So it’s official. We’re setting up our base of operations in Longmont, CO. One problem, all of our equipment is in Brooklyn, NY. It wouldn’t be the first time that Ian and I moved one another but this is on a different scale. The 2300+ mile journey would be our longest (driving) yet.
What we have to move:
450 yards of fabric
1x 5’ x 6’ laser cutter
3x Sewing Machines
2x Screen Printers
Considering that both of us are more of the nomad type, we didn’t exactly have a lot of experience in the logistics business. How in the hell are we going to get all of this across the states? We had a few discussions previously and came up with three solutions.
Rent a van/truck and drive it one way to Denver. Logical? Yes. Frugal? God no. Single direction van trip was going to run us about $2k without gas and expenses. Neither of us are in a position to pony up that kind of cash.
Have the cube company ship our equipment for us. Shortest timeline for that was about 3-4 weeks. Too long, we need to hit our Kickstarter date, so that was right out.
Borrow a van or truck. Luckily, for us, there was a farm that was closing up shop near by. Morningside farm was a local certified organic farm that I used to work at just out of high school. I reached out when they closed up and traded some maintenance costs and cleaning for a round trip use of the van. The poor van is about 19yo and we had no idea what kind of condition it was in. It was a gamble to put it plainly.
We opted for option 3…
I spent the better part of the week servicing the 2005 Chevy van and cleaning out a decades worth of dirt that’s made its home in the van. A local auto body for the repairs and some good ole elbow grease brought the old workhorse back to life. Obviously I had some help from the farm dog Lucky.
Packed with some road snacks and supplies for camping (again trying to be frugal here), I set off on a trip I’ve gotten very friendly with. A road I’ve taken via car and bus more times than I care to recollect.
Cleveland to NYC.
I’ve done this trip now too many times. Its something of a blur now as I drive through Pennsylvania. The scenery has become memorized and the town locals probably know me by name. The rolling hills and valleys, mixture of hardwood and carnivorous forest hasn’t lost its allure to me though. Nature always helps me relax.
The start of the drive was going well, excited about the new adventure, unfortunately I started to get a bit drowsy a few hours into the drive. Figuring I wasn’t in a rush, I’ll take a quick nap at the nearest rest stop. In a few miles I found a rest stop and rolled out my sleeping mat and sleeping bad and rested my eyes for a bit…
…2 hours later…
The “nap” set me back a bit but sleeping a little longer is way better than driving drowsy. No sense in putting people in danger for the sake of making the trip shorter.
The rest of the drive was routine. Few stops for food, bathroom, stretch the legs, made friends with another travelers dog. The only thing that was unbearable was that the van was made in those few obnoxious years that CDs were standard and Aux jacks hadn’t become a thing yet. I was subjected to radio only, which you can image in this day in age, is not ideal. In the grand scheme things, it was just a minor annoyance.
I arrived at about 6:30 pm at my friends place in Jersey City to crash for the night. Traffic was light despite it being rush hour, the trip took me a total of 10 hours (including the nap).
Ian had already arrived a few hours earlier, he flew in from Denver. We caught up and went and got some dinner and planned for the upcoming days of travel in front of us. We still have a long way from Brooklyn to Longmont.
Driving in NYC:
I’ve only driven in NYC just a few times in my life, not a big fan. I’m on edge most of the time and I don’t know the layout save the subway.
With Ian riding shotgun doing the navigation it helped simmer my anxiety. We woke up extra early and went to his storage cube. Some angry cursing and honking we successfully loaded up the Van.
No more room for naps in the back.
We close up the pod and head back to our friend apartment for the night to relax for the rest of the evening and spend some time with our friends in Jersey City. See you another time NYC. It’s been a minute, maybe one day we’ll be back!
It’s a crisp morning in downtown New Jersey. The cool march air was holding down the smell of trash and feces, the best part of winter in the city. We wake up at about 9am, take turns between showering and cleaning the apartment. Ian and I find a bit of time to get a few messages, emails sent out, and a few games of Tetris before we hit the road.
We had two routes to chose, I70 or I80. Seeing as its still winter, we elected to take I70 as we’d be less likely to hit a snow storm. All was good, directions were simple, just head west on I78 then merge to I70.
