Founding Oshki was completed with the mindset that sustainability and preservation would be put at the top of the priority list no matter the circumstance.
Since July 2017, we have continued to put out new products - donating 5% of proceeds to non-profits working to preserve the Great Lakes. Although our customers have enabled us to donate over $1,200 to these amazing organizations, the feeling that Oshki could do more as a company to produce items of the utmost quality and sustainable materials has pushed me towards working on a shift to sustainability as a brand.
One of the most shocking realizations I have come to over the last few months is the detrimental effects the fashion industry has on the environment. A change is needed in the garment industry - where "fast fashion" has become the number 2 source of pollution on planet earth. A study done by the World Resources Institute revealed that the average consumer bought 60% more clothing in 2014 than in 2000, but kept each garment half as long. Taking into account that each cotton shirt takes approximately 2,700 liters of water to produce, the need for sustainability in this industry has never been greater. While most industries have become cleaner since the turn of the millennia, the fashion industry has regressed.
With the help of the University of Michigan group OptiMize and personal research over the last 3 months - all Oshki products released in 2019 and beyond will be made of recycled plastic waste collected from the Great Lakes and other waterways. With the help of American companies Repreve and Recover Brands - this plastic waste is sourced entirely from United States water and land cleanups. The PET plastic waste is ground into minuscule pieces, which is transformed into recycled polyester fibers. The dynamic existence of these fibers allows limitless capabilities into what types of products are made from recycled plastic - giving a new use to otherwise useless material and keeping plastic out of the Great Lakes and beyond.
We will be doing a small sample run in January and February in partnership with Recover Brands before our eventual large product release. A project such as this takes time, but the customer support we have received over the last year and half makes it worth our time as well as the need for more sustainability in the fashion industry. I am excited for what is in store for 2019 and beyond.
Founder - Oshki LLC