Are you are keen to shop with an eco friendly clothing brand? Want to buy clothing from someone that actually does some good for the world? Then read this interview with Rory Atton from dewerstone, in which we discover the motivations and goals for his brand.
But first what is an eco friendly clothing brand? Most clothing companies have green initiatives and environmentally-friendly lines so how do you know who is actually doing some good. To be honest, it is tough to separate the good doers from those ticking a few eco boxes to appear to be doing good.
However, outdoor brands are leading the way for the clothing industry. They know that their customers want to protect the environment they enjoy. What would be the point of kayaking down a river if the gear you are using is damaging waterways in another part of the world?
In order to determine if any brand, or piece of clothing from a company is good or bad for the environment you need to do some research. Don’t just see a green tick or sustainability badge and take it at face value. Instead look beneath the surface to find out what they have done to get the accreditation.
Basically if you want to find an eco friendly clothing brand you have to devote some time and effort. And don’t forget using your old gear for another season (or three), fixing something broken, re-waterproofing outer layers and repurposing kit is always better than constantly buying new items even if they are ‘green’.
Which brings us nicely onto this interview with Rory Atton from dewerstone. Rory is the owner of the brand and kindly answered our questions about how his clothing brand and how it does some good.
dewerstone is a outdoor lifestyle clothing brand based in Dartmoor National Park, UK. We make products to help make change which we sell through our own stores, our website and through an awesome network of retailers that support our mission.
Our mission: It is our responsibility to protect the environment our brand is founded upon.
As outdoor brands there’s a lot of take from the environment, be it using the landscapes to shoot photos in or taking jungle patterns for product patterns. We owe the environment everything, dewerstone wouldn’t exist without it and we’re all about paying it back.
Being based in a National Park gives us a unique perspective on what’s happening around us. Every morning and evening we see what matters and why we do it, just on our journeys to and from our Princetown HQ.
We’re surrounded by people going on adventures, wild camping, climbing, kayaking, mountain biking. You can walk out of our office and within minutes find the weather closing in and the need to get your map and compass out.. We wouldn’t want to be based anywhere else.
That’s an easy one, the Life Shorts Pro. We call it the Worlds most versatile boardshort for good reason. It’s the short we always dreamed of creating, no corners cut, no budget to work to. Just everything we wanted in a board short with nothing left out.
Wear it on the water, in the water, on the plane, at the climbing wall, whatever. It’s a short built to live in, a short to travel and adventure in.
The Dewerstone is a big rock in Dewerstone Woods, on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. The woods serve as a gateway to the National Park and for so many people the Dewerstone rock is their first outdoor climb. The River Plym and the River Meavy both flow through the woods, providing great scenic walks from their banks and class 3-5 paddling for the kayakers out there.
It started out that I wanted to work for myself and to be involved in the outdoor and kayaking industry that I loved so much. Over time, whilst those things are still true, they have become more of a given and now our inspiration comes from making a positive impact in the environment we love.Everything we do revolves around working to protect the environment and using our platform to help influence both environmental and social change.
We do this by working with non-profit organisations all over the world, who are making a positive impact on the ground, where it counts. We work with Save Our Rivers here in the UK, the Gili Eco Trust in Indonesia, Eden Reforestation in California (planting trees in Indonesia & Central America) and through our own project, feed the families in Indonesia.
We built a dewerstone store on Gili Trawangan just as the pandemic hit. So whilst tourism is at an all-time low out there, the store has served as a food parcel distribution hub, for both people on Gili Trawangan and in the villages on Lombok (where many people travel from to work on the Gili Islands).
We saw such huge support from our customers for the program, we’ve fed thousands and thousands of people out there, it’s quite amazing and a humbling experience for all involved. Our store manager out there, Nizar, has done an incredible job and we continue to support the project with a monthly food parcel delivery to those most in need.
You have been very active in running projects to help communities and the environment, what campaign has made the most difference? And which was your favourite?
My vision for building a store in the Gili Islands stems from the earthquakes in 2018 and finding a way to provide meaningful employment for local people and be there for them should disaster strike again. As disaster struck again for people in Lombok and Gili Trawangan, we were there and able to make a difference with the feed the families campaign.
Closer to home I’ve been getting involved with 1000 Tyre Project, hauling tyres out of Plymouth Sound. This is such a great project to be involved with and combines my newfound love of scuba diving, with something meaningful. It’s amazing that there are so many tyres sitting on the sea bed and the hard graft to get them out is super rewarding.
We’re members of 1% for the Planet, which means we give a minimum of 1% of total sales to environmental non-profit organisations like Save Our Rivers, Gili Eco Trust & Eden Reforestation.
We are Climate Neutral Certified, which means we’ve measured our carbon footprint, offset that through gold standard carbon credits and have an extensive reduction plan in place to improve year on year.
We plant a tree for every product we make and so far we’ve planted over 35,000 trees in Indonesia. We do this in collaboration with Eden Reforestation, whose aim is to reduce extreme poverty and restore healthy forests by employing local people to plant millions of trees every year.
Fingers crossed that the situation in Indonesia improves soon and we’ll be able to open up our Gili Trawangan store, which will be the start of a new chapter for us as a brand. The transition from local Dartmoor brand to global brand is beyond exciting, doing that in a responsible way will set out our path for years to come.
We’ve also some exciting news on the home front too, with our second UK store set to open before the end of 2021, but my lips are sealed on that one for a while yet! We’ll also be at Kendal Mountain Film Festival in November, you’ll be able to find us in Basecamp, along with our friends from Save Our Rivers.
In the meantime, our store in Princetown is open as usual and if you’re every Dartmoor way, pop in and see us, the coffee is good.
We hope you found this interview with Rory Atton from dewerstone as interesting and inspiring as we did. To find out more about this eco friendly clothing brand and to shop their awesome gear visit: www.dewerstone.com