Andrew Rosen Holds Fashion Accountable with Good Wool by Theory
Dedicated to creating clothing that lasts—in terms of both fashion and quality—Theory’s latest innovation involves crafting clothing that is better for our planet. Good Wool by Theory raises the bar with a novel approach to fashion manufacturing that is elegant, effective and environmental.
Cofounder and CEO Andrew Rosen is heading this shift with the label’s most sustainable fabric to date. The line’s new colorful wool suits start with wool that is humanely sourced on the rural island of Tasmania, and then ecologically manufactured in Italy using renewable resources. Even the hangtags are made with recycled paper. Good Wool is just the beginning for Theory and Rosen, who has plans to make the label fully sustainable. We spoke to him about this eco-friendly enterprise, his vision for Theory and what the future holds for fine, sustainable fashion.
Sustainability has always been an important part of Theory’s business model. How did you know that it was time to do more?
From day one, 20 years ago, we were dedicated to creating products made of the highest-quality fabrics that were made to last. This was sustainability in its earliest days.
I wanted to make a tangible change in the way that we make clothing to decrease our environmental impact. From fabric sourcing to manufacturing and development, we’ve seen the negative impact that production and retail distribution can have on the environment. We are making significant progress by staying vigilant through the production and manufacturing.
What are some of the unique ways you’re addressing sustainability with Good Wool?
All aspects of production are important, which is why we have worked hard to find partners that take sustainability seriously from farmer to factory. In order to truly make change, I believe that sustainability needs to be a priority throughout all parts of the production process. The collection incorporates various sustainable elements. We’re using buttons made from corozo nuts, biodegradable Bemberg lining in the suits, and recycled paper hangtags for all pieces.
Can you tell me about the production of Good Wool fabrics and materials? Why Tasmania?
We use wool from a family-owned farm in Tasmania because we value how they’ve committed to their environment and treatment of their animals for generations. The wool is then spun into fabric at a textile mill that uses renewable energy in the mountains of Italy. Ultimately, the product and the process is sustainable from start to finish.
How do you hope this will influence the fashion industry as a whole?
We are setting an example that we hope will challenge the industry to become more conscious about the way products are sourced and made. Sustainability is a natural evolution for Theory. As we celebrate our 20th year, I am not interested in looking back on our accomplishments. We’re looking forward to the next 20 years and beyond.
What’s next for sustainability?
We are currently on track for 50% of our raw materials to have sustainable elements by 2020. As for next steps, we’re going to start using certified organic linen, biodegradable viscose and recycled elastane.
We’re also working to implement eco-friendly practices into every aspect of our business—from changing our corporate office lighting to LED only, to recycling our textile scraps (we have already recycled 5,300 pounds). And we are also replanting trees to account for our past paper usage.
What do you love most about the feminine power-suiting trend we’re seeing?
I love how suiting can be dressed up or down. It is beautiful worn as a suit or mixed in with separates. I like the idea of pairing your elongated blazer with a great pair of jeans, or the cropped pants with a simple T-shirt.
Finally, what style advice would you pass on to all men and women?
Men and women look the best when they feel comfortable and confident in their clothing. It’s all about finding that great jacket or pant that you can throw on and instantly feel put together.
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