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No matter what faith you are, this is the most joyous time of year. There are gatherings and cookies galore. But as we head into the holiday – and buying – season, I want to talk briefly about responsible consumption and congratulate a dear friend – Wilson Griffin – on his clothing line, Produce Fresh.

Produce fresh

Shopping sustainably may sound oxymoronic, but unless you’re Scrooge, you undoubtedly want to surprise your loved ones with a gift or two (or three) this time of year. Voting with your dollars and supporting small businesses is great way to celebrate the season while helping the local economy. And, you can further your impact by choosing products that are environmentally friendly and responsibly made.

A fashion aficionado and sustainability nerd, Wilson launched Produce Fresh – a menswear company – with Nick Pelletier in June 2013. Based in Brooklyn, Produce Fresh is dedicated to making comfortable clothing that merges street wear style with ethical production. All shirts and sweatshirts use 100% organic cotton, grown and manufactured in the United States. Printing is done by a small shop in Williamsburg, literally keeping dollars in the neighborhood.

Just as people should know where their food comes from, people should know the origin of their clothes. We all love to look great, but we can do our part to end the destructive practices of the garment industry. That means buying clothes made well, stateside – instead of in a factory overseas. There are scores of great companies like Produce Fresh, practicing what they preach by making products aligned with their values.

So this season, seek out those small businesses. Find those organic producers. Look for things that are locally made, by well treated workers. The world will thank you. Happy holidays and happy shopping!

Produce Fresh is available online at http://www.producefreshapparel.com, as well as at the Brooklyn Warehouse on Roebling and North 6th Street, and sometimes at Artists and Fleas in Williamsburg.

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