A sign which reads "Progress Over Perfection" placed on the window of a restaurant with flowers underneath

Progress Over Perfection: Earth Day Sustainability Event Recap

Check out the recap of "Progress Over Perfection," an eco-friendly cocktail party hosted by WAIR & Treet and attended by some of the biggest names in sustainable fashion!

What is Progress Over Perfection?

At WAIR, sustainability is a core part of our brand ethos, a perpetual mission to curate a brighter future for the fashion industry. We're not alone when it comes to that goal. Our partner and leading sustainable resale platform, Treet, has also made sustainability a core part of their business, and has helped brands like CUTS Clothing, Dôen, Rylee + Cru, and more unlock a more profitable and sustainable business model via eCommerce. As two like-minded partners, we thought it prudent to celebrate Earth Day 2023 in style by hosting an eco-friendly cocktail party in the heart of LA!  

"Sustainability is a big word with even bigger complexities, penalties if we don't do it right, and most don't know where to start. WAIR helps you get a solid foothold" - Greg Moore, Co-Founder & CEO @ WAIR.

Why Did WAIR and Treet Host This Earth Day Event?

Our goal with this event was simple. Gather some of the most prominent, LA-based names in sustainable fashion to discuss the steps apparel brands can take to unlock a more sustainable business model without impacting their bottom line. As environmentalism continues to grow in prominence and shoppers demand sustainable clothing options and more ethical business practices, sustainability is no longer a "nice to have." It's a fundamental requirement for any established or aspiring apparel brand. 

The panel speakers for WAIR and Treet's Earth Day event
"Many partners we work with truly want to be sustainable, but they're finding it time-consuming, costly, or simply in their 5-year plan. Thankfully, resale is a tactic that can be done now. They could launch Treet in a week and be profitable from day one" - Yulia Vereshagina, Head of Marketing @ Treet. 

Exacting demands from shoppers are only the beginning. The fashion industry's gargantuan environmental footprint has it set on a trajectory toward disaster. Here are some quick stats which will help paint a clearer picture:

  1. Fashion is responsible for 10% of humanity's carbon emissions
  2. The U.S. alone discards 11.3 million tons of clothing annually
  3. The fashion industry is the 2nd-largest consumer of water globally

If fashion doesn't start making change (and fast), these numbers will only continue to climb. As it is, the industry is laying a foundation for a future that is inherently unsustainable and could have significant consequences in the form of rapid climate change and staggering levels of pollution.

We've certainly got our work cut out for us. While many apparel brands have expressed their long-term plans to become more sustainable, events like "Progress Over Perfection" are vital in highlighting the crucial steps brands can take to make a meaningful impact today

"From SMB to enterprise and everywhere in between, it's about identifying your carbon footprint, associating a cost with it, and neutralizing that cost. That's what we do at Route" - Chelsea Moon, Creative Director @ Route. 

The Short Recap

Progress Over Perfection 2023 panel taking place on Earth Day.

So how did this party for the planet unfold? 

After the initial meet and greet, we ran a one-hour panel discussing the fundamental elements of sustainability in fashion and the steps brands can take to make an impact today. Here were the key takeaways:

WAIR: When we think about sustainable fashion, carbon offsetting and eco-friendly materials immediately come to mind. But the dark horse for apparel brands will always be sizing due to how sizing strategy affects every aspect of one's business, including sustainability. A modern sizing solution like WAIR not only eliminates harmful shopping practices like bracketing and size sampling but also drastically improves keep rates, ensuring the garment lives a long and valuable life before being resold or repurposed.

Treet: Resale is absolutely skyrocketing in 2023, but it's hardly a new concept. The likelihood that your shoppers are already reselling your clothing is quite high, as shown by the success of platforms like Poshmark and StockX. What Treet empowers your brand to do is create an entirely on-brand resale experience while significantly reducing the waste associated with returns, damaged, and discarded items. While sustainability and profitability are often at odds with one another, Treet has proven unlocking new revenue streams can also have sustainable benefits for your brand. 

Route: We've seen a lot of buzz recently surrounding sustainable logistics. While we love ideas like eco-friendly packaging, carbon offsetting is one of the most direct and lasting sustainable acts any brand can implement today. Route offers carbon offsetting for every package we protect via carbon credits. Every credit represents one metric ton of CO2 saved from entering the atmosphere; we achieve this feat via Route's certified forestry projects located in the Southeastern United States and Brazil. These projects are projected to save tens of thousands of tons of CO2 emissions while restoring the habitat of hundreds of wildlife species; just another way Route proves even the most harmful aspects of eCommerce can be effectively addressed.   

Fresh Clean Threads: Sustainability is a way of life for Fresh Clean Threads. From the silverware we use at our office to the products we create, we continually explore our company's environmental impact with in-depth analysis to understand the results of our actions. In addition to being a loyal partner of the Coral Reef Alliance, a nonprofit which helps protect and conserve coral reefs across the globe, we've also ensured every factory in our supply chain is certified by Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production. We continue moving to move the needle with our materials and have completely eliminated single-use plastics from our packaging. Sustainability is an ongoing process, but we believe we're moving in the right direction.  

"For us, we were focused on migrating the entire brand to satisfy all the core sustainability checkboxes in a legitimate way" - Shreya Key, Head of eCommerce @ Fresh Clean Threads. 

Paving a Path Toward a More Sustainable Fashion Industry

At WAIR, we understand why most brands view sustainability as a long game, but there are still solutions that can help lay a strong foundation for any brand today. As participants in the fashion industry, we cannot allow our sustainable efforts to remain as mere visions for the future. After all, perfection is the enemy of progress. 

Want to learn how your brand can begin its sustainability journey today? Check out our article highlighting the tools to help you get started using this link!

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