Driving out of the city was pretty painless. Little to no traffic leaving the city, however we did run into some tech issues. I was driving and Ian was riding shotgun handling navigation. At some point the app decided to reroute us on the northern path, saving us a whole 8 minutes on our 28 hour trip. That excursion cost us an hour, tossing us into a traffic jam instead of bypassing the whole congested exit.
After a few exits, some mall parking lot u-turns we were back on track. Thank god.
Over the next few hours things were easier. Ian and I swapped driving every few hours, stopping only for gas, food, and bathroom breaks.
Little did he know…
About 7 hours of Appalachian highway, we found ourselves staring at each other with wide eyes as the van started to lurch after banked left turn on the freeway. We pulled into the nearest gas station to take a look…and just our luck, the front right wheel bearing is starting to fail. We determined that we had two options, see if a local shop could fix it (none in sight), or see if it will hold out for the next 110 miles to Columbus.
Well at the time those were the two options…
20 miles later…
The van was doing fine on the highway until the bearing was just short of critical failure. The van started to lose control so I immediately pulled off the highway to a safe distance off the road. Ian and I stared at each other again silently. Our van, with all of our stuff, is now dead on the side of the highway in east Ohio. Commence the phone call to AAA.
A few conversations with AAA and the local towing service we were on the back of a truck within the hour. The towing company, drove us and our invalid van to a AAA facility a few minutes from our friend’s house. Just short of 11pm we roll into Columbus, Ian asleep in the front passenger seat, my legs asleep in the “backseat” of the tow truck.
1 Tank of gas…$60
2 Bottles of water…$0
2 Burrito bowls at chipotle…$20
1 Tow to columbus..$390
2 New wheel baring hubs…$950
1 New axel…$175
1 Not dying crashing at speed on the highway…Priceless
(Although I did just die a little typing those $$$ out.)
It’s now a rainy morning on day three, the shop will take about two days to fix the van and we’re couch surfing for the next few days until we get back on the road.
Just crossing our fingers that we don’t run into any more trouble.
Antibacterial – keeps you odor free and feeling and smelling fresh
Highly sweat absorbent (Pulls moisture from skin for evaporation – moisture wicking) – keeps you dry
Powerfully insulating – keeps you cooler in summer and warmer in winter
One of the softest fabrics on the planet you’ll love the way it feels
Naturally UV protectant – protect yourself from skin cancer
Hypoallergenic – natural bamboo does not cause allergic reactions
Most eco-friendly fabric on the planet – help save your planet
During the 1990’s, before saving our world became a mainstream concern, what we consumed and used to create products, foods, and apparel with were unimportant. But among all other crazes that have emerged in the 21st century, ‘going green’ has taken the front seat in almost every industry.
Even the fashion industry which is obviously known for its concern in creating style and setting new trends has incorporated ways to be more environmentally friendly. With the growing popularity of a new fabric made of bamboo, designers have slowly begun to use bamboo fabric in many of their up coming collections.
Historically in Asia, bamboo was used for the hand-made production of paper. But thanks to modern manufacturing, bamboo pulp is now capable of creating bamboo fiber which can be used to make yarn and fabric. Bamboo fabric is a natural textile made from the pulp of the bamboo grass, the bamboo fiber is then made by pulping the bamboo grass until it separates into thin threads of fiber, which is then spun and dyed for weaving into cloth.
Bamboo fabric is similar to the softness of silk. Since the fibers are without chemical treatment, they are naturally smoother and rounder with no sharp spurs to irritate the skin, making bamboo fabric hypoallergenic and perfect for those who experience allergic reactions to other natural fibers such as wool or hemp. On that same note, bamboo is alsoantibacterial and antifungal. This is because bamboo possesses an anti-bacteria and bacteriostatic bio-agent called “Bamboo Kun”, allowing it to naturally flourish and grow in the wild without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. This beneficial quality of the plant remains in its textile form, killing all bacteria keeping the wearer feeling fresher and odor free for longer, making the garment healthier and more hygienic.
