Written by Shelby Deering


For centuries, the Japanese have been practicing something that the team at UpWest epitomizes in their approach to sustainability. The Japanese call it kintsugi, the art of precious scars, otherwise known as fixing broken pottery with a tree sap lacquer mixed with powdered gold. It’s a natural, beautiful way to restore something to an original state using a technique that’s both imperfect and stunning. In fact, we think these ceramic pieces marked by rivers of gold are visual representations of how we approach sustainability.


When it comes to sustainability, UpWest’s company mantra is indeed, “Progress, not perfection.” Actually, we believe perfection can be a barrier to progress. As many of us know, when one sets a goal that’s far too high, it can be perceived as unattainable, and consequently de-motivating. That’s why UpWest is continually taking small steps that make a big impact, continually looking at incremental ways to be more sustainable as a company.


As Jamie Schisler, UpWest’s CEO and Chief Comfort Officer says, “We recognized when we launched the brand in November of 2019 that when it comes to sustainability efforts, there is no clear finish line. Working for a more sustainable future continually evolves with the introduction of new technologies and ways of working within our supply chain. As we educated ourselves on what as a small brand we could do, we concluded our best approach is to commit to make continually year over year progress when it comes to our efforts.”


More Sustainable Fabrics


Those efforts have already been put into motion. In addition to using recycled shipping material and digital-only packing slips and store receipts, we’ve begun integrating eco-friendly fabrics like TENCEL™ Lyocell and REPREVE® into our clothing.


Over 1/3 of Fall’s New Arrivals are sustainable. It doesn’t hurt that the fabrics are incredibly soft, something that fits in perfectly with our love for comfortable clothing and making the world a more comfortable place.


TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers are made from wood. They are turned into pulp, and after the production process, they are transformed into earth-friendly fibers. Since wood is a renewable resource (and biodegradable to boot), it makes for a surprisingly ideal, environmental material.


REPREVE® is another green fiber UpWest is using in our clothing. Made entirely of recycled material, the brand states, “We created the REPREVE® brand to foster a sustainable world by diverting plastic bottles—billions of them—from landfills and oceans.” The production process doesn’t rely on petroleum, which means fewer greenhouse gasses and less water and energy.


Easier To Shop Green


To make things as easy as possible for our eco-minded customers, UpWest has started marking our sustainable offerings with a leaf symbol that says, “Made with sustainable materials.”


Several of our non-apparel products fit in with our commitment to sustainability as well. For example, our Paddywax candle vessels are reusable; the Form candles can be used later as planters, something we love because that means no waste. Our Source Crystal Water Bottle is another green item because it’s reusable and reduces plastic water bottle usage.


We’re proud to carry brands that are in line with our sustainability practices. Manduka yoga mats minimize environmental waste and Sunski sunglasses are made from recycled plastic.


At UpWest, we’re cool with imperfection. As long as people are working to be greener tomorrow than they were yesterday, this works for us and we believe it works for the planet. Because as it relates to sustainability, even the tiniest efforts can manifest in huge payoffs that we value, like cleaner water and preserved natural settings for generations to come. Whenever you buy one of our sustainable products, you’ll be practicing “Progress, not perfection” right along with us.