Environmental responsibility underpins everything we do. Our first question when developing a new product is what will our impact be?
Dani grew up in the ski fields of Tirol and Matt on an island no more than 3.5 miles long. We are now coastal dwellers in the Westcountry and regular surfers, skiers and boarders. We have been around oceans and mountains our entire lives, and in these places human impact is bought into sharp relief. Warming temperatures through climate change destabilising mountain climates and leading to more avalanches and melting glaciers. Marine plastic littering our coastlines and entering the food chain.
We work with manufacturers who recognise the potentially harmful effects of their business and take steps to address their negative impact. Our clothing manufacturer is an active contributor to the International Working Group on the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
This year all our new designs are made from 100% certified organic cotton and dyed in a zero-discharge dyehouse, where all the water is recycled in a closed-loop system. Production uses only renewable green energy from solar and wind power.
When it comes to printing we only use waterbased inks.
WHY ORGANIC COTTON?
Cotton production uses huge amounts of insecticides and water, and is responsible for very high Green House Gas emissions. According to the Soil Association cotton is responsible for 16% of global insecticide use – more than any other crop. Globally, cotton production releases 220 million tonnes of CO2e, and one tonne of non-organic cotton produces 1.8 tonnes of CO2e.
Full article here.
Organic cotton fibres are grown without pesticides or GMO’s and so promote healthier farms and environments. There are no harmful chemicals used in organic cotton production and organic textiles don’t contain allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemicals.
Our clothing manufacturer is a member of Fair Wear Foundation and ensures the following minimum criteria:
No use of child labour
No use of forced labour
Safe and healthy working conditions
Legal labour contracts
Payment of living wage
Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
No discrimination against employees
No excessive hours of work.
We demand that our clothing is not delivered to us individually wrapped, and with no plastic tag hangers. When we mail out our products we use FSC certified mailers which are recyclable and carbon neutral. They are easy-opening so they don't get destroyed on delivery and can be used again. We encourage this with a hand-printed ‘reuse & recycle’ message on everything we mail.
If our retailers require protective packaging, our clothing is supplied in recycled paper packaging rather than plastic bags.
This is by no means the cheapest or easiest option, but we believe it is the best we can do right now. We considered biodegradable or compostable plastics, but there are too many conditions needed for these to break down. Jacqueline McGlade, chief scientist at the UN Environment Programme told the Guardian:
“It’s well-intentioned but wrong. A lot of plastics labelled biodegradable, like shopping bags, will only break down in temperatures of 50C and that is not the ocean. They are also not buoyant, so they’re going to sink, so they’re not going to be exposed to UV and break down.”
If we're going to tackle the problems faced by marine plastics then we all need to get involved. Small changes in daily habbits, education and awareness are key. Get inspiration from The Plastic Project, Surfers Against Sewage and 2 Minute Beach Clean.