The two components of a garment production cycle that create the most waste and exploit the most people is in the fabric production and the garment sewing (also known as CMT).
Our fabric is all produced sustainably and ethically.
Our ethos is to only use natural fibres or synthetics that are part of a circular economy.
Circular Economy= an economic model with no waste, only resources
Natural fibres have a much smaller carbon footprint than synthetics. Some of our products need to be made from synthetic materials, like our bathers. The reason behind this is that coming into contact with seawater and chlorine means they need to have a super high resistance threshold to both.
The fabric we use for our activewear is comprised of the following fibres:
53% Hemp, 42% Organic Cotton and 5% Elastane
Hemp Fortex was founded in China in 1999 with the idea that fabrics can be environmentally friendly and still meet the strict requirements of the apparel industry; for fashion, innovation, performance, quality, and delivery. They call it conscience without compromise.
Their new collections each season incorporate the newest findings and innovations in low impact manufacturing. They are in a unique position as a vertically integrated manufacturer and converter means they oversee every part of the process. They operate out of Qindao China, and work only with their own manufacturing facilities and facilities where careful audits, long standing relationships and their own Quality Control staff ensure that their strict standards are met. They use only EU approved dyes and chemicals in our dyeing and finishing and carefully monitor and control waste water. They use exclusively organic cotton which is traced through the whole process from field to garment by ECOCERT.
We love that they take sustainability so seriously they have implemented clean energy across all of their offices and factories. Their roof is covered with solar panels that power their knitting machines which knit the yarn together just like your grandma makes her woollen jumpers. except like a thousand grandmas. with robotic arms.
We like to think of the little golden rays of sun happily being woven into our beautiful fabric.
How gorgeous ☀️
Also woven into our fabric is love and happiness as our knitting factory is a member of Amfori BSCI.The Business Social Compliance Initiative means that they are frequently audited to make sure they are consistently improving the social performance in their supply chain. This process has a core aim of enhancing human prosperity, using natural resources responsibly and driving open trade globally.
They were the first member of the Fair Wear foundation in mainland China. The Fairwear Foundation is a non-profit organization that works with factories to improve labour conditions for garment workers. The basis of the collaboration between Fair Wear and a member is the Code of Labour Practices. The core of this code is made up from eight labour standards derived from the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights.
They are as follows:
- Employment is freely chosen
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
- There is no discrimination in employment
- No exploitation of child labour
- Payment of a living wage
- Reasonable hours of work
- Safe and Healthy working conditions
- Legally binding employment relationship
They provide their employees with the healthiest of working conditions, (which is a result from creating organic fabrics and not working with harmful dyes and chemicals), medical benefits, safety insurance, regular salary raises, vacation days, and community building.
Our fabric producer received the following grade in their most recent BCSI audit.
Hemp is an incredibly old fibre which can be traced back 8000 BC in the Middle East and China where it was used for textiles, ropes, fishnets, the oil for cosmetic purposes and the seeds for food. It is a fast growing plant (no wonder its called weed!), requires very little water, and uses minimal nutrients from the soil. Hemp plant roots aerate the soil, leaving it rich for future crops. It has a huge yield of 1500 pounds of fibre per acre (compared to 500 pounds from organic cotton) and doesn't require any pesticides or herbicides. The umbrella shape of the plant means it doesn't require herbicides as it out-competes any weeds for sun.
Hemp fabrics are strong, absorbent, durable, and insulating which mean they often take time to wear in, but last a very long time once worn and washed a few times. They don’t stretch out of shape which makes them a perfect upholstery fabric, because it can be pulled tight and retain its shape. Cotton fabric is softer and more comfortable against the skin than hemp fabric, which is why the two are often combined for fabrics, you get the best of both!
Our manufacturer grows over 600,000 square yards of organic hemp, meaning their yield is one of the highest and most sustainable in the world. They use of rainwater for irrigation which reduces water consumption, while free-grazing cow manure is used to fertilize. Hemp is naturally antibacterial and there is no use of pesticides used in their fields. The hemp plant naturally grows very densely (hence a high yield!) which also means there is no need for pesticides as the plant naturally out-competes any weeds for sunlight.
Hemp grows roots that penetrate deep into the soil, which increases nutrients in the soil and eliminate weeds and diseases. Planting hemp contributes greatly to the balance of CO2 content in the atmosphere. One hectare of hemp can sequester and store 20 tons of CO2 in the cellulose carbon and another 500kg of CO2 in the soil within one hundred days growth cycle.
In addition, hemp plant cells have the ability to avoid damage from heavy metal ions, which selectively concentrate in the roots of plants. This means that hemp is an excellent natural heavy metal adsorbent, which has an effective cleaning effect on water and soil in the area.
Our fabric is made from the ‘bast’ hemp plant variety, cultivated in the mountains of Northern China; comfortable, breathable, and cool to the touch. It is a luxurious textile that can be woven to be soft and fine or thick and durable. It is one of the strongest, natural fibres and its antibacterial properties as well as its resistance to UV rays make it ideal for athletic wear.
Hemp in short...
- improves land
- takes time to wear in
- often combined with organic cotton
- doesn't use much water to grow
- no pesticides
- mechanically processed
The other heavyweight in our hemp/organic cotton fabric is the Organic Cotton. Organic Cotton in its pure form is compostable which means no micro-plastics! When combined with elastane there are a small amount of micro-plastics, but hey, anything is better than nothing! Organic Cotton, while a huge step up from standard ol' regular cotton, still drinks a whole heap of water while growing. If its grown in a country with monsoonal conditions, great! but if its grown in somewhere drought prone (ahem Australia) it uses a whole heap of water that should be going elsewhere. As long as the surrounding ecosystem can support this water consumption, we definitely love organic cotton as a cotton alternative.
As an alternative to conventional cotton, organic cotton can almost match the yield of conventional cotton with "good management practices", this is great news as many sustainable alternatives tend to be less accepted as the industry values time and cost highly.
Cotton is a very strong fibre and is create for dyeing, printing and doing pretty much anything to! it is very soft, breathe-able and absorbent. after time cotton does tend to pill (those little balls on fabric), which can be very annoying, but with proper care and maintenance can be avoided.
Cotton has many benefits — comfort, durability, affordability — yet the environmental impact of conventional cotton is staggering. Conventional cotton growth releases more toxins into our oceans than any other crop. It’s for these reasons that choosing organic cotton makes sense. Grown without the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides, our organic cotton keeps our oceans clean, eliminates the allergens found in conventionally grown cotton, and provides our consumers with not only soft and high quality fabric but peace of mind when it comes to their environmental footprint.
Organic Cotton in Short...
- doesn't use pesticides that harm the environment
- uses lots of water and land to grow
- great for print/dye
- strong fibre
- great when used alongside other fibres
Breathable fabric,The cracks distributed on the surface of hemp fiber are connected with small holes, which makes it excellent in moisture absorption and sweat discharge. It is estimated that wearing hemp fabric, compared with cotton fabric, can reduce the body temperature by about 5 ℃.
Antibacterial mould suppression, Hemp fiber is hollow, usually rich in oxygen, so that anaerobic bacteria can not survive. According to the analysis and determination of high frequency plasma emission spectrometer, the hemp fiber also contains phenolic substances, which can resist a variety of microorganisms and damage the formation of mold microorganisms. Therefore, hemp fiber has excellent anti-mildew and bacteriostatic effect.
Antistatic, The molecular structure of hemp fiber is stable and the capacity of generating static electricity is very low. Therefore, the hemp textile will not cause discharge, dust adsorption and pilling due to the clothing swing friction.