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Ready for summer? These are two local, eco-friendly fashion brands to follow

By Greg Lane
Updated April 24, 2020

Nantasket Beach Reservation

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Hingham is becoming the capital for sustainable summer fashion. From swimsuits made from recycled and regenerative fibers to beach totes from repurposed boat sails, Call To Action (C2A) and Breakwater Blue are two local brands offering unique fashion without compromising environmental efforts.

While Harvard Business Review concluded, “business executives are often reluctant to place sustainability core to their company’s business strategy in the mistaken belief that the costs outweigh the benefits,” these two companies are making a profound impact on both industry and culture and showcasing ways to thrive in today’s volatile world.

The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world according to Sustain Your Style an advocacy group encouraging the shift of the fashion industry toward a more sustainable model. By using more recyclable materials and improving manufacturing techniques that reduce waste, these Hingham companies are helping change the apparel and accessory industry.

C2A designed their entire supply chain for their swimwear to operate inside of North America where their plants are less impactful on the environment than most Asian plants. They are also working with one of the leading technical institutions in the world to design a next generation fabric which will include more recycled and regenerative fibers allowing for much less waste.

“We are driven to create beautiful products that reduce negative environmental impact and improved manufacturing techniques that reduce waste, common in the garment manufacturing process,” said C2A CEO Dan Rakauskas of Hingham.

“C2A a great example of how local entrepreneurship makes a difference with innovation and building stronger communities,” added South Shore Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Peter Forman.

“Focusing on sustainable practices is not only crucial to protect the environment, but also a key way to attract consumers and drive long-term brand loyalty,” said Tony Kaplan a products marketing consultant with TK Retail Experience who works with the sporting goods and specialty footwear & apparel industries.

Breakwater owner Barbara Lynch of Hingham agrees. Breakwater repurposes old items and turns them into something new like bags made from recycled sailcloth, dog accessories made from old sail boats and rope doormats made from lobster trap rope.

When Lynch’s journey began, the choice to start an eco-friendly business was very obvious to her. “Being a mother of 2 young girls, I knew that I wanted to do my part in protecting the environment for them and future generations to come,” she said.

Both companies not only have eco-friendly missions, the owners live it as well. They work to address social problems locally and contribute part of their proceeds back to the ocean in some way. So, if you’re looking for a new bathing suit or beach bag before hitting the beach this summer, put your dollars to good use by investing in these sustainable picks.

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