Our Impact Update

As we continue on our mission to create lasting, beautiful collections while supporting women-identifying individuals in all aspects of our organization, supply chain, and community, we have made it a priority to update you along the way - on our progress, achievements, and goal setting - as we continue to learn and our business continues to evolve.

 

Last year, we released our 2021 Resolutions, and we are now sharing our Impact Update, which is an update on our progress over the past year as well as a deeper look at our goals and practices. Later this year, we will be publishing our strategic 2030 Roadmap for the near and long term future of our business, spearheaded by our Director of Impact, whom we were so proud to hire this past year as we invest in our impact strategy.

 

The 2030 Roadmap will work as a deep dive into where we are as an organization and set the groundwork for work that needs to be done in all facets of our business, in the immediate and long term. Our goal at DÔEN is not only to comply with benchmarks set before us but to go above and beyond in order to create a more ethical and environmentally responsible industry. Once released, we will routinely update you on our progress, benchmarks hit, and any new standards set along the way. We recognize that this will be an ongoing process as we all collectively learn and understand how to most effectively make an impact, and we look forward to sharing our long term approach with you when we’ve finalized this important work.

 

Until then, please find our impact update below to our 2021 Resolutions broken down in five action areas: Environmental Impact, Ethical Practices, Community Representation, Internal Progress, and Ongoing Partnerships & Local Efforts.

Areas of Impact

01.

Environmental Impact

As a brand, we know that the regions and communities who live and work where our product is made and our raw materials are sourced are impacted most by our supply chain decisions. We are also aware that with each day, our global climate crisis worsens. That's why we are passionate about understanding and minimizing our environmental footprint on our mission to create lasting, heirloom quality pieces.



We set ambitious goals in our 2021 Resolutions and are proud to report on our progress for the year.

Raw Materials and Chemicals:

  • Our goal was for 60% of our cotton & cotton blend unit volume to be GOTS Certified organic, as measured as a percentage of units, as well as printing, dyeing and embroidery. The GOTS certification process examines the harvesting of raw materials and ensures the textiles are organically grown without pesticides and insecticides, and are environmentally and socially responsible.
    • Our 2021 GOTS certified organic cotton actual was 74%, an increase from 31% in 2020.
  • Our goal was to begin implementation of a Restricted Substance List (RSL) protocol.
    • This Restricted Substance List was completed, and we were able to write, approve, and implement an RSL with our manufacturing partners.
  • We actively made an effort to transition to non-mulesed wool in 2021. Mulesing is the painful and cruel process of cutting flaps of skin from around a lamb’s breech and tail. When this wound heals, it creates an area of bare, stretched scar tissue which has no folds or wrinkles and is thought to reduce flystrike.
    • Over the past year, we have integrated 48% of non-mulesed wool and wool blends into our total wool and wool blend product assortment, as measured by unit volume.
  • Our goal was to transition to 50% responsible viscose by 2022. Viscose is derived from wood pulp, and therefore is often thought of as a more responsible, biodegradable fabric; however, the production of viscose can lead to biodiversity loss and deforestation depending on the supplier, and is reliant on many toxic chemicals, which are highly polluting and can contaminate water supplies. We have been searching for a responsible viscose from certified suppliers – including farms that use a nearly closed loop system for their viscose production – that meet our quality standards.
    • Our transition to responsible viscose is still in progress. While we have been met with challenges, we are still in development on responsible viscose, and hope to further our progress by partnering with our suppliers to find the right quality for us.
  • In 2021, we committed to reexamining our sourcing methods for recycled yarns and fabrics, and to introduce regeneratively farmed cotton to our supply chain in 2022.
    • We have started the process of scoping regenerative cotton sources in both California and India for our 2023 product. Also, with our new Director of Impact, we are working to create a 2030 Roadmap that will include our approach to recycled yarns and fabric.

