Earth Month: Manufacturing Eco-Friendly Apparel

Happy Earth Month! You've known us as an eco-friendly fashion brand since 2014, and in honor of Earth Day 2020, we thought it would be fun to lay out all of the areas that make us an earth friendly brand that you can continue to trust and support!

We've been keeping it real and transparent with you guys since day one. As a brand, our hearts are set on being kind to the planet. And to us, that means making sustainable fashion pieces and championing ethical shopping in the marketplace. It's the only thing we've ever known, and we plan to keep it that way!

Fun fact: this photo below was taken in 2014 - the year MADI Apparel first launched online sales! Over the last six year, we've become well-known for our super soft and biodegradable viscose from bamboo fabrics that we ethically source (read below to learn more). Sustainable fabrics have been part of our business model and a 100% must-have since day one - before sustainable fashion was cool and trendy :)! This photo was taken in an actual bamboo mini forest within New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where MADI Apparel was founded!

MADI Apparel is an ethical fashion brand unique to the underwear and apparel market as we are the only brand focused on Making a Difference in EVERY WAY. Each of these aspects includes treating our planet and the people who inhabit it with kindness and respect. Here's how:

  1. First, we donate a pair of underwear for every item you buy. Not just any underwear, though. We donate the exact pairs we sell. We donate long lasting, fast-drying, odor preventing, SUPER soft and biodegradable bamboo underwear!
  2. Next, we employ local people (and train at-risk women) to make our products. How is this eco-friendly? It lowers our carbon footprint from less shipping of finished goods. It also lowers our waste and emissions on the planet as we focus on small batch production instead of high volume (and high waste).
  3. Every fabric we use is ethically made and sourced, sustainable, organic and/or long-lasting. 90% of our products are 100% biodegradable apparel. 90% of our products are made with zero elastics, and we are working on sourcing sustainable elastics.


When it comes to the environment, we aren't messing around! We consider the environment in every decision we make when it comes to the sourcing, manufacturing, wear and shipping. We've broken these environmental considerations down into six categories to best explain our ethical fashion production process.

We do our part to honor the Earth by making daily, conscious decisions to create the lowest carbon footprint that we can. We're proud that 90% of our pieces are elastic-free, biodegradable and compostable. Rest assured, choosing our ethical fashion products will not contribute to an adverse impact on the environment.


We want to thank you for sticking by our side over the years with a 20% off discount on all of our 100% biodegradable pieces during Earth Day weekend. Sale starts morning of Earth Day and ends Sunday 4/26 at midnight. Click to shop.


All MADI Apparel products are designed in-house by our founder and are made in Kansas City by women-owned cut and sew businesses. Manufacturing domestically - and literally in our very headquarters city - helps us lower our carbon footprint, ensure fair labor and quality products. When shopping for eco-friendly apparel, make sure to find out where it was made and who made it.


Remember, cheap price tags = cheap labor, cheap fabric, HIGH cost on impact of the environment and on the health of sewers.
Where was it made and who made it? This can be hard to tell from the label, but do a quick google search. For example, if you found our garment in a store and wondered who made it - you'd see "made ethically in kc". But, if you weren't able to find that on our tag, you could google us and find a whole section about our local, fair labor production. Companies who are proud of their manufacturing practices won't hide anything about the process. Instead, they'll celebrate and promote it!

Another element that makes us unique:

We train at-risk women facing employment barriers how to sew. Once they graduate from our non-profit MADI Makes free job-training program, we then contract-employ them to sew our products on a regular basis!


We only work with ethical fabric suppliers who help us source sustainable, biodegradable, long-lasting fabrics. Our fabrics are a mix of organic-certified and OEKO-TEX Standard 100-certified (aka the fabric made to the highest environmental, labor and consumer safety standards). The fabrics you'll wear are sustainable and kind to the environment. Give yourself a pat on the back, you can now call yourself an official tree-hugger every time you shop with us!


Every element of our brand is focused on environmental sustainability - even down to hand-dying our fabrics. We haven't gotten to the point where ALL of our dyes are done by hand (hashtag goals), but we hand-dye every seasonal color collection and we contract a local maker to do so! Hand dying means smaller dye lots, organic dye materials and less water which means less harmful dyes in our water waste systems. We started with indigo, next was avocado-dye and our last collection was a hand-printed plant print. Stay tuned for our summer collection hand-dyed by FLOWERS in production now!


We believe in small-batch production. This means less clothing waste on landfills from excess fabric waste or excess samples and fashion trends that have gone "out of style". Small-batch production also means small batch dye lots which also means less water waste. The production that turns our fabrics from plants into fabrics also passes special certifications, including using earth-friendly measures in the production process. Click to learn more about our fabric production process.

Every element of our brand is focused on environmental sustainability - even down to the packaging and shipping envelopes - because it matters! When you shop with us, your order is packed in a hand-stamped eco-friendly, reusable muslin pouch. You'll notice you won't see any tissue paper - just your new sustainable basics tucked inside a pouch you can travel with or keep your toiletries in for years to come. Your package will hit your doorstep in a 100% compostable shipping mailer.

April 21, 2020 — Hayley Besheer

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