Eco-Conscious Travel Style: Organic Rain Tees

In the Winter of 2007, Beth Doane changed her life forever. “I was running my clothing distribution company, Andira, for about two years when I started to feel this odd sense of emptiness and lack of respect for the fashion industry,” Doane admits.

“I was learning so much about import and distribution of international brands through my travel internationally, trade shows, and fashion weeks, but none of what I was learned was fulfilling. I started to see the toxicity of mass production and began asking questions about price points and color-ways, when I also asked who was making this handbag or that line of dresses, where they lived, how much they were paid and what kinds of fabrics are used and how they are developed… questions the industry seemed to conveniently avoid. It seemed no amount of yoga or red wine could make my real questions or concerns about fashion go away. The more I had all this running through my head, the more miserable I became so I decided to do something about it.”
Alas… Rain Tee was born.

Rain Tees, her 100% organic apparel line for women and children is designed by youth living in endangered rain forests across Central and South America, each featuring their own thoughts and illustrations regarding their tropical homeland. For every Rain Tee sold, a child involved in Kids Saving the Rain Forest, Costa Rica will receive a tree they can plant to replace one that has been destroyed.

Why tees for the rain forest?

“I knew that rain forests act like a delicate balancing mechanism for our entire planet. By keeping them intact we can control weather patterns globally. I knew this was an area in desperate need of global attention, so I started with combining nature (which affects everyone in the world)- with apparel – something that can reach everyone in the world,” Doane explains. She traveled to the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, areas of La Selva Maya in Mexico, worked with teams of volunteers in Ecuador and Bolivia, researchers in Brazil, and NGO’s in Peru that traveled deep into the Amazon Jungle to do art sessions with the children.

Manufactured in Peru, the tees give new employment opportunities to people who are often forced out of their homes to work for oil companies, cut trees, or poach animals illegally to feed their families because the waterways have become polluted due to industrialization. Using family-owned, vertically-integrated factories that pay their workers 25% above average wages, Doane tries to keep the manufacturing process as eco-conscious as possible, from the way the fabric is selected to the way the tees are packaged to ship. With each Rain Tee purchase, you’re not only supporting fair trade and fair labor practices, but you’re promoting reforestation, creating environmental education for youth living in both endangered tropical forests and in our local communities, and creating green jobs for workers in rain forest communities so they do not feel forced to work in deforestation, animal trafficking, or oil industries.

And really… if you’re going to wear something cute, you might as well make the most of it.

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