Traceability

Last year, we embarked on traceability throughout all four tiers of our supply chain. Traceability is the ability of a brand to trace, or map, the production of its products throughout the supply chain. For example, a fully traced cotton product would include the farm where the cotton is grown (Tier 4), then to the processor that spins cotton into yarn (Tier 3), onto to the mills where the yarn is woven or knit into fabric (Tier 2) -- and lastly, to the manufacturer that cuts and sews the fabric into a finished product (Tier 1). When a brand knows their full supply chain in this way, it can work with each vendor to ensure that those working within the supply chain are respected and all vendors are following environmental compliance practices. This is crucial to managing environmental and social impacts, and why we’re committed to documenting our entire supply chain.



2021 Goals

Tier 1: 100% of unit volume
Tier 2: 100% of unit volume
Tier 3: 90% of unit volume
Tier 4: 80% of unit volume
Finished goods, assemblers, and subcontractors
Dyers and printers, finishers, weavers, knitters
Fibers, spinners, recycled materials collectors / processers
Raw material (farm, forest, ranch)

2021 Actuals

Tier 1: 100% of unit volume
Tier 2: 98% of unit volume
Tier 3: 88% of unit volume
Tier 4: 59% of unit volume
Finished goods, assemblers, and subcontractors
Dyers and printers, finishers, weavers, knitters
Fibers, spinners, recycled materials collectors / processers
Raw material (farm, forest, ranch)

Packaging

  • In 2021, our goal was to begin replacing our poly bags with glassine bags.
    • In October 2021, we approved and purchased glassine bags and started shipping to our manufacturing partners in November 2021 to be used for our Prelude 2022 products. This transition to glassine bags is our next step in eliminating the use of plastic in our supply chain by introducing alternative packaging. Traditionally, wasteful plastic polybags are used when garments are transported from manufacturers. Even though these bio polybags are removed and repackaged in muslin before sending to our customers, their use ultimately adds to greenhouse gas emissions; even bio polybags, which are seen as an alternative because of their biodegradable qualities, do not break down quickly or completely, still emit greenhouse gasses as they decompose, and are further complicated by a lack of industrial composting facilities that manage bio poly decomposition. The new glassine bag we’re using is made with paper, cellulose, and vegetable ink, making it naturally compostable and easily curbside recyclable. The new bag meets the ASTM D6400 standard for certifying compostable products and, through testing, we’ve found that the new glassine packaging converted into compost in just 30 days, as compared to the 12 week requirement to meet this standard. These bags are shipped to our manufacturers and each garment you receive has made its journey from our manufacturing partners to your home in this one protective pouch, eliminating unnecessary packaging waste along the way.
  • We also set the goal of replacing our plastic hangers with cellulosic hangers, and we have successfully transitioned 100% away from plastic hangers to cellulosic hangers.
    • Our new hangers are made of cellulose pulp and industrial scraps from newspapers, cardboard boxes, shopping bags, and other paper-based discarded items. The environmental impact of this cellulose hanger is 1/3 that of a traditional plastic hanger. The cost of transitioning to these hangers is $3.97 per garment, versus $0.45 for a plastic hanger.

Recommerce

We are deep in the development of our recommerce program. This program will be designed to operate with several key intentions, including our commitment to building a more circular business and being a part of a transformative move beyond linear business models. We are also hoping to actively assist our customers in finding joy and value — both financial and emotional — in wearing and sharing preloved garments that were made to last. We look forward to investing in this initiative and are currently recruiting for the role of Recommerce Manager to lead the efforts we’ll be kicking off this year. To learn more and apply, please find more about the role here.

2030 Roadmap

As a continuation of our impact work, we are in the process of developing a holistic 2030 Roadmap that will outline a blueprint for Dôen to align to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (The SDGs are 17 interlinked goals, established by the United Nations and UN Member States, that serve as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere). Since our founding in 2016, we have worked towards balancing our role as a corporate entity providing fulfilling, fair wage jobs with our responsibilities as advocates for change within the global community and fashion industry ecosystem and while we wait for the public sector to develop more robust environmental and social regulations, we as a private organization strive to go above and beyond “business as usual” practices. With our Roadmap, we hope to push our business to be more than just compliant with baseline industry standards and create a framework for our path of continual growth and industry innovation across all aspects of our business in order to uphold Our Values.