Unlike many of the other fabrics, bamboo is extremely breathable. The natural bamboo plant keeps itself cool in the heat and like its other properties, is also maintained in its fabric form. The cross-section of the bamboo fiber is covered with micro-gaps giving the fabric better moisture absorption and ventilation. As a result, it is able to keep the wearer almost two degrees cooler in the heat and noticeably warmer in the cold. Bamboo fabric is also “anti static and UV protective as it cuts out 98% of harmful UV rays” providing the wearer with another beneficial quality from bamboo made clothing.
If you already have a measuring tape you can get going right away! If not you can print this measuring tape out on an 8.5″ x 11″ standard piece of paper and get going. It needs a few pieces of tape and some people may need 2 taped together.
Think of a line going from your armpit straight upwards to your shoulder. Measure between those two points and hold the tape measure straight.
Measure the circumference of your chest. Place one end of the tape measure at the fullest part of your bust, wrap it around (under your armpits, around your shoulder blades, and back to the front) to get the measurement.
The neck measurement is taken around the neck with the tape resting on your shoulders. You should put one finger between the tape and the neck if you want to allow for some extra room.
Measure the circumference of your arm. Wrap the tape measure around the widest part of your upper arm from front to back and around to the start point.
Measure the circumference of your waist. Use the tape to circle your waist (sort of like a belt would) at your natural waistline, which is located above your belly button and below your rib cage. (If you bend to the side, the crease that forms is your natural waistline.) Don’t suck in your stomach, or you’ll get a false measurement.
Tilt your head forward and feel for the bony bump where the slope of your shoulders meets your neck. This is your 7th cervical (or C7) vertebra—and the top of your torso length.
On each side of your body, slide your hands down the rib cage to the top of your hip bones (aka the iliac crest). With index fingers pointing forward and thumbs pointing backward, draw an imaginary line between your thumbs. This spot on your lumbar is the bottom of your torso measurement.
Stand up straight and have your friend measure the distance between the C7 and the imaginary line between your thumbs. That’s your torso length.
Columbus Ohio is an old stomping ground of Ian and I. Ian is an Ohio State alumni and I lived/worked in Columbus for two years a little while back. It was easy for us to find a few local coffee shops to work out of for our content creation and website development.
While stranded in Cbs we couch surfed with our mutual friend Josh. He had an extra bed and a couch for both of us until we could get back on our feet. I can’t say enough how grateful we are to have a friend like Josh. He cooked for us, made us coffee, even did our laundry. We tried to cover dinners, drinks, and such but he wouldn’t have it. He’s going to have a big ‘ole gift in the mail very soon. Josh definitely inspired me to be a better host in the future, he set the bar very high.
While waiting for the shop to fix the van we found ourselves revisiting previous popular hang out spots, bars, coffee shops, etc. Columbus has changed quite a bit over the last few years. When I lived in the short north the majority of the buildings were one to three stories, most of the businesses were coming or going. What we saw was not the case any more. 10-20 story highrises are towering all over the short north. Mega bars and boutique shops are popping up up and down the stretch of high street. Even downtown was buzzing when it used to be a ghost town.
Getting back to it.
Ok, so we just spent 4 unplanned days in Columbus Ohio. While we were able to work and enjoy ourselves, it was pretty obvious that both Ian and I were itching to hit the road and get to Denver. We swing by the shop Sunday morning and pick up the van. After a short chat with the mechanic he slid the bill across the counter.
Looks like option 1 may have been a not so expensive choice…
I threw the repairs on my card and grab the keys to the van. At this point I’m just so fed up with the situation I just wanted to get driving asap. I parked next to the apartment, Ian threw our stuff in the back and off we went. A few turns and a on ramp, we were back on I70.
Our plan was to just finish the trip. Ian would take the first leg of the trip until the sun went down. I did some writing, navigating, and sprinkled in a few naps. Ian bounced around from listening to audio books, indie rock, country rock, Disney songs, and podcasts. We skipped lunch and dinner and substituted them with snacks and water. The sun was out and we were cooking.
About an hour east of Kansas City we pull of and do our last fire drill. Ian did some stretches, I did some lunges and we were back on the road. Subjectively, I believe that driving through Kansas at night is much cooler than during the day. For one, the massive wind farms are pretty ominous when you see off in the distance a hundred blinking lights.
The sky was wide open so we could see both the stars and the red lights. The blades weren’t visible so it just looked like an ominous gathering of massive fireflies.
We power through the night, utilizing what we have left of our caffeine and adrenaline, and arrive at about 2am. We park the van and grab the essentials and slink into the house. With no time wasted, Ian and I clean up and hit the hay, silently excited to unpack everything into the warehouse the next day.
In Cambodia, the legal working age is 15 years old, but without diligent enforcement of this law, many clothing factories employ girls as young as 12. These children drop out of school to get a job because their families live in poverty. Abandoning their education, the girls become part of a system that forces them into a cycle that is impossible to escape. Regardless of the worker’s age, the average pay equates to roughly 50 cents per day.
According to UNICEF and the International Labor Organization, an estimated 170 million children are currently working in the clothing industry all over the world. Workers are also forced to work overtime without increased pay, which means that mothers are forced to either leave their children alone or bring them to the factory.
Many factories have a “day care,” which in reality is just a section set aside for the children to simply exist. There is no stimulation and no teachers or staff to take care of them. In its own way, bringing children to the factories may lead to child labor as well. Without any other stimulation, helping their mothers work may be one of the only ways for the children to fight off boredom.
#9 Not-So-Fake Fur
With the general public becoming more aware of cruelty to animals, clothing retailers are seeing a growing demand for faux fur. Animal rights advocates would be horrified to find out that many products advertised as containing fake fur actually contain real fur. In many cases, it is cheaper for clothing manufactures to use less expensive animal hides, like rabbit or raccoon, than it would be to manufacture synthetic fur. The New York Times reported on a scandal in 2013, in which Neiman Marcus stores in the United States was selling multiple items labeled “faux fur” that were actually real.
This is was not an isolated incident. The Federal Trade Commission includes fur on their website as one of the major issues found with retailers and explains to consumers how they can identify real versus fake fur. The Fur Act was originally created in the 1950s to protect buyers from purchasing furs labeled as “mink” that were actually much less valuable rabbit or muskrat furs. The same law applies to retailers who lie about fur being fake.
#8: Lead Paint On Your Accessories
According to a study by The New York Times, many brightly colored fashion accessories that come into the US from overseas often contain lead-based paint and dyes. The exporting countries don’t have the same regulations as the United States, and their products could be making people sick. Colorful purses, wallets, hair accessories, and plastic jewelry could all possibly contain the toxic material. Touching the products and then touching food, scratching eyes, etc. could cause lead contamination in the body. Even if someone is exposed to trace amounts of lead, it can cause nerve damage and kidney failure.
In 2010, a lawsuit was filed against multiple stores where lead was discovered in their accessories. Some of the stores involved in this lawsuit included Target, JC Penny, Kohls, Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s, Sears, and Saks Fifth Avenue. All of those retailers had accessories that contained lead. As of 2013, these same stores had their products tested again. They had become more diligent with checking the toxicity of the products they sell, as nothing contained lead.
However, many consumers may still have lead-containing products in their homes. Hundreds of other retailers that weren’t included in the lawsuit could still possibly be selling such products. For example, Forever 21 wasn’t included in the lawsuit, so they don’t check the lead content of their products ahead of time before they try to sell it. They have agreed to recall anything that is brought to their attention.
In 2012, a garment factory called Tazreen Fashion caught fire in Bangladesh. Without the existence of fire safety laws, the company wasn’t required to provide smoke alarms or fire exits or have its employees perform fire drills. When the factory caught fire, the 11 members of the management were able to escape, while 112 women employed as seamstresses were engulfed in flames. Shortly after that, over 1,100 workers died in the Rana Plaza garment factory when the building collapsed. Again, there were no standards of what condition a building must be in to be considered safe for employees.
It took all of these people dying before Bangladesh began creating standards for fire safety. Worker’s unions are illegal there, and the people running the factories were never held accountable for how they treated their employees. Despite the recent attention that has been given to the issues, there still remain multiple companies who continue to place their workers in awful conditions, simply because they haven’t been caught yet.
Walmart and The Gap, two companies known for their cheap clothing prices, manufacture their clothing in Bangladesh. Rather than taking any responsibility for demanding mass amounts of clothing from the Tazreen Fashion factory, Walmart issued a statement to The New York Timesthat their own US-run stores take fire safety very seriously and that they will attempt to give education to their factories in Bangladesh.
#6: Made To Fall Apart
“Fast fashion” clothing retailers like H&M and Forever 21 are constantly pushing new inventory every single month, which means that they demand faster production times. They also demand that costs stay low, so the factories use the cheapest fabric and thread available. There is simply not enough time to ensure that a piece of clothing is going to last for years when it’s being produced so quickly and with such low-quality material. Simon Collins, the dean of fashion at Parsons New School of Design, commented to NPR about fast fashion: “It’s just garbage. [ . . . ] You’re going to wear it on Saturday night to your party, and then it’s literally going to fall apart.”
Brands like L.L. Bean have always strived to sell products that can last a lifetime. They are so confident in the quality of their US-made clothing, in fact, that they will allow you to return any of their items back, regardless of how many years it has been since you purchased it.
However, buying brand-name clothing does not always mean it’s a good product. You may think you’re getting a good deal on high-end brands when you shop at outlet stores. In reality, the majority of clothing sold is actually cheap stuff manufactured specifically for the outlets. These clothes are usually on the same level as poorly made “fast fashion” clothes, so the brand name doesn’t always mean that you’re getting a better-quality product.
#5: Dangerous Natural Fibers
According to the United States Department of Labor, employees who pick and manufacture cotton can be exposed to cotton dust, which floats in the air during processing. This dust contains bacteria, fungi, pesticides, and materials that can make someone very sick if they were to breathe it in. Some factories, especially overseas, do not have any safety regulations or mask-wearing requirements to prevent people from getting sick from breathing in cotton dust.
The fear of natural fibers goes beyond the health of the workers. Just like any other plant, cotton can contain pesticides, which many people fear could linger on their clothing while it hangs in the store. This has lead to the “organic clothing” movement. Target, H&M, Nike, and Victoria’s Secret are just a few companies that came out with organically produced natural fibers like bamboo, soy, and hemp silk. However, just like produce in the grocery store, they charge higher prices for the organic clothing that promises your fibers will not contain any pesticides.
#4: Work Faster Or Get Out
According to Human Rights Watch, the demand for nonstop production of clothing pushes workers to the limits. In one case, a woman had to leave work for a nosebleed that wouldn’t stop. Rather than getting blood on the fabric, she went straight to a doctor. Even though she provided her manager with a doctor’s note, she was fired immediately because her medical issue disrupted the speed of production.
Despite the fact that the majority of people working in these factories are women, getting pregnant also means that a woman will become demoted to less pay and may lose her job. Overtime without increased pay is standard, pushing people to stay all hours of the night if they must meet a deadline for clothing companies. This also forces parents to stay in the factory longer, without being able to go home to see their family.
A Norwegian documentary TV series called Sweatshop: Dead Cheap Fashion brought a group of young fashion bloggers to work alongside garment factory workers in Cambodia, so they could understand exactly where their clothing comes from. Many of them started out by brushing off the seriousness of the plight of the garment workers. However, even the most self-absorbed of these teens eventually ended up in tears, barely able to handle the injustice that the workers face.
#3: Political Consequences
Cambodia exports billions of dollars of products every year. The top five products they export are all different types of clothing. Knit sweaters alone make up for 14 percent of the country’s entire economy. The United States consumes the largest amount of their exports, at 22 percent, but much of Cambodia’s clothing is distributed to other parts of the world. The other exports that Cambodia has to offer make such little money that the country would not be able to survive if their ability to make garments was taken away.
While “fast fashion” and garment manufacturing in Cambodia is contributing to waste, poor labor practices, and corruption, the country still depends on clothing being sold to richer countries. Workers’ attempts to improve their situation have been shot down. Whenever someone has attempted to create a union to improve workers’ rights, they have been killed or injured.
Clearly, those in power do not want unions to cut work hours, force them to pay for better working environments, or anything else because it would raise the production cost for the clothing. Cutting into the main source of income in Cambodia’s economy would cause even more political unrest. There seems to be no easy solution to the issue.
