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Spotlight On:

Everybody & Everyone

What's the Story?

As entrepreneur and businesswoman Veronica Chou learned about the harmful effects of the fashion industry, she knew she had to do something to help turn the tide. Chou launched Everybody & Everyone, an affordable women’s apparel brand that focuses on body positivity (sizes 00-24), inclusivity and sustainability from supply chain and production to design and packaging.

How are they different?

Everybody & Everyone joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Textile Exchange, The Microfibre Consortium and was one of the first 32 companies to sign the G7 Fashion Pact. They launched as a carbon-neutral brand with 3Degrees, and with every shipment sent out, one tree is purchased for $1 via One Tree Planted. They even offer a recycling program with I:CO to safely discard un-wanted garments.

What inspires us?

The brand’s multi-functional designs address an important issue and culprit of waste: mass consumption. By introducing long-lasting pieces that can be worn in a multitude of ways, they are helping consumers to buy less yet maintain a sense of style.

Q&A

Veronica Chou

Founder, Everybody & Everyone

Veronica Chou grew up visiting her father—textile and fashion tycoon Silas Chou—at his factories, always asking about the dust and smell, but letting it sit in the back of her mind. Six years ago, she began learning about sustainability and how much the fashion industry contributes to waste and pollution. Chou knew she needed to help turn the tide, so she founded Everybody & Everyone, a women’s apparel brand that focuses on body positivity (sizes 00-24), inclusivity and sustainability. It was one of the first 32 companies to sign the G7 Fashion Pact and it launched as a carbon-neutral brand with 3Degrees. The supply chain has been carefully curated as they’ve partnered with companies like Ecoalf for their items made from recycled plastic bottles, and Naadam who sustain-ably sources cashmere from Mongolia. Everything is eco down to the buttons, shoulder pads, la-bels and hangtags, and to top it off, the collection features innovative, versatile designs, encouraging consumers to buy less. The Dream 2X1 Turtleneck Sweater can transform into a crew neck. The recycled bottle All Things Puffer coat can be a long parka or a cropped jacket. And the end result is made even sweeter with One Tree Planted (for every shipment sent out, a tree is purchased for $1), and I:CO (a recycling program for customers to discard unwanted garments from any brand).

What was your goal in creating Everybody & Everyone? How did it all begin?

I grew up going to my father’s factories, asking why it was so dusty and smelly, and not thinking anything was wrong with that. Six years ago, I started learning about sustainability. Once you learn about how pollutive the fashion industry is, and that our mother earth is in a climate crisis, you cannot unlearn it. I could not just sit back and relax. Over the past few years, I got exposed to the fascinating world of material science, where I soon realized that if we make things with care and consideration to people and planet, we can continue to create beautiful, useful things without depleting or harming our home. Clothes made from waste are already a reality; circular products are becoming real; and carbon neutral clothing shouldn’t be too far away. Our goal at Everybody & Everyone is to maximize the life and use of clothes, and to minimize our impact on the planet.

Is there a certain design aesthetic or style you strive for with the clothing?

Eco innovative, inclusive, everyday essentials with a multifunctional twist. A few styles that exemplify those qualities are:
-Dream 2X1 Turtleneck Sweater—removable neck piece to transform sweaters from turtleneck to crew neck, 2 in 1!
-Spill-Proof, Odor-Proof sweatshirts & sweatpants—wear more, wash less!
-All Things Puffer—transforms from a long parka to a short jacket and is made from 330 recycled plastic bottles
-Little And A Lot Pant—made from fermented sugar, and adjustable at waist and at length
-Extra large, tummy-tucking pockets on our exclusive spill-proof eco denim

From production to packaging and shipment, what materials are used?

We are eco down to our buttons! We put in extra effort to choose trims that are sustainable, including the shoulder pads in our blazer. I haven’t heard of sustainable shoulder pads elsewhere. Some trims are organic and biodegradable, and our labels, hangtags, packaging are all recycled and recyclable. We are continuously looking for the best, most sustainable options.

What makes your supply chain sustainable?

We strategically choose where our raw materials, fabrics and factories are sourced from. For example, our silk might possibly be the lowest impact, cleanest silk, as the organic mulberry trees, fabric mill and shirt factory are all in the same area. Most of our fabric mills are next to our clothing factories. We are trying to do as much USA production as possible to reduce our carbon footprint.

Tell us a bit about your eco-partners.

We partnered with Ecoalf for our recycled plastic bottle puffer jacket as well as our soon-to-be-launched trench coat and gym bag. Not only have they been dedicated to sustainability for many years, they have an ocean clean-up project that collects plastic waste from Spanish fishermen. We also partnered with Naadam, who sustainably sources cashmere from Mongolia.

