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Why This NYC Startup Is Making ‘Near-Seasonless’ Compostable Garments

Gomorrah, a self-described “mission-based menswear brand,” is taking on compostable fashion.

The New York City business launched the first entry, a tee, in what it says will be a “100 percent compostable menswear line” in June. Gomorrah plans to release a second item, a button-down, by spring of next year.

“We need new apparel companies with progressive business models to offer better products with more value,” Itzett Romero and Max Sudak, co-founders of Gomorrah, said in a statement. “It’s vital to not place undue stress on the environment in the interest of business and profit.”

Gomorrah’s first compostable silhouette, a tee, debuted in June.

The entire collection will be plant-based, including thread, labels and buttons, and utilize low-impact, non-toxic dyes, Gomorrah said. The brand encourages its customers to compost its garments—directly into a compost bin—after “many, many years” of wear. The idea, it noted, is for consumers to not toss aside their clothes “for the next trend,” but to live in them, repair them and grow in them. Gomorrah said it focused on longevity when deciding materials and construction for the “near-seasonless garments.”

“Gomorrah is working to solve for post-consumer textile waste and the stress Americans are placing on other countries as a result of our consumption habits,” Romero and Sudak added. “The answer isn’t to stop purchasing clothes and put millions of people out of work, but to disrupt an industry, surface a model, and have consumers make demands of other brands through the power of their dollars after they see that the model works—and that it even works in the luxury apparel space.”

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The self-funded menswear brand is a member of 1% for the Planet and a partner of One Tree Planted. A percentage of every unit sold goes toward U.S. reforestation efforts, it said.

Gomorrah currently offers its compostable Night Swim Tee in a single color, “Blue Shadow.” Its website lists four additional colorways as “coming soon.” All cost $60. The button-down Lakeside Shirt is available for pre-order in seven colors, each priced at $200.

Gomorrah is not the only business exploring compostable fashion. In March, OrthoLite unveiled Cirql, its first EVA plastics-free, recyclable, biodegradable and industrially compostable foam. Made from responsibly sourced” plants and biodegradable materials and manufactured using a zero-waste, chemical-free foaming process, it can be biodegraded into a “nutrient-rich” soil compost or depolymerized and recycled into another midsole of equal quality. OrthoLite, a supplier to brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Skechers, New Balance and Crocs, said at the time that it was “poised and capable to make a serious dent” in the 20 billion pairs of shoes the industry manufactures annually. In March, it had the capacity to produce approximately 1.8 million pairs per year, while its partners had the capacity to produce enough machines to manufacture an additional 20 million-plus pairs. Licensing partnerships with Tier 1 factories could help ramp up production even further, Matt Smith, general manager and vice president of Cirql, noted.