This past weekend I came across an article about an impressive type of fashion. Eco-trash couture. These pieces are works of art, designed by Nancy Judd, an environmental educator and artist. Items that would normally end up in the trash are being collected and fashioned into unique apparel items. She even has work on display at the Smithsonian. Below are a few of my favorites from her collection online. What do you think of this type of fashion? To learn more visit, The Recylced Runway.
Recently, we partnered with the Oakwood Elementary School community on a Holiday sweater drive. Green 3 is purchasing all of the sweaters Oakwood collected, with 100% of the proceeds going directly back to the Oakwood PTO. As you most likely know, Green 3 will take those sweaters and turn them into scarves, hand warmers and even skirts. What you may not know is that Oakwood is the environmental education charter school in our city, making their school a perfect fit for this type of initiative.
After the sweater drive wraps up we are inviting the Oakwood families to our company store for a special event. We want to show them how are sweaters are made and what our company is about. We love our community and are always looking for ways to connect our mission with others. If you or someone you know would be interested in a similar event please contact Carla@green3apparel.com.
The story begins before our retail store opened, at a time when we didn’t have an outlet for items that were irregular, damaged or defective. They just sat in boxes. Like all clothing manufactures, there is a percentage of inventory that has some sort of imperfection, which would then normally become waste product. Sandy and Jim began talking about how to reduce this product waste. It’s because of this, that our double-up tees were born.
At this point, there was an emerging trend within the mens wear market, of wearing a short sleeve polo shirt over a long sleeve t-shirt. With Jim’s background in the children’s apparel market he had seen this type of shirt and it was very common. An inset sleeve sewn in, to have the appearance of a layered look. Sandy and Jim decided to try it out as a new line item. We then cut the sleeves off of the damaged and defective tees and sewed them into our short sleeve t-shirts. We did it and the response was unbelievably strong. There was really nobody doing it in our market place and what began as a way to utilize waste, turned into a signature item for us.
We continue to use our damaged and defective product when possible. We use the sleeves or we will cut up the t-shirts and sew them into new sleeves. However, because demand is so great we actually now have to manufacture the sleeve detail from scratch, along with using our irregular waste product. As we prepare for our spring 2013 line, we will be featuring a new item that will again achieve the layered look without the layers. This time it will be a plunging v-neck with an inset contrast color and we can’t wait to show you! Every garment tells a story and that is the story of our double-up tees.
We are grateful for people’s interest in our company and wanted to provide a few answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Why was green 3 started?
Sandy Martin is the founder and president of green 3. Sandy grew up in the rural Midwest, dreaming of brighter lights and bigger cities. After graduating from high school, Sandy left small town life behind and began an education and career that would take her to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Her expertise in product development was eclipsed only by her love of family. Still shy of the age of 40, and at the height of her corporate career, Sandy decided to “retire” and dedicate herself to being the best mom she could be. In between soccer games, parent-teacher conferences, and volunteer work, Sandy kept one eye on the ever-changing feminine apparel marketplace. Personally frustrated by designers who lacked imagination, retailers who didn’t understand fit, and manufacturers who valued a nickel more than the environment and communities they operated in, Sandy decided to re-enter the game with a women’s company of her own in 2006.
What is the Oshkosh B’ Gosh connection?
Sandy’s husband, Jim Martin, worked for Oshkosh B’ Gosh for many years as EVP of Design, Merchandising and Product Development. When B’Gosh was sold in 2005 there were many displaced employees looking for new employment. Jim joined his wife at green 3 and together they were able to hire many former Oshkosh B’gosh employees, several of whom Jim knew personally. They are fortunate to have their business in an area that is rich in talent and people familiar with the industry.
How many green 3 employees were former Oshkosh B’gosh employees?
8 in art, technical design, sewing and distribution.
What is organic cotton?
In the simplest of terms, organic cotton means that the crop is raised without the use of pesticides or harmful chemicals.
What is recycled cotton?
There are really two categories of recycled cotton; there is post-consumer and pre-consumer. What we use at green 3 is pre-consumer recycled cotton. The difference between the two, is that post-consumer means it’s something that an individual actually owned, got rid of, and then the item was turned into something else. Pre-consumer, which is what we use here, is actually waste and scrap that comes from factories that are making other apparel items or furniture upholstery. The excess fabric is cut off and the scraps would normally be thrown away. Instead, we come in and take those scraps and actually use it to create new yarn. That yarn is what we use to knit our recycled cotton items.
What are water based inks?
We use water-based inks, as opposed to traditional plastisol screen printing – plastisol is the rubbery underlay that you find in most conventional screen print applications. Plastisol is a petroleum-based product. Everything that we use is a water-based product. The advantages, beyond the environmental benefits, are that the hand is incredibly soft, completely breathable, the screen print will not crack or peel, and can’t fade.
What does re-engineered mean?
