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Newcomer Foreland Makes Sustainability a Founding Principle

With both consumers and fashion execs increasingly seeing the importance of sustainable initiatives, major corporations like Hanesbrands and Kontoor Brands have made news with their long-term sustainability goals.

One self-styled “outdoor lifestyle brand,” however, is looking to demonstrate its eco-friendly ethos by setting up green supply chains and production from the get-go.

Basics-focused Foreland claims to produce all its products from 100 percent recycled materials. Since its production process does not require new petroleum, the company said, it uses up to 90 percent less water, 75 percent less carbon and 70 percent less energy than the standard apparel industry in producing men and women’s T-shirts, hats, hoodies, quarter zips and sweaters.

Foreland co-founder Danielle Gainan created the company with her husband. “I come from a retail background and he comes from an e-commerce and marketing background, and after learning how the clothing industry has become one of the world’s largest polluters and how the plastic industry continues to grow while plastic pollution also continues to worsen, we came up with the idea of Foreland,” she told Sourcing Journal. “Our goal is to build a community of outdoor enthusiasts who have an appreciation for the environment and can enjoy buying and wearing new clothing while also knowing their purchase has a positive impact on the planet.”

The newcomer works with suppliers in the U.S., Haiti, Guatemala and Honduras, depending on the product type and collection. Its partnerships include Unifi’s Repreve, Recover Brands and SustainU. According to Gainan, Foreland’s “factory partners and work co-ops in Haiti, Guatemala and Honduras all provide sustainable jobs and living wages for hundreds of workers, and some of the facilities are also powered by biomass from local forestry and coffee industry waste.”

Foreland's sustainable product line includes hats

The outdoor lifestyle brand is working on launching products to help minimize and prevent potential microplastic pollution, as well as creating partnerships with close-looped recycling to accept clothing donations from its customers to then turn back into new Foreland apparel, said Gainan. “This is something we’re super excited about, but as a young, small boot-strapped company it always takes more time to accomplish our goals than we anticipate.”