Toad&Co Is a Leader in Sustainable Fashion

From eco-friendly fabrics to repair workshops to reusable mailers, this brand is doing impressive work.

Woman holding shirt with toad & co label
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Toad & Co. The Renewal Workshop 

Toad&Co is an American fashion brand that's committed to cleaning up the dirty apparel industry. It's a bold statement to make, but spend some time learning about this company and you'll quickly see that it is indeed making decisions that are radically different from its competitors. It wants to do business differently, holding itself and its suppliers to a higher standard than the norm – even within the so-called sustainable fashion industry.

Most noteworthy is Toad&Co's dedication to eco-friendly fabrics. All of the items in this year's new fall collection contains a minimum of 80% sustainable fabrics that are either certified by bluesign or OEKO-Tex. (These third-party certifiers are well-respected within the clothing industry.) Its go-to materials include:

  • Organic cotton, using 91% less water than regular cotton
  • Hemp, a fast-growing, rain-fed crop that puts nutrients back into the soil
  • Tencel, made from eucalyptus in a closed-loop system that recovers 98% of byproducts
  • Lenzing modal, made from beech trees with all byproducts recovered
  • Recycled fabrics, such as wool, cotton, polyester 

Toad&Co stays away from materials such as acrylic, silk, conventional cotton, rayon/viscose, and even bamboo (once beloved by tree-hugging shoppers, but not anymore). As explained in a handy "cheat sheet" that shoppers can download to learn about different fabrics,

"Converting stalky bamboo into soft fabric is a viscose process that requires high chemical and energy demands. Common issues with non-sustainable tree-sourcing also spur deforestation of ancient bamboo forests."
Toad and Co. fall collection samples
Some of the items from Toad and Co.'s fall 2020 collection. Toad and Co. (used with permission)

Toad&Co is a founding member of the Renewal Workshop, which refurbishes used brand-name clothing and returns it to participating brands to sell from their own platforms at roughly 30% off. This is a fabulous model that prolongs the life of merchandise, attracts new clientele, and generates more income for companies.

It's also offering a line of vintage Levi's jeans that have been fixed up for resale. "Producing new denim uses a ton of water and doesn’t meet our sustainability standards ... Each pair of Levi’s kept out of the landfill means 2,000 gallons of water saved. The 90s called — they’re not getting their jeans back anytime soon (bring them into the 21st century with a quick raw hem or rolled cuff)." The price tag is high – $125 per pair – especially considering that you might be able to find something similar at a thrift store, but hey, the reviews are great.

Another one of Toad&Co's accomplishments is signing on to the Responsible Packaging Movement, a pledge to eliminate plastic from consumer packaging by 2021 and all virgin forest materials by 2025. This pledge forces companies to rethink the way they ship clothing to customers and to come up with less wasteful methods. Toad&Co, for example, has partnered with LimeLoop to ship orders in reusable mailers made from old billboards. Once you're done, you mail it back using the enclosed label. (This is an option shoppers select at checkout, otherwise items come in recycled paper mailers or cardboard boxes.)

Here at Treehugger, we're fans of companies that break the mold, that strive to do right and to do better, and then we share them with readers so they, too, can show support. Toad&Co is one such brand that deserves attention for all its hard work. Check it out the next time you're in the market for some stylish, eco-friendly clothing. You won't be disappointed.