Gomorrah Is Working to Minimize the Fashion Industry’s Carbon Footprint

It can take over 200 years for textiles to decompose in landfills. This NYC startup is hoping to change that with its compostable, ready-to-wear clothing.
Written by Miranda Perez
August 18, 2022Updated: August 18, 2022
Gomorrah founders sitting side by side
Gomorrah co-founders Max Sudak (left) and Itzett Romero (right). | Photo: Gomorrah 

Sure the latest initiatives from the Teslas, Apples and Googles of the industry tend to dominate the tech news space — and with good reason. Still, the tech titans aren’t the only ones bringing innovation to the sector.

In an effort to highlight up-and-coming startups, Built In has launched The Future 5 across 11 major U.S. tech hubs. Each quarter, we will feature five tech startups, nonprofits or entrepreneurs in each of these hubs who just might be working on the next big thing. You can check out last year’s round-up here.


The fashion industry and the production of clothing have long been contributing factors to the growing environmental crisis. Afterall, the U.S. alone throws away up to 11.3 million tons of textile waste each year and depending on the type of textile, it can take over 200 years for clothing to decompose in landfills.

While household names like H&M and Patagonia have developed in-house clothing recycling and re-selling programs to combat the negative effects the industry has on the environment, more can be done, according to Itzett Romero, co-founder of Gomorrah, a NYC-based sustainable menswear fashion brand.

“All of this [information about environmental impact] has always been available to the garment industry,” Romero told Built In. “The reality is that it’s very expensive to go in this direction.”

It’s easier for lean companies, like Gomorrah, to build a brand focused on sustainability and compostability from the beginning than to pivot, Romero said. 

Romero used this train of thought to build Gomorrah with her co-founder Max Sudak. What started as an idea the duo discussed over coffee in 2020 has grown into one of the first e-commerce clothing lines to take a 100 percent compostable approach to design.

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Gomorrah’s most recent and second collection was released this spring. The ready-to-wear menswear and unisex designs are made from organic materials and use non-toxic dyes. As an added plus, Gomorrah’s buttons are made from the endosperm of seeds which eliminates the use of plastic in their designs.

The company’s decision to focus its efforts on reaching male consumers was intentional. Because the fashion industry caters to a prominently female demographic.

“In many ways, women have been conditioned to expect cheap clothing that looks nice, even if you get three wears out of it,” Romero said. “However, men have generally gravitated towards quality and capsule wardrobes. We decided to focus on men when we realized that there were actually very few companies that talk about sustainability to [them].”

What is a capsule wardrobe?

  • A capsule wardrobe is a limited selection of interchangeable clothing pieces that complement each other. These are often classic pieces that do not go out of style and are primarily composed of neutral colors. A capsule wardrobe allows you to create a variety of different outfits with a small selection of clothes. 
  • Source: Sustainability Chic

While Gomorrah’s use of compostable, organic materials certainly helps decrease the amount of toxic materials in landfills, the company does not yet know how fast its clothes decompose in comparison to other textiles. Romero said that Gomorrah is in the process of running biodegradable tests with universities to determine that number.

Since its inception, Gomorrah has been self-funded by Romero and Sudak. Outside of occasionally working with contractors, the entire business is upheld by the duo as full-time employees.

As the company grows, Romero has aspirations that Gomorrah will set a new standard for the fashion industry by showing customers and retailers alike that it’s possible to produce clothing in a way that does not negatively impact the environment.

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