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Top 10 Clothing Sustainability Tips (Part 1)

Hey guys! In this two-part series, the Zappos LEAF Team is here to tell you that you can reduce your impact on the planet by simply making a few changes regarding clothing use and clothing treatment practices. Below is the first half of our Top 10 Clothing Sustainability Tips featuring some of our favorite environmentally friendly brands.


1. Repair old clothing

  • A repaired tear just means your clothing has character! Sewing a patch to a pair of favorite jeans prolongs their life and prevents clothing that still functions despite small tears or holes from being wasted.
  • Want some help? Some brands have programs for customers to send back products to be mended or repaired. These repair programs can be found at Patagonia, Timbuk2, and Birkenstock.
  • Patagonia employs 45 full-time repair technicians at its service center in Reno, Nevada. It’s the largest repair facility in North America completing about 30,000 repairs per year! Also check out Patagonia’s road trip this summer with the Worn Wear truck fixing clothes across the country.


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2. Purchase clothing, bags, and shoes made of recycled material

  • Did you know that recycled water bottles can be used to make clothes? For example, Marmot creates fleece jackets made of recycled material and Hurley and Volcom use water bottles in their board shorts.
  • Look for clothes featuring an “Upcycle” label.


3. Purchase clothing made out of organic cotton instead of traditionally grown cotton

  • Traditional cotton consumes more chemical pesticides than any other crop. Furthermore, conventionally grown cotton uses 3% of the world's arable land, 10% of all agricultural chemicals, and 25% of all insecticides.
  • 100% organic cotton has a much smaller impact … plus it’s just as comfortable as conventionally grown cotton! Brands like Patagonia and Toad & Co. are making serious commitments to organic cotton.


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4. Wear your garment more than one day before you decide to wash it

  • As Zappos Sustainability Manager, this is my favorite tip. I love wearing my cleanest dirty shirt … Umm, it might be time to wash my shirt!
  • Wearing a lightly soiled garment a few times reduces energy and water consumption.


5. Purchase second-hand clothing

  • Second-hand clothing has more character — it experienced a whole life before it got to you!
  • Wearing second hand clothing reduces consumption of resources that go into creating new clothing.


Come back tomorrow to view the remaining five clothing sustainablity tips. In the meantime, check out more awesome news from LEAF at, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_LEAF

Zappos Sustainability Rockstar: Nicole Bassett of prAna

Hello all! Sustainability continues to be important to Zappos just as it is to you. Today I am bringing you another awesome sustainability rockstar from one of Zappos favorite brands: Nicole Bassett of prAna! Below is my interview with her. Please read, share & enjoy! 

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What's your favorite thing about your job? 

I enjoy getting to work with all the other departments inside prAna. Understanding how everyone works and figuring out how all parts of the company can integrate sustainability holistically brings a lot of value to what I do for my job.

I also am fond of the “people” aspect of my job: I appreciate getting to know everyone and learning how the business works so that I can support others’ efforts in what they do. I also like to know what everyone’s goals are and the challenges in attaining those goals. Understanding how sustainability fits into both of these aspects (goals and challenges and the people involved) brings me a lot of satisfaction in my everyday work.

Lastly, I sincerely enjoy the problem-solving element of my job. It is important to understand needs and values, especially when you recognize that sometimes you must approach a situation by implementing baby steps and smaller sustainability efforts in order to figure out and solve larger problems. Overall, the end goal is to create a better world through sustainability efforts while doing so inside a business model that is not necessarily conducive to sustainability. But that is what makes it interesting: Sustainability approaches (within or outside of business models) are always evolving, and interesting ideas and approaches are constantly popping up.

Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?

Honestly, surrounding myself with people who are also passionate about sustainability. Being surrounded by people, in general, who are also interested in sustainability leads me to learn more about sustainability as a whole. And not just a single person but the whole community of other sustainability professionals are what inspire me and my work. Groups like the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainable Working Group bring up conversations about sustainability and exciting news that motivates my efforts. Accessing other people that are also thinking about the subject of sustainability also fuels the learning process. Sometimes the traditional corporate world is not necessarily proactive in its sustainability efforts; however, I feel fortunate to have friends and colleagues interested in the subject. 

