Kelsey's Closet Giveaway: SustainU

To celebrate the release of the new updated and revised edition of Where Am I Wearing? I’m celebrating apparel companies that are making a difference by conducting two weeks of giveaways. Each day I’ll highlight a company and then giveaway an item of theirs at 7PM (ish). To enter, leave a comment in that day’s blog post or on Facebook. Winner will be randomly selected.

Enter a Comment below to win a SustainU Shirt

You’re T-shirt is dirty.

It’s covered in water. According to SustainU, today’s induction into Kelsey’s Closet, it takes over 40,000 liters of water to make one shirt. By 2025 two-thirds of people in our planet will live under water-stressed conditions.

It’s dirtier than steel. Between manufacturing and transportation, the average shirt contributes air pollutants that weigh 12 times more than the shirt. Manufacturing a shirt releases 6 times more air pollutants than manufacturing an equal amount of steal.

It’s covered in gas. One XL polyester shirt uses 2 gallons of gas.Sustain U logo

It’s cancerous. The inks in most shirts have a known carcinogen.

And guess how many pounds of clothes the average American throws away each year. Seriously, guess. Here’s an ellipsis for you think of a number…

Here’s another one …

Got it? The average American throws away 68 lbs of clothing each year! So take all of the crazy numbers above and multiply them by 68 (that’s if each shirt weighs 1 lb; they weigh less). You’re throwing away 2.72 million gallons of water and 136 gallons of gas.

Now I’m pro-environment as the next guy, but I’m more anti-me-being-naked. I’m not going to stop wearing clothes. So what can we do?


SustainU is doing just that. They are turning yesterday’s discarded cotton and plastic bottles into today’s T-shirt and sweatshirts. Now their garments still make an impact on our world, just less of one. They reduce the gallons of gas per shirt by half a gallon, release 12 kilograms less of carbon-dioxide per shirt, and save half-a-pound of clothing from a landfill.

One of SustainU’s slogans is “Change your shirt, change the world.” I have to admit that I thought that was a bit over the top when I first heard it. I believe that we aren’t going to shop our way to a better world. But after learning more about how many resources one shirt uses and how much pollution it creates, I see what they’re talking about.

Part of Sustain U’s magic is that their products are made in North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina. These states were once strongholds of the American textile industry, but now that only 3% of clothes are made in America, and countless textile factories sit empty. They are employing American textile workers and sewers.

I’m not one to say that you should only buy Made in America products, but I like having a choice. Sustain U sent me a shirt. It reads: Rebuilt in America. I once saw a shirt at the Detroit airport that read: “Imported From Detroit.” It was Made in Egypt! Where that shirt missed the mark my Rebuilt shirt hit it.

Sustain U is the real deal. Shirt-by-shirt they are rebuilding our clothes. And while the garment industry is largely gone, they are providing very real jobs to American workers.

Our T-shirts change the world more than I ever imagined.

Enter a Comment below to win a SustainU Shirt


Those statistics are so depressing, and now I’m convinced that the little robot logo on my baby’s t-shirt is going to kill him. (Hello, Mom guilt.)

But I love what this company is doing, so SIGN ME UP! I want to win!

An nguyen says:

I did not know that…..( looks down at shirt)

Sarah Royer says:

Absolutely love it!!!Pick me….Pick me!!!!lol

Aeknoor says:

Great company

We need to recycle cuz as of my last birthday I fear my nudist days are over!

Cristina says:

This company seems like it’s really trying to do some good!

Nicole O. says:

This is such a great thing that one company is doing and having such a great effect!

jsemp says:

Maybe someday we’ll live in a world where people either go naked, or where sustainable shirts from SustainU.

Brandt H. says:

Reading those stats I think I should start by losing weight as not to wear XL tshirts.

Amanda N says:

Wow. Amazing how one small purchase makes such a big impact….but glad to know there are people and companies out there working to make a positive change!

Sacha says:

I want a shirt!

Kelsey says: selected #11 and #11 was Sacha. Congrat!! Congrats! I’ll email you.

As for the rest of you… more goodies being given away tomorrow.

Sandy W says:

Great job…we all need to help and educate as many people as we can to make a difference.

Jenna Wood says:

Thanks for the chance!

Toby Gonsalez says:

This is one awesome blog article.Really thank you! Fantastic.

GraigHElsner says:

Once I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I
recieve four emails using the same comment. Will there be a means
you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

Let your voice be heard!