SUSTAINABILITY AT ITS FINEST
I've recently been given the opportunity to collaborate with a fantastic company by the name of Glass House Shirtmakers (www.glasshouseshirtmakers.com). It is a small business based in Chicago whose mission is to maintain positive environmental, social, and economic impact. The name itself speaks to the goals of the company and its desire to remain transparent in its supply chain, giving the name "Glass House" much more meaning. Aspects such as crop sourcing and fair wages are taken into consideration before any threads are pieced together to create the high quality garments that GHSM is dishing out. Now before I continue, I've embedded a video created by Glass House Shirtmakers that provides a little more insight into the business than I can personally give. (SEE BELOW)
Daniel Bernardo, founder of Glass House Shirtmakers, does a fantastic job in explaining the fundamentals that go into each and every shirt produced. As a product made in the USA, both Daniel and GHSM truly believe in and support the impact of providing the best quality and care from beginning to end. I had the chance to interview Mr. Bernardo and learn more about him and his business.
- What inspired you to create Glass House Shirtmakers as a sustainable brand?
I was inspired to create Glass House shirtmakers (GHSM) sustainably because I really believe it will be the way that everything is done in the very near future. I've been in the "sustainability" industry for a while now, and the younger generations are taking a huge responsibility for keeping our planet clean, all while making "slow" products like artisan coffees and craft beers. We are taking that approach to fashion.
- Did you find yourself overcoming many obstacles in the process of starting your business?
The first few years of being a new brand was all about overcoming obstacles and being on the learning curve. What has kept our heads above water has been the relationships we've built, from the manufacturers we work with to other designers/brands, it's given the whole process a sense that "we are all in this together."
- What would you say has been the best learning experience since beginning?
I'd say the most impactful learning experience has been starting a clothing company that is based on classic designs in a time when everything seems to be over-designed, all while competing with large companies that have a long history in making mens' basics, leaves little room to redefine how men see "basics."
- As an environmentally responsible company, what have you found the consumer response to be? Has the response been positive?
Being ethical as well as having a modern aesthetic and silhouette has proven to be a great combination. Customers see that we offer a slim cut, simple collars, maybe some colors they've seen before, but they also see what makes us stand out, and that's is our approach to the entire process being an honest, humble, and conscientious one.
- Where do you hope to see GHShirtmakers in the future?
The long term hope for the future of GHSM is to offer some additional pieces like unstructured blazers and casual trousers, while our lofty (yet oh-so attainable) goal is redefine how guys see and buy clothes. We believe that people should buy amazing pieces and wear them for a long time, and we hope to provide those pieces for decades to come.
- Do you intend to implement any social campaigns to spread the word and knowledge of Glass House Shirtmakers and its social impact?
We don't plan on doing any direct campaigns to draw attention to our social impact yet. Right now, we hope that when people experience our product and dive deeper into the brand and believe in what we do, they become brand ambassadors and spread the word organically (no pun intended).
- As a business owner, what have you found to be the most rewarding aspect of all your hard work?
The best reward for me is knowing that what we do at Glass House is impacting so many peoples' lives in a positive way. From the low-impact fabrics we use, to the simple yet quality design aspects, all crafted here in Chicago, we know we are contributing to the greater good of all the people involved. To me, it really is about everyones' happiness and long, happy lives.
- Do you have any advice for others looking to either start their own business or become part of one with a similar mission?
My advice is that doing things with ethos and virtue is a lot of work, and in many cases, is an uphill battle, but each challenge that is conquered and each milestone that is met is that much better in reward.