As part of our continuing dialogue with the people behind our sustainable brands, we want to share with you a conversation we recently had with Jeff Denby, the founder and creative director at PACT. Convert is proud to say that we were one of PACT’s first retail outlets in 2010. (Heck, they were just down the street from us in Berkeley.) PACT makes beautiful and comfortable ‘little clothes’ (sort of can’t resist a Game of Thrones allusion), aka undergarments, that also happen to be sustainable. What’s even better, Jeff and his team are on a constant quest to improve their styles in terms of comfort, design and sustainability. This year, as you’ll see below, PACT became GOTS and Fair Trade Certified.
We have to say, we have lots of PACT at home and enjoy wearing it everyday.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I’ve stood in a field in the middle India with a 60 year old organic cotton farmer who has lived off of 6 acres his entire life and without being able to communicate with language we have made a connection – his hard work is where PACT starts. Its truly inspiring to go all the way to the base of the supply chain to see where it all starts and realize that its actually all about people. Knowing that how we make clothing is actually having a positive impact on the land, farmers, and workers, is all the inspiration I need.
How could your company incorporate more sustainable practices?
We’ve got a lot of work to do with PACT yet. We are on a roll and the business is growing and we are just starting to scratch the surface on the kind of impact that we want to have. We’ve got years ahead of us of hard work. Every visit to the factories and farming communities brings new inspiration to do it better.
Any new directions or ideas you can share about the line?
We are recently GOTS certified and Fair Trade Certified. GOTS certification is important because it ensures PACT and all manufacturing partners are environmentally and socially responsible. And Fair Trade Certification ensures we are socially responsible. We just launched the very first Fair Trade Certified hoodie and baby line. We are very proud of these firsts – it is a very exciting time for PACT as a brand. For Spring 2015, we will continue to grow our Fair Trade Certified product offerings more than ever. We are also looking at some new categories to dive into – all to be revealed soon.
Comfort. Plain and simple. Everyone wants to be comfortable. We want to make great fitting products that our customers love. I want PACT to be your favorite leggings, v-neck T, underwear, socks, and anything else we make because you think its awesome product.
What is the next big trend on fashion?
I think the next big trend will be sustainable apparel. It is just now getting started and is moving in the right direction especially as large brands get on board. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is a very powerful alliance that brings together all the big brands in the industry in an attempt to make lasting, systemic and coordinated change in the industry. They have a huge task ahead of them as so many brands are stuck with legacy supply chains that were not built with sustainability in mind. My hope is that you’ll see the adoption, coordination, and expansion of certification systems to streamline the work of brands, factories, and farmers. The millennial and LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) consumer is coming up strong though and they are demanding change to happen faster. The pressure from retailers and consumers is a positive one for brands. The marketplace is the most powerful of forces. What the consumer wants, the consumer gets.