Our 2023 Impact Report Part 1: Better Product, Better Planet

Our 2023 Impact Report Part 1: Better Product, Better Planet

Here at Storm Creek, we aim to be Seekers of Better. As we wrap up 2023 and move into 2024, we want to share with you the impact for good we’ve been able to make on our planet and in our communities.

We continually seek better ways of increasing sustainability in our products and systems that benefit the earth and its people—including future generations—not harm them. And we help local, regional, and national charities be Seekers of Better for the people they serve.

Every time your customers purchase Storm Creek garments, you all join us in making these positive impacts.

Here are our big wins this past year:


Our 2023 Product Sustainability Wins

Sustainability isn’t a one-and-done event. It’s an ongoing process of learning and evolving. Working with the right partners. Adopting the most up-to-date innovations in the industry. Since sustainability has been a primary focus since 2017, it’s only natural that our apparel uses some of the most earth-friendly materials available.


What We Do

We make clothing that’s soft on the environment and amazingly soft and comfortable on your skin, too. Clothing everyone loves to wear!

Our fabrics and blends use a variety of recycled and eco-friendly materials:

  • rPET—PET plastics are some of the most common plastics used in everyday items like single-use water bottles, food packaging, carpet and clothing. rPET means those plastics have been recycled to use again. We use a high percentage of rPET in our polyester fabrics. In fact, we’ve upcycled over 32 million plastic bottles so far—nearly 10 million in 2023 alone.
  • Bamboo Viscose Interlock—Bamboo grows quickly and easily, often requiring no fertilizers or irrigation. Production of bamboo for fabrics does do some environmental harm, though, so we hope to replace it with Lyocell. Lyocell is a new-generation fiber similar to rayon that’s produced in a “closed loop system” without leaching any harmful chemicals.
  • Organic Cotton—Grown without herbicides or pesticides and using far less water to process it.

Our overarching goal is to maximize sustainability in every product we offer, subjecting each fabric to an annual review for potential enhancements. In 2023, significant strides were made as fabric suppliers were able to help us introduce new yarns across 23 styles, resulting in a 40% increase in sustainability for these selections. We were also able to develop a 100% recycled fabric, previously deemed unavailable – a pivotal moment in our relationships with our fabric suppliers.

As of 2023, 75% of all the fabrics we use in our apparel is recycled. The fabrics that aren’t (yet) recycled are produced by a partner mill that’s certified Oeko-Tex Standard 100. That means they include no chemicals that are harmful to people. These are huge wins!

Moving forward into 2024, we are expanding our product offerings to include Bluesign approved fabrics—meaning they are produced under tight controls that include chemical safety, facility safety and water/air emissions, organic cotton, and items in our company’s history.

In the realm of sustainability metrics, our commitment is manifesting through efforts with the Worldly (previously known as Higg) index. In 2024, these endeavors will empower our customers to assess our ECO footprint across every facet of our supply chain, providing invaluable insights into the sustainability of all our products.

With every new fabric and sustainability initiative, our priority remains ensuring optimal performance and an impeccable supply chain.


Why We Do It

The apparel industry is well-known as one of the biggest polluters on the planet, producing 150 billion garments a year with a whopping 87% (40 million tons) ending up in landfills.1 But that doesn’t mean we have to follow trend!

We’re inspired to create clothing that uses less water, fewer harmful chemicals and lower energy. We hope that as we help educate you, you and your customers will join us in our quest to turn this industry around.

To be Seekers of Better in our industry, we’re committed to sustainable sourcing. We seek out factories, mills and partners that are dedicated to the same high standards of environmental and staffing safety practices as we are. These include: 

  • Zero Restricted Chemicals—Prop 65 and PFAS are two items we keep our eyes on closely. Prop 65 is short for Proposition 65, the 1986 California initiative called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. PFAS is a family of thousands of synthetic chemicals previously used in C6 DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coatings. They’ve been used by outdoor companies around the world for waterproof/breathable membranes. But PFAS has since become known as a major environmental concern, so we’ve transitioned our outerwear to be made without PFAS.
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100—Mills with this certification don’t use any chemicals in products that are harmful to people.
  • WRAP—A climate action NGO that works globally to help diffuse climate crisis and encourage reuse and recycling.
  • GRS—Global Recycled Standard helps companies in the textile industry voluntarily meet environmental goals for recycling, chemical restrictions and social responsibility.
  • BSCI—Business Social Compliance Initiative sets standards for its members and partners to support human rights and environmental protections within the supply chain.


