Our commitment to sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Storm Creek. It reaches every corner of our business – ranging from our garments themselves to refillable water stations throughout our building. We’re committed to better. That’s why we’re always looking for ways to improve our sustainability efforts across all facets of business. Let’s take a look at where we started, where we’re at, and where we plan to go.
Storm Creek’s Early Beginnings
Doug Jackson, founder and president of Storm Creek, has over 30 years of design and sourcing expertise in the outdoor apparel industry. His journey began when an early employer sent him abroad, providing him with invaluable hands-on experience and insights into the materials used in performance wear. During this period, Doug became aware of a fundamental truth: authentic performance apparel predominantly relies on synthetic materials like polyester or nylon, both of which stem from the oil and gas industry.
This realization ignited a commitment to change and to align their practices more closely with environmental values. Doug recalls, "We started saying, ‘Let’s do what we can.’” Since founding Storm Creek in 2006, he has dedicated himself to the pursuit of crafting a genuinely sustainable line of products that champions environmental well-being, upholds impeccable quality, all with better fit and fabrics so you’ll want to wear it over and over again.
In 2012 we began with a jacket made from recycled plastic bottles. “No one cared at first,” said Doug. But we continued to innovate and redesign to include more and more recycled materials in more and more products. We educated our customers when we had the opportunity and eventually had buy-in from them, too.
Storm Creek Here and Now
In 2020, we successfully transitioned all of our styles to be eco-made. “Since we began transitioning our products more than three years ago, we have saved more than 28 million plastic bottles from ending up in oceans and landfills, transforming them into fashion-forward styles,” said Storm Creek President Doug Jackson. “We continually strive to make our product better and better. To say we’re an all eco apparel company is an extremely significant milestone for us and is something I’m incredibly proud of,” he said.
Since then, each year has brought a new set of challenges and opportunities to grow in our commitment to sustainability.
Our Factories and Mills
In our quest to create high quality products, we seek out suppliers that measure up to our exact standards for sustainable practices, water conservation, and environmentally safe chemicals. Our mills are bluesign® or Oeko-Tex® certified. All of our partners are WRAP and/or BSCI certified; meaning they provide safe, fair, and clean work environments.
We design products with longevity in mind, making them more recyclable to minimize waste and maximize the life of their garments.
“With selling by volume like that we don’t have a choice but to be more responsible with all of our practices,” said Storm Creek CEO, Teresa Fudenberg. “A thousand jackets that nobody likes would be the fastest things to go in a landfill. So it’s not just making them with some recycled materials—it’s making them high quality so you don’t have to get a new one every year.”
Our factory partners actively research and develop new technology in sustainable fabrics. When these new fibers become available to us, we adopt them into our fabrics to get the highest ratio of recycled-to-virgin yarns we can.
Sometimes that means improving a garment we already have by increasing its sustainability. For example, our Influencer Woven Shirts are transitioning to 92% recycled fabric in 2024. And sometimes that means using these new fabrics to create new styles in our assortment like our PFAS free fabric.
In a world dominated by fast fashion, we’re committed to sustainability and aim to minimize our footprint in more than one way.
Besides saving over 28 million plastic bottles from oceans and landfills (as of Q3 2023), we’re proud to have adopted these other environmental and ethical practices:
- Using recycled bottles in our garments means 79% fewer carbon emissions. Since partnering with Cloverly, we have offset over 43.8 metric tons (that's 87,500 pounds) of carbon!
- We are a proud member of 1% for the Planet which directly supports environmental nonprofits. Since 2019, we’ve awarded over $67 thousand in cash and in-kind donations.
- We use zero restricted chemicals in producing or packaging our apparel. We avaoid any product that could be deemed harmful or considered a health concern, ensuring garments are non-toxic and safe.
- We understand that plastic bags are difficult to recycle since they need to be brought to a specific recycling plant. Since February of 2023, we have collected and properly recycled over 800 pounds of plastic bags from our staff and customers.
- Our goal is to keep single-use plastics out of our oceans and landfills, so to reduce our impact we have implemented refillable water stations throughout our headquarters, as well as a Bevi station in our breakroom. We have saved over 30,000 plastic bottles since this implementation.
- Sustainability is engrained into our daily thinking. Every quarter, each department is required to include at least one sustainability goal in their quarterly goals.
Our entire team is committed to better. We are always looking for ways to improve our sustainability efforts. This is just the beginning.
The Future of Sustainability at Storm Creek
Our ambitious goal to upcycle 45 million plastic bottles by 2024 demonstrates our dedication to repurposing waste and reducing the strain on our planet's resources. In addition, we are ensuring that all our garments are PFAS-free by 2024. We are committed to safeguarding both the environment and the well-being of our valued customers.
Education and Advocacy
Here at Storm Creek, we aim to inspire and educate our customers about the importance of sustainability. During our 2023 Earth Day event, we offered an online Sustainability School Quiz where participants learned about fast fashion’s environmental impact and then answered question on what they learned. In addition, we also presented Sustainability School to our promotional products distributors, educating them on how to sell sustainability and empower their customers to make sustainable decision. It was such a big success that we plan to launch our full course of Sustainability School in 2024 to our Corporate Branding and Retail partners.
Donations and Giving Goals
We are committed to giving 5 million dollars to charity by 2030. These donations benefit organizations like 1% for the Planet, National Parks Foundation, and more local and national environmental groups making a difference in their communities.