Every season, Mercy and Wild will make a 5-piece unisex t-shirt collection around a charitable cause. They then commission an illustrator to portray their take on the theme, with 25% of the proceeds going to said charity. The shirts are “100% organic cotton, made at a small solar-powered factory in India which meets the Fair Wear Foundation standard regarding worker’s hours and pay – our t-shirts are even shipped over to us by boat to keep our Carbon Footprint low”. They use “water-based Soil Association certified inks and all waste products from the workshop are recycled where possible”.

Cardigan, a small town in Wales, has a population of around 4,000. For three decades, 400 of them made 35,000 pairs of jeans a week. Due to outsourcing, all of them lost their jobs. David Hieatt, a cardigan native, and his wife Clare intend to eventually employ all 400 of them again. Thus, Hiut Denim was created. So far they produce a line of both raw organic and Japanese selvedge denim. Due to such a high demand, they are currently not taking orders in most styles in order to work through the backlog.

They are committed to doing one thing, and doing it very well. No shirts, no accessories, just jeans. This way all of their artisans are doing exactly what they are good at, with no distractions. “We make jeans. We will only ever make jeans.”

In order to keep in line with their vision, they plan on staying independent. To keep their quality, any expansion will be slow and deliberate. They are not taking bank loans, so no debt, and only sell non-voting shares. But there is one shareholder in particular that they do keep in mind:

“We should run our business knowing that there is a silent shareholder called planet earth. And we have to keep that shareholder happy too.”

The jeans are fairly modern as well. The coin pocket has been replaced with one to fit an iPhone. Each pair comes with a unique history tag, so that you can upload pictures of your memories with them. This not only allows for you to look back at all that you’ve done in them, but should you pass them on to anyone, they too will be able to see their history.

I emailed them asking whether or not the jeans are vegan: “…labels are leather. We can make without the label. And I am sure we will do one with a paper card label one day for sure,”.

SOS: United By Blue’s Brian Linton Goes Vegan

United By Blue was started by Brian Linton out of a passion to help clean up and call attention to the dire condition of the oceans and rivers as a result of human activity, apathy and lack of knowledge. It wasn’t until more recently that Linton made an even deeper connection concerning his diet. He went vegan. “The fear of change was unjustified,” he explained during our conversation. “When I see steak or something that would have been a source of comfort, I don’t miss it. You only miss something if you want it. And I don’t want it.”



The Philadelphia-based entrepreneur is part of a growing population of young professionals who want to do so much more than punch in and out of meaningless office work. Inheriting a planet that has been scarred by generations who’ve seen it as nothing more than a stockpile of resources to be used up can be polarizing and motivating. Doing clean-ups and calling attention to issues like shark-finning, coral reefs, and organic cotton are at the core of UBB. And while the line itself still has some leather, the importance of heading towards completely vegan fashion is becoming paramount. Leather-tanning is one of the leading causes of water pollution, not to mention the staggering effects of livestock on GHG emissions, and resource consumption.

Jack Threads is offering United By Blue items at 41% off retail for a very limited time. Jack Threads is member’s only, so click here to get your invitation.

S.O.S Save Our Seas Short Sleeve T-Shirt Nautical Flags Short Sleeve T-Shirt  Buoys Short Sleeve T-ShirtBeach Cruiser Short Sleeve T-Shirt

“With the company that I run, it’s very environmentally focused,” Linton said. “We’re getting so much attention and I was looking at myself and my company more critically, trying to see if I was satisfied. We’re taking a significant amount of trash out of the oceans, but then I felt it was time to take on personal challenges to be more responsible. Also, my father recently recovered from cancer, and his diet had been my typical diet. So looking at causes of cancer, diet is one of them. The perfect storm was created.”

When I asked about any difficulties during his evolution to veganism, he paused thoughtfully and then went on, “The fear of change was unjustified… The people that I associate with in my generation in Philadelphia are much more inclined to accept it and support it. However, if I go to a typical restaurant there seems to be this reaction from people that, I don’t know – it’s an initial poking, patronizing, they think you’re missing out on meat so they wax poetic about what meats they love and how they want to go eat a burger. It’s hard to convince someone that I am not actually missing out on anything. I went out to eat with my grandparents, and I didn’t even want to bring it up. They really, really wanted me to get the steak because they were treating. I got the vegetable plate and they were just perplexed. My father-in-law went crazy when he found out, and he wanted to talk serious with my wife about my diet. He’s worried that our kids are going to be ill. There’s definitely this generational problem.”

The bright side is that, like may skeptics of veganism who actually give it a try, the positive results are often overwhelming. “I’ve always had a bad knee, and I was a habitual nail biter, but for some reason, those things have just stopped. I’m not sure if it’s associated with the vegan diet, but the changes in habit are probably related. I’ve also always had a bad back, and even that feels less painful than it used to. I’m enjoying clarity of thought and it’s improved my work.”

“I thought it was going to be difficult, but it’s been so enjoyable I just stopped lamenting. When you really start embracing it, you don’t miss anything, and you find things you’d have never tried. I went to brunch over the weekend to a farm fresh place – I usually would have gotten steak and eggs, but I got scrambled tofu and vegan chorizo tacos, and it’s really quite exciting. Philly has such a good vegan food scene.”