The re-engineered product category is exactly what it sounds like; it’s taking items that are currently one thing and turning them into something else. In the green 3 re-engineered items, we’re using reclaimed items, cutting them up into various shapes, and then re-sewing them into brand new and different items. Many of these items do come from thrift stores but we thoroughly wash all items before transforming them into new product.
How do I request a wholesale catalog?
There is a short approval process to receive our wholesale catalog and you can start that process here.
What trade shows do you attend?
We travel to trade shows in the spring and fall each year and that generally includes the following locations; Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas and New York.
When did your company store open?
Our company store opened in August of 2011 when we moved our facility to a larger building. We had a layout that provided extra space for a storefront and we obviously had the inventory to fill it. This is our only store location.
Have a question? Email us at email@example.com
Today we have an employee interview you won’t want to pass on reading! We want to introduce you to Jane, our Art Director. Since the birth of the company in 2006, every item that has a graphic on it, Jane has designed and more often has even hand drawn it.
How did you get the job at green 3?
I was working with Jim on a freelance job for Oshkosh B’Gosh and he asked if I would meet with his wife, Sandy to help design a logo for her new business venture. That was in August 2005, so it’s been 7 years already!
What is your favorite item (past or present) from the green 3 line?
From a graphics point of view, I really liked how both the butterfly kite tee and the peacock v-neck tee came out.
Favorite G3 moment;
Shooting the catalogs are always SO much fun!
What do you do for fun or what is something you are passionate about?
Hanging out with my family. Our family runs in many different directions during the weekdays but we all make an effort to go to church on Sunday and spend the rest of the day as a family unit.
Something interesting about you or your family;
People don’t always realize that I’m half Asian and half Polish. My mom is from Korea and because of that I wasn’t raised in the typical fashion of my peers. I always felt that because of all the wonderful things my mom taught us that I should have been born in a past generation.
A “green” aspect of your life that you are proud to say you do?
I don’t like to throw things away and try my best to repurpose it. I use milk jugs as paint buckets and have repurposed several old dressers, turning one into a new entertainment center.
If someone asked for your advice about pursuing a career in graphic design what would you tell them?
Plan to go to college and get a formal education. Even if your portfolio is strong you probably won’t get your foot in the door without it. Send your portfolio with your resume and don’t forget that your resume is representative of your graphic design background it shouldn’t just be a plain white piece of paper. Design your resume so it will stand out among the others.
Green3’s take on Jane: I have been around a lot of artists throughout my corporate career, and Jane possesses a skill that is incredibly valuable to any brand. She thinks in terms of the ultimate consumer and what they will like, as opposed to just what she likes. Jane is able to move outside of her personal likes or dislikes, and passionately focus on making every piece of art be what’s best for the brand and the consumer we target.
Today Jim Martin is here to give you some insight on the biggest gift fair in the country;
I think the New York Gift Fair is the only remaining international gift show. In our last show there, in January 2012, we opened new accounts with customers in Ireland; we opened new account with customers in Japan. I just think that the attendance, the quality of the retailers, and the quality of the exhibitors is the best of all the shows.
It starts August 19th, and what’s different about it this year is that they’ve cut it down to four days – it used to be a five-day show. Which is great for everybody – the exhibitors, the attendees – but I think it’s going to make those days really action-packed. I think it’s going to be great; it’s going to be exciting.
Roughly, how many exhibitors are there for the show each year?
It’s only temporary exhibitors, whereas the Atlanta Gift Show is a combination of permanent showrooms and temporary exhibitors. I don’t know the exact number, but I would guess it’s close to four or five thousand temporary exhibitors. One of the better parts of the New York Gift Fair is they have international exhibitors as well, and they set up different sections for specific countries. It’s fun for the other exhibitors to go and take a look at what’s going on in other parts of the world.
How are exhibitors set up?
The New York Gift Fair is primarily at the Javits Center out on the west side, but the show is sold out from an exhibitor standpoint so they have overflow out on the piers of the West River. They have buses that run back and forth from the Javits Center out to the piers, and new companies have to put their time in. You might be out at the piers exhibiting for a few years, and then as spots open up in the Javits Center, you can get moved in. We’re fortunate to be in the Javits right now. Our booth is 8639.
What is the Javits Center like at the show?
Beyond all of the glamorous parts of it, it’s also probably the least glamorous show in terms of aesthetics. The Javits Center is this giant monolithic concrete building. The show is kind of dark and cavernous as opposed to the Atlanta Gift Show which is all big open modern buildings. But it’s cool, because it’s very New York – it’s very compressed, stuffed full of people and exhibitors. It feels a lot like the city itself. There is this great energy that’s there because it’s so compressed, which is exciting.
What is transportation typically like at the show?
