A classic destination. It's just a shame that Gap (which owns Banana Republic and Old Navy) still refuses to join the Bangladesh Fire Safety Accord (though a hoax statement was released last month in Gap's name claiming the company had finally agreed to compensate the families of workers killed in the Aswad Composite Mills fire in Bangladesh). Gap was also fingered by Greenpeace in 2013 for being linked to pollution scandals at the factory level and refusing to agree to Greenpeace Detox commitments the way H&M and 18 other global brands have. Time for Gap to #detoxnow. $49.95.
NAKED & FAMOUS/18 WAITS
Are you and your dad locavores who love all things made in Canada? Some kick-ass quality fashions are being stitched here these days. Admittedly, it's bloody hard to find a selection of men's clothing that's both made here and organic, but brands like 18 Waits, Klaxon Howl, United, Wordsmiths United, Philip Sparks and Naked & Famous (pictured above, $115 at Over the Rainbow) are all putting out well-constructed, Canadian-made men's garments that will last the dudes in your life year after year. That makes them inherently greener than the flimsy sweatshop mall shit. $115/$90.
Plaid's the perfect way to sneak a little eco content into a man's life. Horny Toad's got a selection of plaid button-downs made of 100 per cent organic cotton, which means no chemicals pesticides were sprayed on the crop, protecting wildlife, waterways and workers from toxic exposure. They're mostly made in India. They have a rep for being made fairly, though they're not quite as transparent as Patagonia. These guys are in a ton of shops, including eco boutiques Chartreuse Style, Logan & Finley, as well as Mountain Equipment Co-op. You can peruse the store locator at hornytoad.com. $60.
Hawaiian shirts are suddenly cool again, although Patagonia makes plenty of plain and plaid shirts as well. This one's made of 100 per cent organic cotton (hemp and recycled fibres are on offer, too). Yes, it's made overseas in Vietnam, but Patagonia's a super-conscientious B Corp that's more careful than most about its labour rights and environmental record. Plus, the buttons are made of coconut, which is fun. You can score these at Patagonia itself or Mountain Equipment Co-op. $119.
Searching out a shirt that's locally made with planet-friendly fibres feels a bit like an expedition to spot a threatened red-headed woodpecker. You likely won't find one in your 'hood. However, you can hop online and, presto, order a cool organic cotton/hemp golf shirt from Toronto-made Two Birds Apparel ($60) or a plaid short-sleeve linen/organic cotton button-down from Montreal's Meemoza ($99).
GREEN FIND OF THE WEEK
HOUSE OF MARLEY HEADPHONES
Conscious audiophiles will dig these eco-friendly headphones developed by Bob Marley's son Rohan. Made with a combination of canvas, bamboo, reclaimed hemp, organic cotton and recycled plastic, they provide top-quality sound. This Rise Up model is $189 at thehouseofmarley.ca, though you can score other models, including earbuds, at Future Shop and Terra20.com starting at $25.
IS YOUR DONUT DRIVING SUMATRAN TIGERS TO THE BRINK?
We mostly have Tim Hortons to thank for the fact Canada is the reigning donut capital of the world.
But according to Deforestation Doughnuts, a report released by Sum of Us and Forest Heroes on National Donut Day, June 6, donut chains like Tim's, Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme are baking up rainforest destruction with every bite.
The report says the chains are frying with palm oil, an ingredient frequently grown by cutting down rainforests.
The orgs note that deforestation is not only destroying habitat of endangered animals like the Sumatran tiger, but forcing indigenous people off their land. Palm oil companies are also accused of using migrant slave and child labour on the plantations.
"By adopting a ‘no questions asked' approach to palm oil sourcing, the world's biggest doughnut companies are getting their raw materials from some of the least responsible companies in the world," the report says.
Tim's admits to using palm oil in its shortening but says it then fries its donuts up in "vegetable oil" - the thing is, the majority of the world's vegetable oil is in fact palm oil.
Tim's says it's working on a policy that will commit the chain to "deforestation-free, peat-free, traceable palm oil," though it won't say when such a policy will be released. The Sum of Us report says it's expected in April 2015.
Meanwhile, the U.S. arm of the campaign is cranking up the heat on Krispy Kreme in particular. You can sign the petition asking KK to stop putting critically endangered Sumatran tigers at risk at forestheroes.org/krispy_kreme.
MORE COUNTRIES BAN GMOs
Looks like the global GMO club is shrinking. The number of countries cultivating genetically modified crops is on the decline, according to a recent report by Friends of the Earth International. Poland, Egypt, Kenya and Mexico have all moved to suspend certain GM crops.
And just when it looked like
Russia was going to start allowing genetically modified crops this summer, the country pulled a 180. PM Dmitry Medvedev now says Russia is not just banning cultivation on Russian soil, but will bar the import of genetically engineered products altogether.
No doubt the about-face was, at least in part, a not so subtle FU to the U.S., the world's biggest exporter of GMOs. Medvedev even remarked, "If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then."
Word is China - one of the world's top GMO-growing countries - is expected to institute a ban on GM imports in the next two years. In the meantime, as of last month, the Chinese army outlawed genetically modified foods from the military's food supply.