United By Blue continues to grow and do incredible work. The line is carried at over 200 stores including all of Nordstrom’s 43 stores, at, and at over 50 Japanese retailers. Collaborations with Method Soap, who recycle the collected plastics into soap bottles, and larger fashion brands like Sperry Topsider keep things relevant and moving towards a larger impact on affecting change.


Eating Awesome in Portland

Contributor Paul Jarvis takes us on a unabashed, gastronomic tour of the vegan hub that is Portland. Enjoy.

It seems everything in Portland is prefixed with the word “vegan”. Everything from strip clubs to B&B’s to realtors can and do pull out the big V at every stop. And this is good news for wary vegan travelers in search of grub and adventure. Here’s a list of some of my favorite places to check out while in PDX.

Blossoming Lotus — organic vegan fusion. What does that mean? Think awesome, lots of raw options, and a diverse menu. A trick I learned to being able to eat a variety of menu items here is to go for happy hour and order half a dozen tapas (for yourself, more if you’re with friends) and go nuts.

Homegrown Smoker — stoner soul food. From mac-no-cheese to deep-friend Oreos, these dudes have your cravings covered.

Sweatpea Bakery — baked goods and strong coffee. The almost-lost art of sandwich making is alive and well (and vegan) here. Their desserts are insanely good as well.

Scapegoat Tattoo — vegan tattoo shop. Did you know not all inks are vegan? These guys and gals use plant-based inks and do a bang-up job. I’ve got a few tattoos from here.

Foodfight — heck yes, a vegan grocery store! No more do you have to stand around reading labels for hours, everything is vegan. They also carry a lot of hard-to-find vegan treats.

DC Vegetarian — mostly-vegan food cart. Although I’ve never tried an actual Philly cheese steak, their vegan version is easily one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

Powell’s Books — massive bookstore. Get your vegan cookbook on in their vegan section!

Bye and Bye — vegan hipster bar. All vegan spirits and a killer southern kitchen (hello collard greens, I think I love you!).

Vita Cafe — mostly-vegan breakfast/brunch spot. They have a vegan chicken fried steak. Enough said. If you’re into “day drinking” they also have great morning vegan cocktails.

Prasad — a mostly vegan raw joint. They’ve got great lunches and killer juices.

Voodoo Donuts — any establishment where I am able to order a “coffin of donuts” is right by me. They’ve got a huge vegan doughnut selection, and they’ll even perform marriage ceremonies!

Being vegan while traveling can sometimes require a little more planning, but definitely not in Portland — almost everywhere has vegan options. The only downside is that I am not able to eat the entire city whole.

The Pugilists, Kowtow & Under Armour Strives for Eco

• What could more soothing than a pair of comfortable, organic, fair trade, drawstring cotton shorts? New Zealand’s ‘Kowtow‘ features basics like tees, tanks and shorts in all organic and fair trade cotton.

• Under Amour is striving to go green, which is good news for athletes. They are incorporating more and more recycled materials. According to the site, “In 2011, we estimate that we will convert over 2,000,000 one liter plastic bottles into performance products.”

• BJJ black belt and vegan David Meyer took the gold in his division at the 2012 American Cup Brazilian Jiujitsu Finals.

He was quoted on Fuel For the Fighter saying, “I began eating only foods close to the source, eliminating meat and fish from my diet in 1985, and now I eat no dairy or eggs.  I’m 49 years old and in top physical shape, still competing full force against fighters half my age.”

Take at look at the match:

  • In other MMA news, vegetarian Georgi Karakhanyan won his match in only 53 seconds! He now has 18 wins in a 21 fight career, and was quoted on Fuel for the Fighter saying “I am a devoted vegetarian and I give this a lot of credit for my strength.  The reason why I became a vegetarian is because I do not like animals being hurt. but I also believe that being a vegetarian is a healthy way to live.  As for people who say, “You can’t fight if you’re a vegetarian!” I say, I don’t need to eat meat to kick their ass!”

• Vegetarian wrestler Sushil Kumar is going to London after qualifying for the Olympics. The wrestler from Delhi is a PETA India supporter who said,”Look at me, I defeated non-vegetarians from America and Kazakhstan in the Olympics. So, you can see that vegetarians have a lot of strength”.

Bruno Pieters’ Honest Achievement

Special thanks to research by Patrick LaDuke

Organic linen and cotton, organic cotton bias tape, GOTS and Oekotex-certified trimming and lining, and complete transparency in production are just a few elements of this ‘honest’ by Bruno Pieters bomber jacket on the top left. Achieving transparency is no small task for designers. It can be an overwhelming, literally global effort to undertake.

Many mainstream designers would like to hide the materials, working conditions and production methodologies used to produce their garments, but honest is exactly what it sounds like. Each garment features a list of what looks more like achievements than simply material information, manufacturing details, price calculation, and carbon footprint. Items that are vegan are categorized, searchable and labeled as vegan, and the designs are a cool combination of on-trend and effortlessly classic shapes and cuts. Here is a selection of the organic, vegan offerings: