Environmental Sustainability with Petrichor

Curie Chang is the founder of Petrichor, an apparel creation and disposal startup that creates sustainable, affordable, and high-quality basic apparel. Embodying the principles of extended producer responsibility, Petrichor takes full accountability for the end-of-life environmental impact of its products. With a unique focus on designing specific end-of-life stages, each garment is thoughtfully crafted for recycling, upcycling, or natural decomposition. 

Petrichor’s mission is to reduce global textile waste through functional solutions. In the next 5 years, Petrichor’s goal is to become the go-to sustainable replacement for frequently used basic apparel. The company embarks on its journey with premium, 100% hemp tops, intentionally crafted for post-consumer mechanical recycling.

This idea of environmental impact originated from Curie’s experience in witnessing firsthand the impacts of the 2020 Cameron Peak wildfires in Colorado. Seeing the sky disappear in a cloud of ash while people fled brought home the devastating feedback loop between climate change and wildfires. What she observed about the resulting displacement, health impacts, and recovery matched what she learned while working at the Federal Reserve Board -- that negative events hit disadvantaged groups harder. With this in mind, she began to think about what she could do to become a part of the solution. 

She started with a question she had always wondered about as a curious consumer of the fashion industry: “Where do my clothes go when I’m done with them?”

This question inspired the founding of Petrichor to address one of the least environmentally sustainable industries: textiles and fashion. Petrichor strives to safeguard the environment and future generations through practical solutions, achieving this objective by crafting sustainable alternatives for essential garments and adopting end-of-life design principles.

Curie would advise budding entrepreneurs to be ready to go where their ideas lead them. She reminds that whatever the idea is, the entrepreneur should “Know your support network, and what you can afford to lose.” She also emphasizes the importance of giving oneself grace in the face of the new challenges, triumphs, and failures that come with progress.