it mean to be zero waste platinum certified?
Jenna Arkin: Zero Waste Platinum certification means that we divert over 95% of our waste from landfills and incineration.
Wellness Patterns: How do you save waste from going into landfills?
Jenna Arkin: We provide extensive training to our employees to help them minimize waste in their daily activities through reducing, reusing, recycling, and most importantly, rethinking ways to prevent waste. Our vendors are a critical part of our Zero Waste success, as we work closely with them to minimize the packaging they send to your facilities and ensure that materials are recyclable.
Wellness Patterns: What are some of your innovations for 2017 and best sellers?
Jenna Arkin: Our long time best seller is our ECOS hypoallergenic Laundry detergent. Just this past year, we have added a new enzyme formula that has added stain removal power, available in two new signature scents – Fresh Geranium and Honeydew.
We are also excited to unveil our newly rebranded “ECOS for Pets!” line of products, wth stain and odor removers and grooming solutions for all of our furry & feathered friends. All of our pet products have been formulated using “Human” personal care and cleaning standards, ensuring that only the safest products come into contact with pets. Our new Peppermint Hypoallergenic Grooming Shampoo is also the first ever Safer Choice certified pet product on the market! This means that the formula has been vetted by the us EPA to contain only the safest ingredients in class.
Wellness Patterns: How did the company start?
Jenna Arkin: Our company was founded in 1967 by a man that embodies the ideal of the American Dream. Van Vlahakis came to our country from Greece with $22 in his pocket and put himself through a rigourous college education in Chemistry. He founded our company in his garage with the mission of providing safer, greener cleaners at a time when no one yet understood the dangers of toxic chemicals in cleaning products. Today we continue to be inspired by Van’s pioneering and innovative spirit, and we’re proud to provide environmentally friendly cleaners that work great at a much lower price than other green cleaners. This year we’re celebrating 50 years of green cleaning!
Wellness Patterns: What are some of your goals for the future of the company?
Jenna Arkin: We’re going to continue to innovate and be at the cutting edge of green chemistry! We’ll also continue to work with local and federal legislators to lobby for safer chemical policies and ingredient transparency to protect American consumers. Most importantly, we’ll continue to grow and provide green jobs in the four local communities in the U.S. where we manufacture our products.
To learn more about ECOS, please visit: http://ecos.com