What is your carbon neutral promise?

Besides actively reducing our carbon footprint in our supply chain, we have offset our launch activities with the help of 3Degrees. We also partnered with our freight-forwarding company to plant trees for every shipment made of Everybody & Everyone product. And we offer customers an easy way to support tree planting by donating to One Tree Planted at checkout.

How are you reducing waste and combatting fast fashion practices?

We already use fermented sugar from agricultural waste as well as recycled plastic bottles and recycled cotton in our fabrics. We will be adding recycled cashmere, recycled wool and food waste soon. Our designs are also multifunctional, adjustable and convertible to encourage more ways of wearing them. We have an easy recycling program with I:CO, which allows customers to send back their old, unwanted garments from any brand for recycling. And we are exploring resale possibilities for the future.

In what ways is your company different from other sustainable apparel companies on the market?

We use the most cutting-edge material science and practical design to maximize the life of clothes, minimize our impact on the planet and make life easier for all women.

What would you like to see happen in the future of fashion?

I’d love to see all brands make things in a low (or no) impact way with full transparency and traceability, moving away from virgin petroleum-based into low impact bio-based materials and zero toxic chemical use in all processes.

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Spotlight On:

Treaty

What's the Story?

Alongside her siblings, Ben and Freya, Melany Dobson launched Hudson Hemp (one of the first companies licensed to grow industrial hemp in New York State) and Treaty. Treaty features a line of pure and potent CBD formulas made with Hudson Hemp’s organically grown crops via regenerative practices.

How are they different?

They have a three-prong commitment to individual, communal and environmental health, and their formulas pay homage to the earth’s finite resources and belief in plant medicine.

What inspires us?

Regenerative agriculture practices are helping to heal the earth and repair the extensive damage that has been done by industrial agriculture. Hudson Hemp and Treaty follow that methodology to tap into hemp’s unique ability to clean the soil while sequestering carbon.

Q&A

Melany Dobson

Co-Founder, Treaty

The daughter of an organic farmer, Treaty co-founder Melany Dobson, grew up with a profound reverence for nature along with a commitment to protect it. As an adult this manifested into a devotion to cannabis as food, fiber and, most compellingly, medicine—a devotion shared with her siblings Ben and Freya. With the help of Abby Rockefeller, they launched Hudson Hemp and Treaty, a line of CBD products. Their formulas (Calm, Focus, Balance and Recover) are potent and pure and the company is devoted to nourishing our planet. The organic hemp is grown with regenerative practices—a step beyond sustainability—that includes closed-loop systems which reduce waste, replenish ecosystems, nurture biodiversity and sequester carbon. Hemp is a phytoremediator, so it cleans the soil from heavy metals and mycotoxins, and it has been estimated that one ton of grown hemp absorbs 1.63 tons of CO2. In an often skewed market, we need trusted brands like Treaty, who truly care about the entire production process and its purity from the soil to the supplement dropper.

What first drew you to CBD?

Cultivation of the cannabis plant drew me to its CBD compound and an understanding of its medicinal proponents. I began taking CBD regularly and at a consistent dose in 2016. At that time, I lived in Northern California and had access to a THC:CBD product. I suffered from anxiety and stress and had challenges focusing. The incorporation of CBD in my daily life changed everything. Currently, I take Treaty’s Balance formula everyday and Calm, Focus and Recover as needed.

Tell us about Treaty’s inception.

When my brother, Ben Dobson called me to tell me he had harvested 10 acres of hemp in New York, and that I should come back to work with him, I was with my sister, Freya, and her partner Brandon. We were in the hills of Mendocino, CA, where wild horses roam and cell phone service is sparse. It was in this landscape, that Treaty came to life phonetically with the words “tree” and “tea.” Tree references the Tree of Life, bowing to the versatility of hemp, a plant that provides food, fuel, medicine and shelter; and tea references the ritual and culture of tea time, and the ceremonial aspects that relate to hemp. Treaty is about finding peace between nature and humanity. Upon our return in November 2017 we founded Hudson Hemp and Treaty alongside each other.

How do your products (Calm, Focus, Balance and Recover) compare to pharmaceuticals that provide the same benefits?

Pharmaceuticals isolate compounds, removing any connection to their original source. We believe in full plant medicine that represents the way plants actually grow in the soil. For cannabis, this is especially potent because of what is known as the “entourage effect,” which is a term used to describe the synergy of CBD and THC when in the company of the other 400 trace compounds/cannabinoids and terpenes (the chemicals responsible for its aroma) found in cannabis. The “entourage effect” magnifies the therapeutic benefits of the plant’s individual components so that the medicinal impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts.