The show has bus lines that run all over the city and will pick you up from anywhere because again, just like the rest of New York, there’s no parking. Traffic is just nonstop, so there’s buses that run continually throughout the city picking people up and dropping people off. It almost doesn’t matter where you stay; it’s easy to get to the show and get back from the show. Classic New York – I’ll catch the first bus over to the show usually around 7 in the morning and it takes ten minutes to get to there. At night when the show ends at 6, the buses are running during rush hour, so the same trip takes an hour and twenty minutes to get back. And you’re only going less than two miles! Every time we’ve been there it’s either been incredibly hot or horrifically cold, so the buses are kind of nice. But you definitely experience the New York traffic.
Where do you typically stay during the gift fair?
We stay over near Bryant Park. I’ve been going to New York for probably 25 years and just the way the city has transitioned – Bryant Park, when I first started going, it was a classic shooting gallery. It was just infested with drug dealers and you would walk by and there would be people standing all around the perimeter of the park selling drugs. They would be saying it under their breath, reciting the menu of things they were selling. And inside the park – you didn’t go inside the park. Now 20 years later, it’s this amazingly beautiful park. They have movies in the park at night for families, there’s a carousel and it’s just fantastic. They’ve really revived the area.
What is your favorite thing to do while you’re in the city?
One of our favorite things to do is to just go down into the Village and walk. If you’ve never been to New York, that’s absolutely something you should do. Before I went to New York, I just assumed that these things were very far apart, but because everything’s so compressed they’re all right on top of each other. Little Italy is just a couple square blocks, and then you cross the street and you’re in Chinatown and that’s a couple more blocks from the East Village. People who haven’t gone before are almost afraid to go because they don’t know where to stay and they don’t know what to do. I think it’s one of the easiest cities to get around in. It’s small and compact and laid out in a grid form, and as long as you go where you should go I think you’re completely safe. It’s just not a city to go where you shouldn’t go, but it’s not too hard to figure out. I just love to get out and walk.
We will be out at the show on August 19th and as always if you are in the area we would love to see you!
One component of our company is built upon the mission to create clothing items that are produced in a way that does the least amount of damage possible to the environment. Many of you probably have heard the term organic cotton and maybe even the term water-based inks but you might not know exactly what those terms mean. Today we’re sharing a video that speaks to the definition of both of those terms and why using these methods are an important way to protect our environment.
Not the safety pin but the ever addicting Pinterest pin! You may or may not know this, but you can now follow us on Pinterest! We are so excited to be able to share our board images with you. We will pin images that green 3 finds inspiring, green products we love, fun and creative ideas for our company store, organic garden recipes and of course some product from our line. Today I’ve chosen a few images from our boards to share with you and hopefully, if you like what you see, you’ll click on over to Pinterest and follow us!
My favorite image from this selection is the image of our employee’s foot, seriously! You just HAVE to have cool toes to run a green 3 sewing machine! What’s your favorite image?
Earlier this week I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sandy Martin to talk to her about the 2012 Atlanta Gift Show. The show was held July 11th-18th and was made up of 4000 temporary exhibits like us, as well as 5000 permanent showrooms. All were housed within three, separate multi-level buildings. Here are 5 things I asked Sandy about the show:
1. How was your show experience this year:
This year the show was a great success. It was wonderful to see our existing customers again and the customers in general were very friendly, which always make for a more enjoyable experience. It was nice to see the enthusiasm towards our new line. Last year, customers were a bit unsure of our knit sweaters but this year they were thrilled to see that the line had been expanded. Customers were also extremely excited about our fall knit tops.
2. What item(s) seemed to receive the best response:
Oh gosh, well, the santa tee (available 9/25) was a hit AGAIN at this show. For whatever reason “he” just always seems to be a classic icon that people can’t get enough of The same rings true for our whole sock monkey line, people love it. As far as a new line item, our dog sit stay handwarmers really won people over. Customers loved the “sit and stay” expression on the palms. Before going to a show there are always a few items we are anxious to present and this year it was our EIEIO men’s shirt (available 7/25). We were pleasantly surprised when we received many positive reactions and that people really understood our humor and our inspiration.
3. How was attendance this year compared to past shows you’ve been to:
Attendance seemed to be down a bit but we were lucky to have had our best sales in our history of attending the show. On a merchandising side of things we heard many comments on how good the product line is this year! We may try to move our booth next year because there is a USA made section at the show and we feel that our brand would fit best in that area.
4. How was the weather in the south:
HOT, HUMID & MUGGY!! Before leaving the hotel on the first morning I straightened my normally curly hair. I didn’t give the weather much thought since I’d be indoors all day. Well, on the 1/2 mile walk over to the show, my hair went from stick, stick straight to uncontrollable super curl! When I later went into CVS to buy a (sold-out) clipboard, I came back with a straightener instead! Thankfully the show was very cool and comfortable so my hair remained curl free!
5. What’s your favorite place to eat while visiting Atlanta:
If you are ever in downtown Atlanta I would highly recommend the Peasant Bistro, it was wonderful both in service and food.