How a T-Shirt is Paving the Way

Green Biz


This is a true story. A really cool, hard-won, real-life story of sustainable product design within the fashion industry (which is practically an oxymoron) and we wanted to make sure that you didn’t miss it.

“This is a story about an extraordinary effort to transform an ordinary piece of clothing.

In June, C&A, the international Dutch chain of retail clothing stores, launched a line of T-shirts certified to the Cradle to Cradle standard, meaning that they were designed and manufactured in a way that is benign to the environment and human health, and whose materials can be recirculated safely back into industrial materials or composted into the soil.

It represents, in no small measure, the future of product design and manufacturing.

Creating a Cradle to Cradle (or C2C) T-shirt — at scale and at an affordable price to the consumer — was no small feat for C&A. It required a board-level commitment, close partnerships with contract manufacturers, an arduous search for replacements for problematic materials and some new messaging to customers.

And so began a first step in transitioning one of the world’s largest apparel retailers to become an exemplar of the circular economy.”

Read the full article published by on September 25, 2017; written by Joel Makower.


Image courtesy of Flickr CC by Rob Lee


Cindy Gilbert / Former Director

Cindy is founder and director of Alula Consulting which specializes in innovative online and sustainability education projects for educational institutions, non-profits, and corporations. Recent clients include The Lemelson Foundation, VentureWell, Green Building Research Institute, University of Montana, PBS, Silverback Films, and more. Cindy has taught numerous courses and workshops, around the world and online, in the fields of biology, sustainability and biomimicry.

Cindy was the founding director of MCAD’s Sustainable Design program for 7.5 years which is home to the fully online, multidisciplinary MA in Sustainable Design (MASD) that is the first of its kind in the world. In this role, she fostered a culture of awareness and creativity through sustainable, innovative and collaborative design. Before MCAD, she served for nearly four years as the founding director of university education at the Biomimicry Institute where she developed and managed all higher education programs, including the professional certification program, annual education summits, affiliate and fellows programs, and design challenges. Cindy is based in Montana. Please contact her through LinkedIn.