The House of LR&C was founded in 2020 by NFL quarterback, Russell Wilson, Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter, Ciara, and former CEO of Lululemon Athletica, Christine Day. Their mission, create large-scale positive impact, arose from the need to improve upon some of the fashion industry’s standard practices that often cause detrimental consequences. The House of LR&C is leading with its core values of love, respect, and care in taking steps to create significant change for all.
The House of LR&C elevates its operations by placing sustainability objectives at the heart of the company. The list of sustainability practices at The House of LR&C includes a wide range of eco-friendly efforts, such as utilizing responsibly sourced fabrics, providing care guidelines to help clothes last longer, creating heirloom-worthy product designs and initiating upcycling programs. Behind-the-scenes initiatives include strict codes of conduct for suppliers and quarterly sustainability summits for their entire team, to reinforce how sustainability fits within their core values.
The company also donates 3% of profit, after product costs, to the Why Not You Foundation, an organization dedicated to education, children’s health, fighting poverty, and empowering marginalized youths. To date, The House of LR&C has exceeded the industry standard 10x over by raising more than a million dollars in support of the Why Not You Foundation’s programs.
The Real Deal in Eco-Friendly Packaging
To reach sustainability objectives for the business, The House of LR&C deeply evaluated their production methods (since most of the adverse environmental effects in the fashion industry occur in the material production and manufacturing processes). Through the evaluation they found that packaging represents a significant amount of waste produced by the fashion industry. To get closer to their goal of becoming a carbon-neutral organization, The House of LR&C partnered with BIOLO to create 100% home compostable packaging solutions for their products.
The House of LR&C’s director of sustainability contacted BIOLO in a search for genuine eco-friendly packaging. The marketplace is filled with numerous plastic-alternatives with varying degrees of biodegradability. The House of LR&C’s search for authenticity and rejection of “greenwashing” hyperbole led them to BIOLO, where they found a US-based company that was producing and manufacturing plastic-free packaging solutions using its PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) biopolymer.
BIOLO’s revolutionary PHA packaging products are home compostable, meaning there is no need to send them to a special facility to be composted. While multiple suppliers have industrial compostable packaging options, the home compostable attribute significantly increases the consumer’s ability to dispose of the packaging in a setting conducive for full biodegradation. BIOLO’s packaging is certified by TÜV as home compostable and industrial compostable. Since BIOLO’s packaging is plant-based, even if it were to wind up in a landfill or the ocean, it will still fully biodegrade within 180 days or less and leave behind no microplastics.
According to Erin Hochstein, Director, Impact Marketing at The House of LR&C:
“Finding a product that allows our customers to take on composting our bags by themselves without having to worry about finding an appropriate disposal mechanism was of major interest to us. Oftentimes even when utilizing a compostable product, it still needs to be composted in some sort of facility. We recognized that not every customer has access to that because every municipality and city processes waste differently – so this was a real advantage.
BIOLO also has technology that allows the bags to be custom printed with The House of LR&C messaging allowing us to utilize them for marketing and branding – which was another great reason to partner with BIOLO. The relationship with BIOLO has been an exceptional fit, one that has greatly helped us advance our mission and goals as an organization.”
An “On-Brand” Solution
Within a week of contacting BIOLO and exploring the range of plastic-alternative products and manufacturing capabilities available, The House of LR&C placed an initial packaging order with BIOLO. The House of LR&C was convinced BIOLO’s biopolymer bags would be an asset in achieving their sustainability goals. And, since BIOLO’s printing capabilities included a robust selection of colors with ink that is also biodegradable, the bags became an almost unlimited canvas for printing brand identity and product messaging.
The partnership with the two companies began with BIOLO manufacturing biopolymer mailers for one specific House of LR&C brand, LITA by Ciara. This high-end, ready-to-wear collection required packaging that not only matched the aesthetic of the brand but would also sufficiently protect garments during shipping. The ability to use BIOLO packaging for more than just customer-facing retail situations further helped The House of LR&C eliminate unnecessary plastic waste as BIOLO’s packaging provides the same durability as traditional plastic packaging and is strong enough to handle the sometimes-rough conditions packages endure while traveling from warehouse to distribution center and then to customer or retail partner.
The House of LR&C was thoroughly impressed, not only with the high-quality PHA packaging from BIOLO, but also their nimble ability to adapt and create new solutions when presented with new packaging challenges – including consumer-facing retail packaging. In early 2022 The House of LR&C opened a brick-and-mortar store in Seattle and shortly thereafter opened their flagship store in Denver. With the new retail locations there was a need for a durable yet attractive handle-bag that would not only protect in-store purchases, but also favorably display The House of LR&C’s brand messaging. BIOLO worked with The House of LR&C to create shopper bags that were an extension of the look and feel of The House of LR&C’s brick-and-mortar stores – and were a physical, evergreen proof-point of the company’s commitment to raising the bar on what a sustainable fashion company should look like.
According to Erin Hochstein, Director, Impact Marketing at The House of LR&C: “BIOLO is a really great partner of ours who shares a lot of the same values as The House of LR&C. We occupy different spaces, but we are both trying to alleviate some of the negative impacts the apparel industry has made on the planet. For our mailers and for our shopper bags, the BIOLO team was able to develop and deliver a solution for both that have been exceptional. We’re continuing to explore additional packaging solutions from BIOLO for garment bags and third-party retailers that will continue to further our company’s mission.”