If you have made it to this page, you probably care a bit about sustainability. We appreciate you taking the time to lean in to what it means to our business. Having climate conscious legends behind our brand is really important to us.
You may have already seen our #seeksustainability page, which draws the curtain on our stance, and where we are focusing our efforts to turn the dial and leave a positive mark. If not, we recommended taking a look at that page before diving in below. This post is an update consistent with the content already laid out on that page.
Since launching in March, we've been working hard at defining and building a business model that has sustainable solutions at its core. We have had a few easy wins, while other stuff has been more challenging to achieve due to the the adolescence of our business.
Generally speaking, we have found and embedded initial solutions that reduce our carbon footprint in some way, and we have also found a couple of easy wins for you, the customer, to even offset the impact of your purchases with us.
This is undoubtedly making a net positive impact to the alternative of turning a blind eye or doing nothing, but we won't really fully realise our impact without measuring our footprint. So for the next period, we will start exploring that process.
As set out on our #seeksustainabiility page, we have the ultimate goal of reaching carbon neutrality as a business. This involves measuring our footprint, reducing as much of it as we can through embedded solutions, then offsetting residual footprint with carbon credits. How good would that be!?
What we've done and where we're heading
Choosing the right suppliers
For us, choosing the right suppliers from a sustainability point of view is integral to reaching our objectives. When we look at this, it comes down to whether they are committed to running tight ship as it relates to quality control, social welfare and and their commitment to environmental improvements.
We are proud to report that our supplier for these products has all bases well covered, and is very open to working with us in making environmental advances. They are accredited with multiple standards, including:
- Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)
- Business Social Compliance Index (BSCI)
- ISO 9001: Quality Management System Standard
- Responsible Wool Standard - Textile Exchange
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100
While our garment supplier is currently transitioning between auditing programs, it doesn't currently hold an accreditation with either. That said, we share this supplier with other highly reputable brands and are confident in their quality, social welfare and environmental commitments. Before switching programs, they had 8 years of WRAP accreditation without any non-compliances.
Together with their fabric mill partner, there is a commitment to making products with more sustainable fabrics, and utilising the packaging we prescribe. These include REPREVE® certified fabrics, which by default meet standards such as the Global Recycled Standard and OEKO TEX Standard 100. We will continue to hold them accountable and monitor their progress.
Whilst we are currently making a quality hat with our existing suppliers, our goal is to transition into using recycled synthetics for this product. This has proven challenging, so we are in sampling stage with a few new suppliers. These suppliers have a range of accreditations, and we will review, monitor and report on their compliance moving forward.
Utilising the right fabrics and fibres
We are proudly moving towards a full product mix that utilises eco-friendly alternative fibres and fabrics.
Our tops are all made from Tencel™ and merino fibres, which come from natural renewable sources, and which revert back into nature.
Tencel™ fibre is processed from wood pulp that is responsibly sourced from certified forests. This is done using a renowned closed loop process with high resource efficiency and low environmental impact. Learn more about Tencel™ here.
The merino fibres used for our tops come from Aussie sheep, and are sourced in accordance with the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS). The RWS aims to protect the sheep that supply the wool and the land they graze on.
Our shorts are cut from REPREVE® certified fabric, that contains 92% recycled polyester; 8% elastane. Each pair is made from 10 recycled plastic bottles.
The production of REPREVE® certified fabric prevents post consumer plastic bottles heading to landfills, by recycling bottles into flake, filament, fibre then fabric. Compared to making what's called virgin fibre, making REPREVE® offsets using new petroleum, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and conserving water and energy in the process.
Our aim over this next period is to retail hats that utilise REPREVE® certified or equivalent Global Recycled Standard certified fabrics.
We continue to conduct design practice that promotes premium, long lasting quality, and timeless design. All our products are intended to be staples that stand the test of time and use. With the products you see in store today, we hope they are still there in years to come!
We won't produce trendy products in mass and try move them through the gates quickly in fast fashion.
All our future products will continue to follow this ethos. If you have any comments or feedback regarding our current or future product mix, we'd be glad to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Packaging & Logistics
We're proud to be working with Better Packaging on their zero waste mission, and are using their compostable poly bags and mailers to protect and ship your goods. This means you can dispose of these bags with confidence that they will break down and revert back into nature. Read more about Better Packaging here.
For the bigger orders that are likely to take a beating over longer shipping distances, we have custom made our own recycled kraft mailer box. This has been sourced from a supplier in China, which has FSC chain of custody certification, along with an ISO 9001 certification. Meaning, you are getting a damn fine recycled + recyclable box, which has been sourced responsibly.
Some other points worth noting on packaging include:
- the use of carbon neutral paper for packing slips;
- the use of recycled + recyclable kraft paper tape for sealing mailer boxes;
- the use of recycled + recyclable kraft thank you card inserts.
Being a startup, we are currently running this business very lean out of one small location in Auckland. This means, how we currently distribute goods is not the most efficient from a carbon footprint and cost point of view.
We have been making efforts to utilise sea freight for import shipments when we can, and will take any eco-friendly shipping options when available and viable.
In the next half year, we will be looking at how we can utilise a distribution network to serve our larger consumer bases in a most efficient and eco-friendly way. The ideal equation includes maximising sea and ground freight over air freight alternatives, and moving more stock together in fewer shipments.
Consumer awareness and opportunities
We have made good initial progress in raising consumer awareness and providing or facilitating solutions that our customers can take action on.
Since launching, we have teamed up with great initiatives like Koha Apparel and CarbonClick. We have also pushed a blog post related to how customers can care for kit, tying this to big fashion sustainability issues that can be combated in doing so.
Koha Apparel is a not for profit clothing pop-up that runs every week throughout Auckland. The purpose, which is two-fold, aims to clothe those in need through a dignified retail experience while also reducing landfill.
Koha's store utilises a pay-as-you-can system which allows the vulnerable people in our community to access clean quality clothing. They can pick two items from the store for free - an experience they potentially otherwise would not have.
We have committed to regularly remind our customers to think twice about what they do with their unwanted clothing, and to act as a contribution funnel to Koha.
We have plans to identify similar initiatives to Koha Apparel in markets where our community is present, and act as a facilitator / contributor to those organisations.
CarbonClick is a carbon offsetting business that provides solutions to individuals and businesses that can help neutralise carbon footprint.
We have integrated CarbonClick's point-of-sale carbon credit at checkout so customers can choose to offset the impacts of their purchases. Proceeds are fully traced and invested into forest regeneration and renewable energy projects.
We believe this is a great way for our customers to take extra action to our efforts, especially while we measure our footprint.
Consumer awareness and action is an area we believe we can amplify further in the next half. We have plans to raise more awareness to specific issues in the fashion industry, and bringing them into perspective that our customers can really understand.
Get in touch
If you have made it this far, thanks for reading. We look forward to updating you on our progress in the new year.
As always, if if you have any questions, comments or feedback, or if you're interesting in getting involved with us on our #seeksustainability mission, we'd be glad to hear from you at email@example.com.