Learning also is a large source of inspiration for me. Sustainability issues are macro issues, so it is fun to explore clues to learning how we can live and conduct business more aligned with natural systems. The process of learning about and understanding the best sustainability approaches is just as important as the application of such approaches.

What do you do to stay motivated and energized? 

Little wins. A small win at prAna may not change the world, but it influences an industry and a change in the industry. This makes a difference and it truly does matter. All the small things add up and eventually we will shift our behavior as humans. My favorite example is how prAna rethought our plastic packaging, and this has helped influence others in the industry, creating momentum for sustainability initiatives. Also, seeing my colleagues come up with successful, innovative solutions within sustainability also energizes and motivates me. 

Contributing to something that makes the planet a little bit better is also very inspiring for me. Even though it is really hard to make a difference in the large scope of environmental issues at hand, I try to stick by the mantra “I’m here on this planet, I’m human, and if I’m going to be here wouldn’t I want to do the most I could do to make the world a little bit better?” 

 If you could be an animal, what would you be?

I would definitely be my Australian Shepherds, Astro and Cosmo. My Australian Shepherds get to run and run and run and go with me mountain biking and swimming and have the best life. They also seem so content with whatever is happening at the moment.


A little bit more about social & environmental responsibility at

PrAna is a lifestyle brand that draws its name from the ancient Sanskrit word for breath, life and vitality of the spirit. The prAna team creates purposeful and stylish apparel for people to pursue their passions on the water, mat, rock, trail and street. From its beginning in 1993, prAna has been committed to weaving sustainable practices into its operations and supply chain, working to reduce its impact on soils, water supplies and other natural resources while promoting conservation. PrAna is also conscious of its impact on communities and has worked to include a growing number of fair trade styles every year. It is the first major apparel company in North America to offer Fair Trade USA certified products and accessories. PrAna is sold in five flagship stores, online at, and in 1,400 specialty retailers across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia. PrAna is one of the portfolio brands of Columbia Sportswear Company (COLM).

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_LEAF

Zappos Sustainability Rockstar: Kirsten Blackburn and Chris Enlow of KEEN Footwear

Hey guys! Holly Moynahan here, Zappos’ summer sustainability apprentice. Today I’m posting a fabulously unique interview with two awesome sustainability rockstars, Chris Enlow and Kirsten Blackburn of KEEN Footwear. Please read, watch, share, & enjoy! 

CHRIS ENLOW, corporate responsibility at KEEN and

KIRSTEN BLACKBURN, marketing specialist & corporate giving at KEEN

So we asked Chris & Kirsten :

  • What’s your favorite thing about your job?
  • Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?
  • What do you do to stay motivated and energized?
  • If you could be an animal, what would you be?

Here’s what Chris & Kirsten had to say—check it out below!

A little bit more about social & environmental responsibility at KEEN

KEEN is a company rooted in the outdoors, creating and innovating product that takes you on adventures any place without a ceiling. KEEN believes that responsible businesses must act immediately to help solve the social and environmental crises now facing the world. Here’s an exclusive behind-the-scenes interview with two of the company’s employees—Kirsten Blackburn and Chris Enlow—who dedicate their working hours to the community, the environment and the supply chain. Stay tuned until the end for a sneak peek into the company’s new campaign to Live Monumental.   


Check out more awesome news from LEAF at, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_LEAF

Sustainability partnership with KEEN at

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Zappos Employees Leave The Car At Home

Las Vegas is known as a “car-town”. The city’s infrastructure was built for the car commuter and almost everyone drives a car to work (even Zappos employees). But a few Zappos troopers are bravely taking alternative transportation for the majority of their commutes.

One such employee is Steven Allen, the Zappos Campus Programs Manager. Steven lives in one of the City’s farthest suburbs but takes the RTC bus to work at least three times a week. The round trip is more than 30 miles per day; he averages 90 miles a week on the bus! The cool thing is that he rides the Centennial Express route, one of RTC’s express buses that jumps on the freeway and has a direct route (no stops) into downtown. In fact, the first stop on the route is just 3 blocks away from Zappos. Even better, the bus stop Steven uses to get home from Zappos is literally on Zappos’ campus perimeter. “I don’t even have to cross the street. I just walk around to the back of our campus, hop on the bus, and enjoy a stop-free ride home. It’s awesome! Plus, the bus is able to utilize the carpool lane, which I am painfully reminded of on the days I drive my car into work”, said Steven. He’s able to do it all on the bus. He can relax and listen to music or power through work and emails. The RTC also understands that we live in a very ‘connected’ world these days and is currently piloting a free WIFI program on the Centennial Express route.


