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Team Picks: Juan Talks Ethical Menswear And The Value Of Veganism

6 min read

Team Picks: Juan Talks Ethical Menswear And The Value Of Veganism

Juan Sarthou - Customer Service Specialist - Desk Gardener

The idea of becoming vegan first occurred to Juan Sarthou while backpacking around the world. After a fairly traditional upbringing in Argentina, he was suddenly exposed to new lifestyles and experiences. One day, he saw a pair of cows nuzzling each other in a field and was so moved he began to cry. This marked the beginning of a 4-year transformation; a journey that is deeply personal to him. 

As part of our new series of “Team Picks” we set out to learn more about the man behind our customer feedback reports. Someone who is so into sustainability, even his desk is covered in plants! Naturally, we convened on the summer deck which overlooks a small forest. 

With the sound of cicadas buzzing in the background, Juan discussed the impact of veganism, sustainable menswear, ethical underwear, and organic cotton, among other topics. At the end of the article, you’ll find a selection of handpicked ethical garments that come with Juan’s stamp of approval. 

What first attracted you to TWOTHIRDS?

I’ve been thinking about this recently. I found out about TWOTHIRDS through LinkedIn as I was never really a fashion consumer. For the last 6 years, I have been buying my clothing exclusively in second-hand shops. 

Then I saw the bio of TWOTHIRDS, and I fell in love! I remember that I read something like “we are a company that looks after the ocean while working within the fashion industry.” Also the name, TWOTHIRDS, because it seemed to me absolutely basic to protect the ocean - which covers such a huge part of the planet. I have a special love of water and though I didn’t grow up very close to it, I enjoyed doing water sports in lakes and rivers.

When I read the bio, I sent a message to my mum and said “I want to work there!”

And now that you’re here?

I think what TWOTHIRDS gives me day to day is a sense of coherence and congruence. We’re not completely aligned but the “checkpoints” of my life are heading in the same direction. And while it doesn’t do this perfectly, TWOTHIRDS is always working towards “conscious capitalism”. We sell clothing, but not at whatever cost. That’s key, I think. 

What’s with all the plants?! 

I love having contact with nature, every single day I come here (the forest) to submerge myself in nature, reduce stimuli and thoughts. Not only mental noise but also visual noise; to give my eyes a break and listen to the wildlife instead. And what the plants in the office do for me is: not having to look out the window to see something green! I love plants, I love to watch them grow, develop, I love life in general. 

What have been the main benefits of going vegan for you?

The primary benefit it gives me is mental tranquillity specifically because I do it for the animals. 

Also, I had a lot of, I wouldn’t say “health” problems but a lot of stomach pain that made me even think for a while that I might have celiac disease (the tests came back negative). Since going vegan I haven’t had those issues. Take pizza: before it made me feel so bad, but now I can eat all the vegan pizza I want! 

In spite of what people say about privilege, being vegan is also more cost-effective. Sure, the meat alternatives can be expensive because it’s a trend at the moment, but then you look at lentils and legumes (chickpeas, beans) which are super affordable and probably better for you too. I’ve done the maths and found that it’s more economical to be vegan.

How about the environmental benefits?

I would focus on agriculture. I think that, 2 years ago, agriculture produced more than 20% of the greenhouse gases in the world. And within that 20%, 80% was produced by animal husbandry. It could be inaccurate but there is something that every time makes me more convinced… that if we stopped wanting to produce these animals and fatten them up, and stopped consuming all this land that comes with it, because they live on huge farms, as well as the grain that’s needed to feed them, then that could make huge reductions to greenhouse gas emissions. It seems to me that a lot of people focus on air travel and on energy that is not renewable. But there is very little focus on industrial agriculture, it’s a huge emitter. 

Are your clothes vegan too? 

Yes, being vegan affects all aspects of my life. Or at least I try to make it affect all aspects of my life (right down to the toothpaste and soap that I use). I think if it’s vegan it should be organic, because a lot of the time veganism neglects the role of insects. Organic products try to protect insects and other types of animals that are affected by pesticides. 

So for clothes: everything vegan and of conscious origin, for example, TWOTHIRDS! 

Juan’s TWOTHIRDS Picks

Navadra

This eco-friendly shirt is on Juan’s watchlist, as it has just been released as part of our new collection. What stood out for him? “The colour, and the freshness of TENCEL™.” This sustainable fiber hails from woodlands which have been certified according to strict environmental criteria. Juan’s not wrong: TENCEL™ Lyocell is highly breathable, making it perfect for summer.  

This ethical shirt looks pretty smart too. 

Umisk

“These socks are a safe bet! I have quite sensitive feet, so these are the best ones when I’m walking around the house in winter. Very comfortable.” Given Juan’s focus on conscious clothing, it matters that the Umisk are made from organic and recycled materials. Juan likes our sustainable socks so much, he also has a few from the womenswear section. 

Robbins

“I’m a fanatic of TWOTHIRDS underwear, especially the boxers,” he says. 

Though currently sold out, our Robbins men’s underwear will be back by popular demand in September. Now that we know how much customers like our ethical underwear, we’re even releasing them “in-stock” so you’ll get them straight away. Stay tuned.

Big Tote Bag 

Given Juan’s tendency to spend the weekend away from the city - “in Costa Brava or in the mountains, seeing where I can get on the train” - he definitely needs a tote bag like this one. Check out our range of ethical totes right here. 

Comporta - Green Melange

As a vegan, finding conscious knitwear might once have been a challenge. Fortunately, this sustainable men’s cardigan is constructed from organic cotton, making it an alternative to our woollen knits. 

Thus concludes our profile of Juan, the eco-friendly customer service specialist. Check out our other pieces on Sonmi, Toni, and Ignacio to find out more about our team.