Where We’re Going

Ahead. We continually look for new ways to do better by our planet—from our factories to our garments to using tracing software in our supply chains. And of course, we’ll keep upcycling single-use plastics—our goal is 50,000,000 of them by the end of 2024!


The Wins for Our Planet

We continually pursue our goal of finding ways to make measurable change. That starts with knowing the environmental impacts of how we do business.

We’re committed to cutting back emissions and reducing resource use to leave our planet a little better than how we found it:


Carbon Offset

By using recycled bottles in our garments, we produce 79% fewer carbon emissions during manufacturing.2

In addition, we work with UPS to reduce carbon pollution during shipping. During 2023 we saved over 50 metric tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere with UPS. That’s equivalent to a year’s worth of home energy use for 10 US homes.


Waste Management

We’ve adapted many practices over the years to reduce consumption and keep waste out of our landfills. We aim to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible at our home office by providing recycling options and in our warehouse by reducing the amount of packaging we use:

Responsible Shipping

We ship thousands of products a month all over the country. So, we aspire to do all we can to be environmentally responsible with our shipping practices:

  • We reuse boxes that are still in good shape to ship orders. In fact, we only ship a small percentage of orders with brand-new boxes—something we’re very proud of. This greatly reduces our cardboard waste.
  • Our current shipping bags are #4 plastic because of their durability for both storage and use. We’re looking for an even more eco-friendly alternative that does as good a job at protecting our customers’ orders during shipping.
  • Starting in February 2023, we have collected our own shipping bags as well as single-use bags from staff and customers for proper recycling. So far, we’ve recycled nearly 1,000 pounds of these plastics.
  • In 2024 we’ll continue to reduce our use of plastic in all our operations and look for alternatives to plastic bags used in shipping. We also want to do more to encourage our local customers to bring their bags back to us, and the rest of our customers to seek out plastic bag recycling in their area.

Reduction of Single-Use Plastics

The Bevi system in our breakroom is a massive saver in single-use bottles. Our employees use their own refillable water bottles, or glasses provided in the cabinets at the Bevi, for their water, flavored water and sparkling water options. By using Bevi we’ve saved over 12,000 plastic bottles! That’s CO2 emissions equivalent to 5,931 passenger vehicle miles. We have more refillable water stations located around our headquarters, bringing our plastic bottle savings to nearly 38,000! In addition, any plates and silverware in our breakroom are either recyclable or reusable.


High-Efficiency Lighting

We use LED lighting in our warehouses that are 80% more efficient than CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) and incandescent bulbs.3 Our warehouse lighting is activated by motion sensors, so we don’t waste energy when aisles aren’t occupied.


Consumer Education

We make it our job to educate our retail and corporate customers with Storm Creek Sustainability SchoolTM. Through it, we bring awareness to the fashion waste crisis, educate on corporate responsibility topics, and offer practical solutions anyone can do. We communicate why choosing upcycled products matters and encourage people to make more informed shopping choices.

In 2024 and beyond we remain committed to empowering more companies and consumers to adopt an “everyday eco” mindset. We’re all in this together!

You can participle in Storm Creek Sustainability School™ this year by stopping by booth 939 at the 2024 PPAI Expo or signing up online for our digital presentation and quiz. We’re making it easy to become a sustainable seller!


When We Give Back, People Win

Our impact stretches beyond the environment. We’re seeking better for our communities, too.

Read our 2023 Giving Report.




1 Igini, M. (2023). Retrieved from https://earth.org/statistics-about-fast-fashion-waste/ 

2 denkstatt. (2017). Study commissioned by ALPHA. Retrieved from https://blog.alpla.com/en/press-release/newsroom/study-confirms-excellent-carbon-footprint-recycled-pet/08-17

3 Department of Energy. (n.d.). LED lighting. Retrieved from https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/led-lighting