Thank you for your interest in our responsible and ethical practices. We are constantly striving to make progress in manufacturing and production, as well as in our internal policies as a company. We have some exciting initiatives that we have been working on ever since we launched in 2016, and we are constantly testing new techniques and programs with our partners.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR EFFORTS IN ETHICAL MANUFACTURING PRACTICES, ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPACT, AND INTERNAL INITIATIVES, PLEASE READ OUR RESOLUTIONS.
Social Responsibility: Closing The Gender Gap
We source globally, and choose to manufacture with socially compliant factories in the United States, Peru, India, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, and Romania. Our sourcing strategy is largely based on the availability of quality raw materials, responsible factories, and regional techniques: For example, we import our handknit alpaca sweaters and Pima cotton t-shirts from Peru; our use of raw silk, intricate handwork, and traditional print techniques are imported from India.
We are intentional when selecting our manufacturers, partnering only with factories that share our company values. We are proud that our production partners share our commitment to supporting workers who identify as women in the workplace, and are collaborators in our mission to eliminate the gender gap at every point in the supply chain. Whenever possible, we choose to work with women-owned, or co-owned, factories.
We use 3rd-party compliance audits to evaluate our manufacturing partners on a host of practices, from gender and social quality to wages to ethical work environments and standards. In making a decision to work with a specific facility, we look for several indicators -- including the percentage of women-identifying employees in management roles, the factory’s ability to control all stages of production, the presence of an internal workers’ union, and any established foundations or organizations that directly benefit their employees and/or the surrounding community.
For example, our largest supplier is in New Delhi, India, and has started a foundation to fund 100% of the education of the daughters of all employees. Prior to the foundation, employees were opting to send male children to school while keeping female children at home due to limited resources for tuition. However, our partner is deeply committed to removing these barriers and believes that literacy and education will help close the gender gap, promote self-reliance, independence, and leadership skills for women and girls.
Additionally, we solely work with a program in Peru that connects women in the regions of Lima, Huancayo, and Cerro de Pascua to an export market. Facilitated by our partner, this program allows us to create a substantial handknit product offering each season, with each knitwear style personally handwoven by women in these regions. Many knitters are unmarried mothers, and the program gives them a chance to work from home and take care of their families while earning a fair wage; the women are also enabled to connect with their community, meeting twice a week in homes or church halls to discuss the progress of the knitting and any pattern issues. Once a style is complete, the Jefa de Groupo (Chief Knitter) coordinates with our partner to arrange trims, finishings, and completion of the export paperwork.
In addition to this work with our manufacturing partners and suppliers, please read about our ongoing partnership with the organization Room to Read here. Our work with this amazing partner is aimed at extending our commitment to closing the gender gap by promoting literacy and gender equality in primary and secondary schools in the areas where we produce.
Ethical Production and Sustainability Efforts
As an apparel company, we are constantly questioning what sustainability means for us, and we recognize that the fashion industry as a whole has a long way to go. We have prioritized making small changes in the day-to-day of our supply chain that will make a huge collective impact. We primarily use natural fabrics; we embrace a ‘fewer, better things’ mentality; and we strongly believe in building a wardrobe that is timeless, crafted to last, and made of the most ethically sourced materials possible.
We encourage secondhand sales of our clothing via resale and consignment retailers, and strongly believe that our clothing should be strong enough to live many lives. In 2019, we partnered with luxury consignment site TheRealReal to promote and support a circular economy -- by encouraging the resale of our items with TheRealReal, we were able to extend the lifestyle of our garments, keeping apparel out of landfills and simultaneously providing gently loved pieces to more customers. We are always looking to reimagine and reform how we think about fashion, and are constantly seeking out new ways to collaborate with circular and closed-loop systems.
Our packaging is 100% recyclable, and our eco-shippers contain a minimum of 90% post-consumer content. We believe the burden of recycling packaging should not be on the customer, so any product requiring a polybag for transit is removed prior to shipping and recycled by our team. We are in the process of finding a better solution for poly bags, and currently using biodegradable bags with our largest supplier. Our goal is for a full transition to a paper-based eco-alternative for all product in 2020.
We are working to participate in production methods that eliminate waste and only order enough fabric to fulfill our orders. As our children’s offering expands, so does our commitment to work with organic fabrics wherever possible. Currently, many of our children’s knits from Peru are 100% organic Pima cotton, and we are transitioning certain adult styles to organic and recycled fabrics and yarns. Simultaneously, we are working with GOTS Certified fabrics as well as the Better Cotton Initiative for certain styles, and all of our denim styles are made locally in Los Angeles.