Newtopia: Green Beginnings

January 18, 2022

Mary Webb Quote

So, we’ve started a new year — did you notice?

For many (including me) 2021 was a year where the passage of time itself felt strange, both rolling by too quickly and seeming to take forever along the way. As 2022 begins, it’s natural to think of renewal…of getting a fresh start. And it’s a perfect time to start exploring Newtopia.

Let’s start with something new. What’s the first color you associate with words like “fresh” and “renewal”? If you’re picturing a field of green grass or the bright green skin of an apple, you’re in good company.

Green seems to be everywhere lately. As a color it creates a visual reminder of nature, health and growth. As a concept, it speaks to our commitments to take better care of the world and the creatures that live in it. Both represent important apparel trends in the year to come.

MM7200 Field Guide MM2013 Field Guide J921 Field Guide

It’s Easy Being Green

You don’t have to look far to see all different shades of green taking the driver’s seat in wardrobes and design choices. Fashion designers have been showing their love for green since last year, and Etsy recently named Emerald Green its color of 2022 when it comes to interior design. “Symbolizing harmony and growth along with royalty and refinement, emerald green is the perfect color to remind us to find balance this year,” as Dayna Johnson, Etsy’s trend expert, put it.

That sense of balance is exactly what green does for us. Seeing green “evokes a feeling of abundance,” says Christi Wharton at Impact, adding that green is “associated with refreshment and peace, rest and security.” Sounds like all the things we’re needing right now, doesn’t it?

It doesn’t hurt that “green” can cover a lot of different color variations. SanMar’s selection of green has grown to include ways to add green into an outfit in everything from base layers to final touches. Our latest brand, Mercer+Mettle, is launching this Spring with 11 pieces available in Townsend Green, while the Collective Outerwear System has a new olive green soft shell and our SuperPro Oxford shirt is also available in a subtle, classy green.

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Green Choices = Smart Choices

It’s not a big jump to go from the color green to the concept of green, especially in the moment we’re having right now. “Green living” is shorthand for living in a way that shrinks your carbon footprint and emphasizes sustainability and responsibility.

This goes back to one of the core elements of Newtopia – living simply and sustainably go hand in hand. Sustainability is a big and complex subject – just take a look at SanMar’s 2021 Corporate Responsibility Update to get the big picture. The apparel we choose to buy and wear is one of the simple things we can control that makes a difference.

One way to look at this is the materials that go into making that apparel. Our new C-FREE fabrications are made of recycled materials and they go a step further, neutralizing their remaining carbon footprint by supporting the removal of carbon elsewhere.

You can also be mindful of your impact in ways that go beyond how a piece of clothing is made. For their Spring 2022 collection, fashion icon Burberry took their presentation digital as a part of their ongoing efforts to be more sustainable. Through our work with Better Buying, the Fair Labor Association and similar organizations, SanMar seeks to better understand our impact and improve it over time. These represent just a couple of the many different approaches to sustainability that we can look for and learn from as we seek to do better.

Whether it’s what your products are made of or what the process looks like to make it, customers want to know what you’re doing about how you impact the world around you. Even if you’re not doing it perfectly yet (spoiler alert: nobody’s perfect), giving them this information up front empowers them to make smart choices with confidence.

Starting out the new year with a big, bright splash of green is a vibrant reminder that we’ve been through a lot, but we’re still growing. And while none of us are perfect just yet, we’re still doing our best to get better.

Whatever else we find in our explorations of Newtopia, I think we’re going to be seeing more green along the way.