One of the features I want to introduce on Trees and Honeybees is company reviews. As environmentalism becomes trendy (yeah!) more and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon which can sometimes make it hard to weed out those who truly believe in the cause and those that are greenwashing (boo!).
** This post has been updated on 04/06/21. Please scroll to the bottom of the review to see my updates**
So my goal is to scout things out for you, try out stores and products that are popping up on the internet and see if they are worth the buzz. I have been trying to be better at purchasing items second hand (more on that to come), but sometimes, second hand just isn’t the right choice (underwear anyone?). For moments like that, it’s good to have some reliable stores on hand.
The first store I’m tackling is PACT, an online clothing store. I’ve had this post done for weeks but I was hoping to include some pictures of me wearing the items. Turns out, my skinny, wavey Ikea mirror from college is not so good at the full body photos so I’m working on a solution for that. For now, I’m including some flat lay photos of the merchandise but please let me know if you have any questions.
After having spent a year organizing and tracking my closet, I realized what I was missing was some nice quality basics. My tank tops and tshirts were threadbare and from Target or Old Navy. Also, my winter wardrobe was sparse- I could use some basic sweaters/sweatshirts. So I decided to check out PACT.
Pact got their start making organic cotton underwear and have grown into clothing and home linens. From their website, “What’s guilt-free fashion? Easy: Organic Cotton, Fair Trade Factory Certified, zero harmful chemicals, and processes that use significantly less water than conventional cotton.” This is a nice website for a little more information on conventional v. organic cotton, if you are interested.
The items that I ordered were: a pack of three tank tops (black, white and gray), a pair of plain black leggings to wear under longer shirts (not exercise leggings), 2 basic sweatshirts (blue and black), 2 pairs of cheeky hipster underwear and a pair of boy short underwear. I like to stretch my dollar as far as it will go so I bought every single piece on sale. Definitely keep an eye on their website for discounts. They seem to have quite a few.
The clothes arrived in a brown envelope, which is recyclable and compostable so we were off to a good start. To my surprise, all the clothes came in individually wrapped plastic bags, though. This I did not like! I emailed the company and was all “what the heck?!” but, you know, in a nice way. Their response was as follows:
“Thank you for contacting Pact!
We use poly bags to protect your clothing throughout the manufacturing, transport and shipping processes. A lot can happen during the transportation of your favorite undies. From dust and dirt, to bugs and bacteria, to plain old rips and tears.
Pact is committed to finding sustainable solutions and we are constantly searching for new ways to improve our packaging methods. We share your concerns for sustainability and are always researching new and improved packaging options that may be introduced in the future. We have also made a vow to make our packaging more eco-friendly by Earth Day 2020 because we know we can do better!
See- It never hurts to reach out to a company! Poly bags are supposed to be a more environmentally-friendly plastic that is easier to recycle but, as I continue to shop from environmentally conscious stores, I know there are better solutions. I look forward to seeing what they come up with.
As for clothes, the tank tops are described as having a “slim, stretch fit body” and that’s correct. I purchased them in my normal size and they are very form fitting. I’ve been wearing them as layering pieces and tucked into skirts, which is why I purchased them.
The black leggings ripped the first time I wore them. The rip was along the seam so I opted to keep them and repair them myself instead of having to ship them back and have another paired shipped to me. That’s a lot of transportation for a single pair of leggings. I did reach out to the company again and they refunded me, which I appreciated. I wore them under a tunic but I’m pretty confident they were not see-through. They have a nice wide band (which you can see below in the picture with my blue sweater) and thick fabric.
The two sweatshirts I purchased are very comfortable. Both are made of a thinner, terry cloth fabric so not super warm but definitely a needed layer in my wardrobe. The black sweatshirt is advertised as “vintage” and “lived in” and I would say that is accurate. The color is a faded black as if it’s been washed many times. I didn’t mind that but I could see that bothering some.
The blue sweatshirt is no longer available. It was the Women’s Dark Navy French Terry Slouchy Sweatshirt. This one fits very similar to the Essential sweatshirt, if I’m being honest. The biggest difference was the neckline seemed a bit wider but that’s it. The color definitely doesn’t feel like Dark Navy. The material is speckled with white giving the sweatshirt more of a true blue feel rather than navy.
Both fit comfortably and I have paired them with jeans and skirts.
And last but not least, the underwear. I told you, guys- I needed basics! After a few years spending very little on clothing, I really needed to invest in some boring stuff, like underwear! I bought the cheeky hipster style in nude and white, which definitely fit more like granny panties compared to the hipster cut I normally get at Victoria’s Secret. They were very comfortable, though, and seemed to maintain their shape throughout the day. I also bought the boyshorts in blue. This is a cut that I struggle with and yet, still keep trying. This pair seemed a winner, though. They were incredibly comfortable and also maintained their shape throughout the day without riding up uncomfortably.
An additional perk is that they have a program called Give Back Box, which is a program that allows you to use their packaging to send your used clothes to a Goodwill store. You just go online, they send you a free shipping label and you send your clothes off! I tried this out and it was super easy and a great excuse to make room for my new clothes.
So my take away- The clothes are comfortable across the board and seem well-made, with the exception of the leggings. The clothing on the website does lean more toward basics, with minimal colors and styles but sometimes, that’s what you need! The company does seem interested in their environmental impact. With that said, I would advise waiting until April to make any purchases to see if they fix their packaging, if that’s important to you. Also, I wouldn’t recommend buying anything full price. They seem to have quite a few sales so use the next few months to sign up for their emails and research pricing so your ready when April hits. I bet they will be proudly advertising their new packaging as soon as they roll it out!
What other clothing sites have you heard of that you’re curious about? Will you be giving PACT a try?
**This post is NOT sponsored. Everything was purchased with my own money and all my opinions are my own. PACT has no idea who I am. 🙂 **
UPDATE 04//2021: Since I originally wrote this post, I have bought a few additional pieces from Pact with mixed results.
My biggest problem with Pact is with their pants. I have purchased a total of 3 pants from them: the leggings listed above, Women’s Storm Jacquard 7/8 Pocket Leggings and the Foldover Lounge Pants. All three pair have had problems.
Like the black leggings listed in my original post, The 7/8 Pocket Leggings ripped on the first wear. This time, the rip was right on the front of the leggings along the seam. I reached out to Pact, again, and the were very quick to apologize and send a refund. Their customer service is excellent, even if their quality has a lot of room for improvement.
The Foldover Lounge Pants did make it past their first wear, thankfully, but they didn’t make it to a year. I purchased these in September and the waist band is already unravelling. I did not reach out to Pact regarding this issue as I had already worn them a number of times but still, a pair of pants should last longer than 7 months!
I was able to repair and continue to wear all three pants but the point is, I shouldn’t have to! I chose to purchase basics from Pact in hopes they would be staple pieces that lasted a while. Instead, I’m not even able to get a single wear out of some of them!
In addition to the pants, I have also purchased a few additional tops and underwear and I have not had the same quality problems as I have had with their pants. But overall, I will probably be limiting my Pact purchases to undergarments and will shop elsewhere for basics.