A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Warning

Message: Creating default object from empty value

Filename: controllers/case_studies.php

Line Number: 37

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Warning

Message: Creating default object from empty value

Filename: controllers/case_studies.php

Line Number: 61

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Warning

Message: Creating default object from empty value

Filename: controllers/case_studies.php

Line Number: 61

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Warning

Message: Creating default object from empty value

Filename: controllers/case_studies.php

Line Number: 61

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Warning

Message: Creating default object from empty value

Filename: controllers/case_studies.php

Line Number: 61

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Warning

Message: Creating default object from empty value

Filename: controllers/case_studies.php

Line Number: 61

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Warning

Message: Creating default object from empty value

Filename: controllers/case_studies.php

Line Number: 61

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: 8192

Message: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead

Filename: libraries/textile.php

Line Number: 609

Continental Clothing | Business leaders | New Entrepreneurs - Ethical Fashion Forum

New Entrepreneurs Logo

Business Leaders

The Business:

Continental Clothing is a wholesaler of blank printable t-shirts, polo shirts and sweatshirts for corporate, leisure and promotional wear, with customers primarily in the music and advertising industries.

Continental’s supply chains vary by product line. Some products are manufactured using a vertically-integrated supply chain in which certified organic cotton farming, spinning, dying and clothing production all take place in wholly-owned sites; others are produced using a more traditional, disaggregated supply chain.

Continental owns its entire processing facility in the Tamil Nadu region of India, and sources 100% organic cotton from a single set of local producers. The resulting EarthPositive initiative set out to identify ways to reduce environmental impact in all production stages:

  • Organic farming – all shirts are 100% certified organic cotton
  • Natural irrigation – cotton farms are located in areas where enough water occurs naturally through the monsoon rains to supply 95% of water
  • Renewable energy – production facility is powered by a nearby wind farm, generating verifiable renewable power
  • Cotton waste generated (the production of a T-shirt requires 5x its end weight in raw cotton) is either returned to the field as an organic fertiliser or used for other textile and upholstery products manufactured in the local area
  • Dyes are made in a controlled environment where wastewater is thoroughly treated
  • Packaging – all shirts are packaged using biodegradable or 100% recycled materials
  • Transport – Continental has a “no airfreight” policy – all goods are shipped by sea

The History:

Established in 1994, Operating in the UK, US and Germany. Continental has four sustainable apparel lines including its leading brand EarthPositive as “apparel to combat climate change”. Launched in response to the growing awareness of climate change and the importance of sustainable production, the EarthPositive clothing line seeks to be as close to “climate neutral” as possible without relying on offsets. Its goal is to demonstrate to the apparel sector the viability of producing a shirt with a positive social and a minimal environmental impact.

The Mission:

Owners Phil Charles & Paul Hughes say, “ the reason we are now in business is to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. That’s our mission. We understand that we have been given a unique and very special opportunity to lead by example and show an entire industry, (the promotional garment industry) an industry currently in denial, how to protect the planet while growing their businesses in a sustainable manner and still making a profit. It’s a remarkable position to be in.”

There are five guiding principles to the mission (inspired by Patagonia – a company Continental admire and their mentor):

  • Lead an examined life. Know the consequences of our actions. Much of the damage to the environment is done either unintentionally, through ignorance, or by willfully ignoring the chain of decisions that lead to bad results.
  • Clean up our act. Once we understand the results of our actions, change them.
  • Do our penance. No matter how much we clean up our act, we are still polluters, we must account for this.
  • Support grass roots environmental groups. We support grass roots activist groups working on the front lines. They are the most effective agents of change in our democracy. We chose the Environmental Justice Foundation, as a very relevant organisation to the cotton industry.
  • Influence other companies. Lead by example and show the way. Educate, inspire, motivate. Make the best product, do no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis, and work where we can achieve the most.

The Future:

Despite the fact that Continental Clothing already has a very efficient process, they are very supportive of the concept of having a reduction commitment as part of the Carbon Reduction Label. As a company genuinely committed to sustainability, they believe in continuous improvement and consider this an important message to support their brand and beliefs.

Continental Clothing

Continental Clothing is a wholesaler of blank printable t-shirts, polo shirts and sweatshirts for corporate, leisure and promotional wear, with customers primarily in the music and advertising industries.