Treaty’s formulas honor the hemp plant with a broad-spectrum extract and supporting botanicals  that have been utilized in eastern and indigenous medicine for millennia to target certain effects in the body.

Your parent company, Hudson Hemp, grows Treaty’s ingredients on a 2,400-acre organic and regenerative farm. Can you tell us more about that?

Hudson Hemp works with the intelligence of nature, not against it. While industrial agriculture is one of the major causes of climate change, regenerative agriculture heals the earth and reverses the damage. Regenerative agriculture is farming that supports soil, life and the planet—going beyond sustainability to actually replenish ecosystems, nurture biodiversity and sequester carbon. Hemp has been a key crop on our farm since 2017 because of its unique ability to clean the soil while sequestering carbon. When we build topsoil through embracing natural biodiversity, we pull more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and back into the soil, and we farm according to the principle that in a natural system, there is no waste; what is not used by one organism is energy for another.

How do you choose which plant extracts to integrate with the CBD?

The selection of plants could be found growing together in a wild landscape as well as a cultivated one. The formulas are a pact with nature’s intelligence and are informed as such. Our products are bioregional by design, which means that the selection of botanicals in the formula grow wild or can be cultivated in the Hudson Valley. The intention behind this is to create a local supply chain that has a positive impact on our ecosystem and community.

You have a three-prong commitment to individual, communal and environmental health. How do these play out in a practical sense?

Our products empower healthy daily lives through plant formulas, meeting the needs of common ailments that can be remedied through more natural means. For best results, we support the health of nature in return. We also make the well-being of our team and community a priority in our operations. Through Hudson Hemp, we work with the New York State government to advocate for groups historically marginalized by the cannabis industry. And for environmental, our pioneering regenerative farming practices go beyond sustainability to heal and replenish our earth while providing the things we need to live on it.

What can you tell us about hemp that people might not know?

In 1937, the cultivation of hemp was forbidden in the United States. In 2014, the U.S. reintroduced hemp through pilot programs in select states. With hemp written into the 2018 farm bill, it is now legal to grow hemp in all 50 states with a permit. We are now rediscovering the potential of hemp with more than 25,000 uses—it has the ability to provide us with food, fuel, fiber and medicine all while reversing the most damaging effects of climate change. It is a phytoremediator, so it cleans the soil from heavy metals and mycotoxins all while sequestering carbon. It has been estimated that one ton of grown hemp absorbs 1.63 tons of CO2. Even though it is an annual crop, it has extremely deep roots like trees, which helps to hold the soil together, reduce erosion and loosen the soil, allowing more delicate plants to grow after the hemp is harvested.

What goes into your packaging process?

The shipper box and insert card are 100% Post-Consumer Waste, Forest Stewardship Council Certified and 100% Recyclable. The packing tray is grown in New York by Ecovative from mycelium and hemp hurd, and is Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified, Living Future Certified, a USDA Certified Biobased Product and 100% Compostable. And the wooden dropper collar on the bottle is Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certified.

It seems every week there’s a new CBD product on the market. What makes yours stand apart?

From seed to bottle, the whole process is conducted on our farm in Hudson, NY. The formulas efficacy is supported by over one year of research and development, which is verified by ICCI. Each batch is third party tested.

Treaty is a pact with the earth from soil to spirit; our formulas design honor the earth and its very finite resources.

You’re an advocate of forest bathing. What does that mean to you?

Plants that thrive together in certain ecologies have a unique synergistic intelligence. We as humans benefit by tapping into this. Formula recipes are distilled, ingestible versions of distinct landscapes in the Hudson Valley bioregion. The Japanese tradition of shinrin-yoku or forest bathing elucidates that exposure to nature and its comprehensive health benefits, noting that the sounds of nature along with the chemicals emitted from trees (phytoncides) have physiological effects on our stress levels. Anyone who has gone out into nature can attest to the body/mind/spiritual health effects of hiking through a dense, crisp forest, taking in the breeze from a rocky or sandy coast, lying in a meadow surrounded by wildflowers.

What’s it like being in business with your siblings?

Being in business with my siblings is the most rewarding and beautiful endeavor. I am filled with so much gratitude to work alongside my brother and sister. While it can present challenges, we all bring such different skill sets and ideas to the table. We can disagree, but at the end of the day we are all driven by and working toward the same mission. It comes deep from our hearts and is in our roots. We all grew up farming and with an understanding that how we treat the earth is essential to the health and well-being of people to inhabit the planet—it is a symbiotic relationship. This work is so inherent to us, so getting to live it out together in these trying times is very special to me.

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Susan Rockefeller