After 18 months of development, and only 5 weeks on the shelves, these limited edition North Face Backyard Project Hoodies have sold out! This hoodie is The North Face’s first product ever grown and sewn within 150 miles of their headquarters in Alameda, California. California Cloth Foundry is thrilled as our founder, Lydia Wendt, designed and developed the textiles and helped produce this socially responsible and waste-reduced garment.
In the initial stages of the project, the North Face partnered with a local non-profit, Fibershed. They in turn sought out Lydia to incorporate her textile expertise and sustainable production model into the design and commercial development of the Backyard Project Hoodie. For Fibershed, an organization about education and local fibers, Lydia sourced domestic mills and designed yarn and cloth appropriate for this new kind of hoodie. In order to reach the larger North Face audience; Lydia re-designed the yarns and textiles to incorporate not only Fox Fiber's™ beautiful color grown cotton, but Cleaner Cotton™ from the Sustainable Cotton Project non-profit. Lydia’s innovative fabric development created a more durable cloth than the originally planned 100% buffalo brown hoodie. Because of her new design and development work, many athletic elements were added to the overall garment. Lydia's work also enabled the hoodie program to grow from its original 200 garments into over 5,000 Backyard Project Hoodies in stores by December of 2014. The use of these two non-profit’s cotton enabled the support of California farmer’s and apparel manufacturer's jobs as well as eliminated the most toxic chemicals used in conventional cotton growing and textile milling.
Sustainability Manager for The North Face, James Rogers, declared it to be the most sustainable product the North Face has ever offered to the consumer. It is a product that has reduced waste at every point in the supply chain, integrated ecological sustainability, non-toxic manufacturing, and supported over 100 US jobs in numerous domestic mills and factories. It has also ushered in a new validity and tangibility to the concept of “local sustainability, right here in our own backyard.”
Find out more about the Hoodie:
The North Face
Fibershed and the Backyard Project
Photo courtesy of Paige Green Photography for Fibershed
Sustainable Cotton Project's press release