Let’s face it: in an era of “fast fashion”, clothes made with purpose can be hard to come by. From materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester, to tons of products Made in the USA, Seek Dry Goods is here to make fast fashion a little slower–but just as fashionable. Founded by nature-lovers Amanda & Larry McMahon, join us as we learn about what inspired them to create Seek, how they choose their sustainable products, and what being a “Seeker” means to them!
What inspired you to start Seek Dry Goods?
“This is a fun story for us! Almost three years ago, we were on a 10-day, 100-mile trek through a corner of France, Italy and Switzerland. We got to experience gorgeous views of the Alps and feeling the satisfaction of completing the challenge of 7-20 miles and 4,000+ feet of elevation change each day. After completing the trip, all we wanted was a commemorative t-shirt, but came home empty handed.
Back at home, we realized a huge miss in the marketplace for high-quality yet affordable t-shirts. Beyond that, not enough outdoor brands or establishments were using responsibly sourced (organic/recycled) materials and business practices. Pulling together our 25+ years of marketing/retail experience and love for the outdoors, Seek Dry Goods was born!”
What’s your favorite item in the Seek collection?
“That’s a tough one! I obviously love all of our products, but if I had to narrow it down I would go with our 8oz Alpine Glow Travel Mug and Van Life T-Shirt. Our travel mug not only has a super unique graphic, but it’s the perfect size for when we’re on-the-go camping, hiking or backpacking. I love it for a quick bit of coffee in the morning and an adult beverage (or two) in the evening! The Van Life T-Shirt is just so much fun and it resonates a lot with me as we convert our own Ford Transit van into a camper.”
What are some of the unique eco-materials that go into your clothing + accessories? What inspired you to utilize these materials?
“All of our clothing and hats are made with organic cotton and/or recycled polyester (recycled water bottles). We chose this route after researching the benefits of organic and recycled over traditional/virgin materials. I have to share a couple of stats, only because they shocked us when we first learned them:
- Organic cotton eliminates the use toxic chemicals found in the production of conventional cotton. These toxins make up nearly 16% of the world’s insecticides and 7% of pesticides.
- Additionally, organic cotton uses 71% less water and 62% less energy than conventional cotton!
- Similarly, recycled polyester uses 90% less water and 70% less energy to produce than virgin polyester.
Beyond our clothing, we chose products that are reusable and long lasting like travel mugs, wool throws, etc. We have a drink sleeve made with upcycled wetsuits. In the coming year, we plan to produce more products made with reclaimed materials too!”
If you could have everyone on the planet do one thing to positively impact our changing climate, what would it be?
“It seems unrealistic to think everyone could make immediate change in their daily lives. However, we believe that if everyone on the planet made one responsible choice each day (however big or small), we could make a huge impact. I’m talking about little things like bringing a travel mug when you’re on the road, skipping the straw at restaurants, volunteering time with a local outdoor organization. Eventually, these small choices become routine and we can start making a huge impact. With Seek Dry Goods, we are starting to talk more about different ways people can improve their sustainability, which we hope helps this effort.”
What do you do in your daily lives to live more sustainably?
“It would be a lie to say that we are living fully sustainably. However, we have made a lot of changes in our everyday lives over the last few years. We no longer use single-use items like paper/plastic plates, glasses, etc. Some of our everyday household items include glass straws, organic bamboo reusable coffee filters, natural deodorant, and having solar panels on our van. This spring we are starting a compost bin for our food scraps and we grow a large organic garden throughout the Spring-Fall seasons. There is certainly always more one can do, but we are making a conscious effort to improve our sustainability every day.”
What does being a “Seeker” mean to you?
“To us, being a Seeker is more than just being part of a brand. It is a mindset, a lifestyle. We define the term Seeker as someone who loves the outdoors, travel and adventure. It doesn’t mean you have to be a professional athlete or extreme sports enthusiast. Adventure is different for everyone and that’s okay! Seekers aren’t judged by how they adventure, rather, they’re celebrated for it. Personally, my husband and I enjoy lots of different outdoor activities. We hike, backpack, camp, ski and more. Last summer we started learning how to whitewater kayak. I love being near or on water, whether it be the ocean, a river or an alpine lake. We often plan our trips to include some sort of water. Speaking of trips, we LOVE to travel. Since starting Seek, we haven’t had as much time for extended vacations, but we still get a lot of weekends to explore the US. We hope to explore Montana later this year, a state we have heard is amazing, but haven’t visited yet.”
What are some ways that Seek, as a company, gives back to the planet?
“Giving back to the planet is something we feel very strongly about. As members of 1% for the Planet, we promise to give at last 1% of our annual sales to outdoor and environmental nonprofits. In 2018, we donated over $7,000 to organizations around the country. Our local Wisconsin partner is the Ice Age Trail Alliance, a nonprofit that protects, maintains and supports Wisconsin’s 1,000+ mile National Scenic Trail. Additionally, we focused the holidays on a “Season of Giving” campaign in which we featured 4-nonprofits over 4-weeks and donated 4x our standard give-back. Being one of the EarthHero brands is also important, as it helps highlight our mission with other like-minded brands.
We are very excited to see what more we can do in 2019!” – Amanda McMahon, Co-Founder of Seek Dry Goods
Checkout all our favorite Seek Dry Goods products here!