#2: Mountains Of Waste
According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the United States alone produces 25 billion pounds of clothing waste every single year. A mere 15 percent gets donated to thrift shops and charities. The other 85 percent ends up in landfills. The vast majority of Americans who cannot afford or simply do not care about name-brand fashion shop for low-quality clothing from places like H&M, Walmart, and Forever 21. Once a cheap garment has fallen apart, people feel that they do not even have the option to donate their clothing to a thrift store, and it ends up in the garbage. Clothing waste increased by 40 percent between 1999 and 2009 and continues to grow every year.
Even the clothing that is donated amounts to well over three billion pounds, while the entire US population is only 319 million people. In short, if companies stopped receiving shipments of new clothing from third world countries and sold their current stock for a year straight, clothing donations to thrift stores could very literally dress the entire country.
As you can imagine, organizations like Goodwill get more donations than people can consume. Clothing is shipped to rag companies and also gets shrink-wrapped in huge cubes, or “bales,” and is sent to third world countries. Despite all of these ways to reuse clothing, literal tons are still being put into landfills.
In 2015, Patagonia, a clothing company known for their outdoor jackets and hiking equipment, decided to look deeply into the lives of the people who were making their clothing overseas. What they discovered was shocking. Despite the fact that garment workers in Taiwan make very little money, labor brokers will promise migrant workers that they can help them find a job—so long as they are indebted $7,000 in exchange for their employment. It takes two years of work for someone to make enough money to pay back the broker, but their term of employment only lasts for three years. So, if these people want a job again, they have to go through the process of paying the broker yet again, meaning that they only get to keep the salary of one out of every three years of work.
Without any other options to turn to, many of these people fall into this endless cycle of human trafficking. Patagonia stepped in, and as of June 1, 2015, they forced the brokers to repay the debts of their workers and tried to restructure the standards of how their factories are run to the best of their ability. They are open to sharing their experiences, detailing their process of restructuring their overseas factory.
It’s clear that thousands, if not millions, of people working for garment factories are victims of human trafficking, and the issue continues today. While Patagonia writes on their website that they are ready and willing to provide help to any other clothing company that is willing to go through their own investigations into human trafficking, it is clear that many corporations will choose to keep their profits, rather than spend valuable resources on human rights.
So you’ve decided to try indoor rock climbing. Now the question is: what should I wear? Luckily, climbing doesn’t require a lot proper technical clothing. In fact, you can probably find what you need in your closet. Here are some practical suggestions that’ll keep you comfortable while climbing, so you can focus on what you’re doing, and not on what you’re wearing.
There are a few basic things to remember when you’re dressing for indoor rock climbing. Obviously, you don’t need to worry about the weather, so you won’t need a jacket for the cold or a hat to ward off the sun. You will need clothes that are non-restrictive and will let you move around freely.
Clothes for Women
For women, a loose T-shirt with a sports bra underneath is an easy option, and probably something you already have in your closet. You could also choose a more fitted sports top with a built-in bra.
If you’re bouldering, shorts are an option, although you may find that you end up with some scraping and bruising as your legs hit against the walls. If you’re worried about anyone seeing up your shorts, choose tighter spandex shorts or loose shorts with a liner. Non-restrictive yoga pants and leggings are other good options. For top roping, you’ll probably want to wear loose pants or leggings, since the harness tends to pull shorts up.
CLOTHES FOR MEN
Athletic clothes are a great choice for men. An athletic shirt in a moisture-wicking fabric and baggy pants are both good options. Just like for women, if you decide to wear loose-fitting shorts, you may want to wear tighter spandex shorts underneath.
So, can you wear jeans? That’s entirely up to you. If your jeans are comfortable to move in and non-restrictive, they may work. Avoid non-stretch jeans that will restrict your movement, though.
SHOES AND ACCESSORIES
Other things you’ll need: climbing shoes and a chalk bag. If you rent your shoes, be sure to wear socks for hygiene purposes! If you’re wearing your shoes, whether or not to wear socks is a matter of personal preference. If you have long hair, you’ll want to bring clips or bands to hold it away from your face.
Whatever you do, don’t let worries about what to wear stop you from climbing. We’re here to have fun, not critique your clothing. So, come in and give it a try!