Discovering Women Who Inspire Blog

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Yellow 108 co-founder Lauren was featured on the Discovering Women Who Inspire blog today!


Q: Could you tell me about your background and what inspired you to create Yellow 108? Where does the name Yellow 108 come from?
I’ve been in the natural products industry for about 7- 8 years. Before Yellow 108 I was the Director of Sales/Marketing for a eco apparel brand. While the brand was ecological, we still produced textiles which took thousands of gallons of water to make, and contributed to the textile waste problem that is overlooked and under addressed. So when starting Yellow 108 we knew we wanted to take the ecological component to the next level. Utilizing only salvaged and recycled materials allows us to assist factories in minimizing waste, it creates a product that is truly limited edition, and saves thousands of gallons of water as we salvage in the raw form meaning we do not dye or wash the textiles. In brainstorming on a “brand name” we knew we wanted something that evoked positivity in people.
We chose the color Yellow as it represents sunshine, intellect, energy, positivity. 108 represents faith as there are 108 beads in a prayer necklace or mala. When looking into the book of Pantonesto choose the # yellow we wanted to use we found that Yellow #108 had a description of a bright and sunny yellow. The synchronicity was just too perfect!
Q: You have focused much of your branding and products towards sustainability what exactly makes Yellow 108 a sustainable brand.
There are a few points that makes Yellow 108 sustainable:
1 - We utilize only salvaged and recycled materials.
2 - We manufacture in the country were we salvage our materials.
3 - We do not dye products.
4 - We utilize recycled paper on our hang tags and recycled cardboard for our boxes.
5- We build all of our in store displays out of salvaged barn wood.
6- We print all of our in store marketing on recycled paper.
7- We believe that true sustainability is more than just the products we make. We apply our sustainable mentality into our daily lives as human beings by biking to work, recycling, eating local. We apply our sustainable mentality in our business through the products we make, our choice to grow sustainably by not taking on bank loans but re investing our profits into our company growth. We apply our sustainable mentally into the brand marketing by choosing to collaborate with other ecologically minded businesses and non profits. Sustainability is something you eat, breathe, live, and do. All points need to be considered as sustainability is more of a bigger picture concept than most humans take the time to realize.
Q: Water pollution has long been a dark cloud over the fashion industry, what are Yellow 108 doing about this issue?
We are huge water conservation advocates. By choosing not to dye or wash any of our textiles, but use them in the raw form we are not only minimizing water waste, but also minimize the use of harsh chemicals.
Q: The cost of fashion items, especially clothing has become unbelievably low with companies using, third world labor, low quality synthetics and mass production to produce items that sell far less than most quality producers can compete with. What are your thoughts on how low cost fashion has impacted on the environment and do we have to pay more to make a difference?
In my opinion yes, essentially it would “cost” more to make a difference. However I like to take a look at cost as a bigger picture. If a product “costs” more, but the quality in materials and manufacturing is far superior that product will last much longer. Which essentially will also reduce waste.
My mentality on this issue is the same as eating organic.Yes it costs a little more, but for a few extra pennies, cents, or dollars your saving yourself hundreds and thousands in potential medical bills as harsh chemical are proven to have negative effects on your health.
Q: You have said that Yellow 108 manufactures in the country where it salvages and one of these countries currently is China. Why do you manufacture in China?
There is a two part explanation to this. One is that you can not mill industrial hempin the United States.  I think that a lot of people in the US don’t even know what industrial hemp is, they don’t know it is illegal to mill it here and they don’t understand why utilizing hemp as a textile is better than a organic cotton or bamboo.  We are hemp advocates because when you use hemp as a textile it saves four times more water than milling organic cotton and ten times more water than milling bamboo. It is also the strongest natural fiber in the world. It’s comparative to leather.
Not only do we support hemp we also believe we should produce where we salvage and that foot print alone is a pretty huge one. We are not going to salvage every week in China and then ship small orders of textiles to the US to manufacture, it’s not ecological to do it that way. We also believe we are making a difference in China and the biggest way to explain something like that is for example; there is a hole in the ozone layer above New Zealand which was not created by New Zealand, it’s a world problem. Following this reasoning the textile industries pollution issues are a world problem. If we give up on China the worlds leading textile manufacture, we are not making
 an impact, we are not making a difference. Everyone needs to work together to find a solution to help countries like China be better at finding more sustainable ways of manufacturing.
Yellow 108 also manufactures locally in Los Angeles and Pennsylvania.
Q: I see that Yellow 108 supports local non-profits, what is the reasoning behind this and how does Yellow 108 go about deciding which non-profits to support. Do you feel this is something other companies should be integrating into their company manifestos.
Yellow 108 is a lifestyle brand. One of the core values we have is “Connection”. This applies to our community, customers, families, and friends. Supporting local non profits benefit our community by bringing together people with a common goal and spreading the word on not only global or social issues, but bringing together the community for fun activities like workshops and educational outreach. I highly suggest other companies consider this. Happy, healthy, & informed employees and community make for a stronger company foundation.
Q: What do you see for the future of sustainable fashion and Yellow 108’s role within the industry?
One of our goals has always been to set up manufacturing that would allow us to take our mission and reapply it to other companies’ productions. Changing overall manufacturing processes is the first step to changing the future of fashion and the waste it creates.
Q: Besides creating Yellow 108 what else are you passionate about within the world of sustainability and the environment.
EVERYTHING. Literally.
Eating Organic
Local Everything
Grow your own.
Reusing as much as possible.
Cycling - Walking - Running
Positivity - Love
Being Alive

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