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April 21, 2022

Earth Day Is Every Day For Red & Ginger

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA

Former fashion designer and stylist Lisa Fifer turned her green-thumb lifestyle into a business practice by founding upcycled dog clothing company, Red & Ginger (@redandgingerco). Through her previous work, Fifer became very jaded with the throwaway culture of fast fashion. As a lifelong “greenie” who grows her own produce, wears vintage and thrifted clothes and is always reminding people about the importance of recycling, starting an eco-friendly business that solved a problem for her own puppy’s fashion dilemmas was a natural progression. Here, she shares how she started her business and sustainable practices every business can implement that go beyond Earth Day.

image of a small dog wearing sunglasses and sweater with Instagram handle @redandgingerco

Tell us a little about Red & Ginger and how you started the business?

Red & Ginger was born out of a necessity to find clothes that fit my odd-shaped dog after he was diagnosed with arthritis. Being a cross-breed, I could never find anything that fit him properly as things were always too short or too big. The business grew very organically; first as a hobby, then taking orders from friends and family, to what it is today.

What are some of your sustainability practices and why?

Having witnessed firsthand the waste within the fashion industry, I wanted to ensure that everything I created was as zero-waste as possible. Our products were initially upcycled from human clothing and vintage bedsheets and curtains, something that we still do today within our bespoke range. We now use deadstock fabrics to work on a larger scale, plus recycled polyester and cotton fabrics.

We make sure that nothing is wasted! The off-cuts from pattern cutting are turned into patchwork squares to be used in more designs, and the scraps and threads from our machines are turned into stuffing for beds and cushions.

We’re a strictly plastic-free company; the hardware on all of our accessories is metal, as are our zips and poppers on clothing. We also use new and innovative fabrics such as Pinatex (vegan leather created from discarded pineapple leaves during the harvesting process), cork and soon we will be trailing cactus “leather.”

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What role has Instagram played in your brand?

Instagram has been extremely instrumental in shaping the business into what it is today. It now accounts for approximately 80% of our revenue. It has helped us reach new like minded customers and experience real growth during the pandemic.

What type of Instagram content resonates most for your business and why?

Anything creative! Plus cute dogs, obviously. I’m old school and love good quality imagery to use as inspiration, but I also love stories and reels of tutorials and behind-the-scenes from my fellow small biz owners.

quote with image of 2 dogs

What are your top 3 tips to help inspire businesses to become a little greener?

  1. Packaging! Use recycled cardboard boxes, solvent-free tape and say no to using plastic bags for your products if you are a retailer.
  2. We are implementing a returns recycling service on our products this year so that once they’ve come to the end of their natural lifespan we will take them back, break them down and recycle them responsibly for the customer.
  3. Only use what you need. Do all lights need to be on at all times? If so, are you using energy efficient bulbs? Encourage your office to take small steps to being more responsible for energy consumption.

What are some things you like to remind yourself on Earth Day?

That a lot has been achieved over the past few years with more brands becoming aware of their duty to reduce their carbon footprint and implement sustainable strategies. We’ll be celebrating with a whole week of content focused on what we do best: sustainable yet fashionable doggy clothing and accessories.

Image of Lisa's top tips for brands looking to be greener with image of dog

Read more about how tapping into cultural conversations on Instagram can help your business grow.

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA