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California Clothing Brand Makes Sustainability Stylish

Smaller clothing companies are embracing sustainability in their production methods. Textile waste is a big problem, as fast fashion companies are overproducing and creating a large footprint with disposable garments. Enter the Industry of All Nations (IOAN). This California clothing company has made sustainable fashion for over a decade and is still growing. 

IOAN began as a research, design, and development firm seeking to rethink how clothing production is conducted. Started by three Argentine brothers — Juan Diego, Fernando and Patricio Gerscovich in 2010 — the company’s goal is to create eco-friendly clothes while helping the regions where the materials are sourced

“Our goal is to raise the living standards of partnering teams and communities as we believe creating an economically sustainable system is directly related to the collaboration of the designer, worker, product, and consumer, collectively sharing goals to live and work in a world that creates fair possibilities for all,” company representatives told Consensus via email.

Photo Courtesy Industry of All Nations

IOAN makes sure that all aspects of its clothing business are sustainable. Their supply chain explains the methodology perfectly.

They will travel to countries like Bolivia or Guatemala, purchase materials like cotton or alpaca wool, and have local communities create the clothes without any petroleum or polyester. Once done, they sell them out of their California and New York flagship stores. Since the clothing is all-natural, it can be recycled into new garments and has biodegradability.

Photo Courtesy Industry of All Nations

The company’s clothing assortment is quite extensive. Products range from socks and sweaters made from alpaca wool to shirts and pants made from recycled fibers, organic cotton, and natural rubber. IOAN stands out in its advocacy for undyed and unbleached clothes. Many of their items have no dyes added, a more sustainable production practice. 

“Seventy to 80% of our styles are made using completely Undyed Fibers to reduce the use of resources: primarily water, electricity, and a lot of other waste that is left over from other dyeing processes,” the company explained. The brand dyes some clothes, but this is also sustainable, using only 100% natural dyes. All come from plants or minerals. 

On top of being more sustainable, this preserves the identity of the people and places that create IOAN’s products. When you buy a shirt or jacket, you know it is crafted with sophistication and a greater purpose.

The first retail space for IOAN opened in 2015 in Venice, CA. Since then, the company has opened more stores, going bicoastal. You can find stores in San Francisco, New York City, Brooklyn, and Joshua Tree

They anticipate opening more stores in 2023, according to company representatives. Since launching the first store, IOAN has collaborated with artisans and manufacturers in Argentina, Bolivia, India, Uruguay, Mexico, Indonesia, and the U.S

“Our intention is to encourage a new sustainable industrialization not only in one or two countries but to reset production standards all over the world,” the representatives said. This kind of influence is critical if we are to get on a more sustainable global fashion standard. 

Photo Courtesy Industry of All Nations

Shopping culture is changing. There’s more awareness being brought to eco-friendly clothing brands and the harm of fast fashion — waste, energy usage, and chemicals. As more people embrace the idea that they can buy naturally-made clothes, it’s also important to remember who helped make such beautiful garments. 

“We believe products have a culture. They belong to the people who created them and are passionate about making them. They belong to the people who make the material they are made with, they are the result of creativity, hard work, passion, and love for creating,” said Juan Diego Gerscovich. “A product should not be made by companies who are solely used because they have cheap labor, and people should not only be used because they are cheap.”    


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