Chris Race is a Technology Project Manager at Zappos and rides to work once a week and for fun 2-3 times a week.  When riding in, he uses the bike rack just off the North Garage behind the lobby.  For the sake of everyone in his area, he’ll clean up in the locker room located in the basement before heading upstairs full of endorphins and ready to ROCK.  Zappos installed more than 10 showers for men and women based on the guidelines established by the LEED certification.  Chris likes to ride his bike because it is a great fitness perk and helps save almost 200 miles a month on his car, which is money in the bank!  Morning rides in are usually full of neat sunrises, still air, and a line of people lined up to high-five everyone riding a bike to work.  In other words, jump on the saddle and head in on two wheels!



Check out more awesome news from LEAF on Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: #zappos_leaf

Written by Brad T.

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Zappos’ 1st Children’s Earth Day Art Contest

Happy Earth Day, friends! Zappos will be celebrating Earth Day this Wednesday by hosting our second annual Earth Day Event at our Henderson campus. In preparation for the event, we asked Zappos parents to enter their kids into our first Children’s Art Contest with a theme of, “How I care for the planet.”

We really want to highlight and recognize these kids for doing such an amazing job! Our kids are so important to us and are the reasons why we’re trying to leave the planet a better place, so that they can enjoy it the way we did. They are also the ones who will most likely solve many of the planet’s environmental challenges. After receiving the art entries, it was awesome to see how much our kids know about the planet and how to care for it! Show of hands: Did your child teach you and your family how to recycle?! Yep, ours too!

We’re so proud of all the kiddos that participated!! Below are the winners of the first Children’s Art Contest - Earth Day 2013. Each winner received a fabulous eco-friendly gift basket to help them continue to care for the planet.

Winners from ages 5 and under:

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Winners from ages 6-10:

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Winners from ages 11-14:

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Check out more awesome news from LEAF on Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: #zappos_leaf

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Getting Dirty in the Las Vegas Wash

Zappos was thrilled to get down and dirty this month at the biannual Las Vegas Wash “Green Up”. Members of the Zappos LEAF team joined more than 350 other community members (boy scouts, girl scouts, students, church groups and businesses) to plant 3,000 trees and shrubs in a 7-acre area along the banks of the wash. The sun was shining, water was flowing and adults and kids were chatting about the importance of preserving this spectacular oasis inside the Las Valley.

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The Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee stated, “The efforts of these volunteers have created much-needed habitat for wildlife living along the Las Vegas Wash. Re-vegetation also has helped stabilize the wash’s banks, reducing erosion and improving water quality into Lake Mead, the source of the Las Vegas Valley's drinking water.”

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See you all next fall at the 22nd Las Vegas Wash “Green Up”!

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Cell Phone Recycling at Zappos

The LEAF (Leading Environmental Awareness for the Future) Team is always looking for ways to introduce new eco benefits to our fellow Zapponians. Last week, LEAF set up new, convenient Cell Phone Recycling Centers across our campus. We’re asking employees to clean out that drawer full of old cell phones, power cables, old school pagers, and even Zack Morris cell phones! (We know you have one!) It is time to get rid of that iPhone 1 or Razr you’ve been holding on to.

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LEAF has partnered with Newsweek’s #3 Greenest Company in America, Sprint-Nextel, to launch this exciting initiative. Here’s how it works: LEAF collects the devices from employees and Sprint-Nextel recycles the equipment in an environmentally responsible manner. To seal the deal, Sprint-Nextel donates proceeds from the recycled material to a charity of our choice!

Stay tuned for updates about this and other green initiatives here at Zappos HQ!

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NAU: Principles of Design

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1. NAU W Urbane Jacket, 2. NAU M Shroud of Purrin Hoodie, 3. NAU W Chrysalis Convertible Jacket/Dress

Centered on the principles of beauty, performance and sustainability, NAU has created outerwear that goes beyond just pleasing aesthetics.

Check out this video that eloquently conveys these three core principles that NAU lives by:

nau :: principles of design from nau on Vimeo.