Review: Earth Positive by Contintental Clothing

by Andy on May 9, 2008

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Every so often I get reminded by people just how much water and chemicals it takes to make a t-shirt, I’m pretty sure that they’re just jealous because my t-shirt collection is so awesome, but they are making a good point about how I’m destroying the planet by having tees in my closet that only get worn every few months.

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I know I’m being flippant in the above paragraph, but seriously,
Continental Clothing are attempting to do their part in the global war on climate change with their new Earth Positive range. Over the past couple of years Continental have been trying to make the company more environmentally friendly, they’ve managed to reduce the carbon emissions of the entire production and shipping process for a basic white tee (size large) by a massive 89% to just 671 grams. It should be noted that this isn’t done by carbon offsetting, they’ve physically reduced the amount of gases that are being emitted from production, in part by only using green energy suppliers that use wind and solar power, using biodegradable packaging, no airfreighting, . This particular tee is also 100% organic (are you surprised?), as certified by the Soil Association, and produced under the Global Organic Textile Standard from Indian Cotton.

These steps have led to the Carbon Trust (a UK governmental organisation) asking for Continental Clothing to serve as a case study for the clothing industry so that others can benefit from their research and development, so they’ve clearly done some impressive work here improving their products.

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Its quite hard to review a t-shirt like this, because even though you know it is much better for the environment, it still just feels like a normal (albeit high-quality) t-shirt. Obivously, that’s a good thing, if a t-shirt sucks, people probably wouldn’t buy it just because it wasn’t bad for the environment, so creating something that is either better than the original, or of equal quality whilst resulting in about a tenth of the emissions is a great step for them to make. I had noticed Continental Clothing becoming popular with more and more brands (including perennial HYA supporter Turtlehead) over the past few months, and I would imagine that a tee like this would be popular with people that usually look towards American Apparel when they’re picking a stock tee to print their tees on.I can’t find any information about pricing in the literature, or on the websites, but I would imagine that it would be pretty comparable to most similar offerings from other organic and ethical producers.

You can see the whole range (more than just t-shirts) at the dedicated Earth Positive Online site, and there’s also some info on the range and everything else CC at the main Continental Clothing site.

Yes, I managed to take extra pictures of a blank shirt.

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  • http://blog.fantasticbonanza.com Joe

    Actually, this review is really helpful! I like Continental Clothing a ton (Fantastic Bonanza prints everything on their blanks now!), and their Earth Positive line is slightly less expensive than their organic Continental Clothing styles, if I recall correctly. Is the large care tag on the inside of the side seam? My absolute favorite t-shirt of theirs, though, is their 100% organic bamboo styles. Oh my god, it feels so good and fits so well. If they weren’t so darn expensive, I would definitely be having our shirts printed on them!

  • http://www.shirtcity.com/ Robert

    Good review! We’re also convinced by Continental Clothing and print most of our Scribtees on their blanks (except for those who are AA). More Continental products are going to be included into the product range of Shirtcity soon. Having read your article I’ll propose to go for the Earth Positive line, too … it’s just a too good thing not to support.

  • http://andrewbowness.com Andy

    Thanks for the price update Joe, and yes, the care tag is inside the side seam, I guess I didn’t make that clear in the photos, but it was a bit of a struggle when I wanted to make the words legible.

    Thanks for the compliment Robert, it’s a great line (what I’ve seen of it), and it has the added bonus that you could claim that ShirtCity has gone green by using the range!

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  • http://www.bangbangt-shirts.com James

    Great post. I think it’s amazing what these guys are doing and think all other t-shirt makers should produce their tees in this way. We’re certainly always on the lookout for the most ethical t-shirts to print our designs on and we (Bang Bang T-shirts) may start printing on Continental Clothing if the quality is up to scratch.

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  • http://www.continentalclothing.ie Mark Wells

    Hi Andy, thanks for the EarthPositive review and fits in nicely with Turtlehead article as well. They were buying directly from us but think are ordering through their printer these days.

    Weve added a new women’s slim fit plus a shopping tote bag in eight colours each.

    Don”t know what’s going on with Shirtcity/Scibtee as they have never contacted us or expressed any interest when we have contacted them.

    Maybe trying to get some reflected credibility without doing anything?

    There is a lot of that about everywhere and a lot of companies involved with t-shirts are jumping on the band wagon claiming organic status and sweatshop free practices. When you look behind all the claims there isn’t much to back it up with most of their staff not having a clue or even caring.

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