Director of Impact

We proudly hired our first Director of Impact, Kristine Kim, in October 2021. Kristine has extensive experience working with a range of stakeholders to create improved social and environmental outcomes for the fashion industry. Her experience includes working with fashion brands, factory owners, labor unions, multilateral organizations, national and municipal governments, and academic institutions. We, as an organization, are inspired by Kristine’s strong belief in upholding the human worth of workers across all tiers of the supply chain, and her holistic approach to creating systemic advancements. Her depth of knowledge, passion, and steadfast commitment to the evolution of the fashion industry will play an integral role in the future of our business.




02.

Ethical Practices

We are proud to share our 2021 updates on our practices, and are looking forward to sharing new benchmarks driven by our organizational and brand values as well as our unwavering commitment to protecting our workers across our supply chain. These will be published in the coming months as part of our 2030 Roadmap.

Women-Owned Vendors

  • • 88% of all 2021 product volume, including apparel, footwear, and accessories, was produced in a woman-owned or co-owned factory. This is an increase from 82% in 2020.
  • • We will continue working with audited and certified vendors, and are committed to adding woman-owned factory partners as we expand our assortment.

AUDITS & CERTIFICATIONS

  • • 100% of our 2021 apparel volume was made in an audited facility.
  • • 100% of our 2021 apparel factories are internally audited by a member of our team.
  • • 73% of our 2021 accessories volume, including footwear, was made in a facility audited by a third party.
  • • 100% of our 2021 accessories and footwear volume was audited by a member of our internal team. This was a gigantic leap forward from 2020!
  • • 79% of all 2021 product -- including footwear, apparel, and accessories -- were made in carbon audited and offset facilities.

A key component of our close relationships with our vendors is our commitment to in-person visits and audits by an internal member of our team. We will continue to conduct internal auditing and implement new social compliance programming in line with our values and our strategic roadmap.

Global Sourcing and Social Compliance

We choose our manufacturing partners based on a host of factors, including but not limited to their governing values, ethical labor practices, worker wages and benefits, social compliance and certifications, efforts towards the empowerment of women in their workforce, quality and craftsmanship, and proximity to regional techniques and raw materials. For more information on our materials and Tier 1-4 traceability, please visit our 2021 Resolutions Report and our Environmental Impact update above.

In the spring of 2021, we became proud industry endorsers of the Garment Worker Protection Act, or SB62, which was signed into law in a historic moment on September 27, 2021. For the 45,000+ garment workers of Los Angeles, this bill is a momentous step forward: SB62 eliminates the damaging piece rate pay system in California, and removes loopholes that formerly allowed corporations and brands to commit wage theft with impunity. With the success of SB62, we are hoping to be part of a larger movement nationwide that sees transformative legislation of this nature in more states to come.

2021 Country of Origin

For more information on certifications, worker benefits, and wages, visit our 2021 Resolutions Report.

03.

Community Representation

We believe in the value of diverse representation within our organization. We recognize the depth of bias and long standing institutionalized racism, its prevalence and nefariousness within our industry, and we are committed to continued organizational action to create a culture of equality, transparency and accountability.

We are dedicated to fostering an environment for all individuals to thrive as their authentic selves, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or disability, and we aim to cultivate a welcoming community where all employees feel safe to voice feedback and ideas.

REPRESENTATION, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION IN CONTENT

In 2021, we rolled out accessibility captions on our social channels. These captions allow for those who may be blind or visually impaired to be able to read a description of the images by using an e-reader or assistive device.

We are actively working to cultivate a diverse community through representation on our platforms. For each model and content creator seen on our platforms, we request a voluntary self identification and include within the caption when provided to us. Allowing our partners to self identify, and sharing it broadly, allows us to give a more complete picture of our community. The self identifications are meant to empower our subjects to share how they personally identify and see themselves, making each more visible and creating a more inclusive atmosphere on our platforms.

We have internally created benchmarks for representation for our 2022 campaigns, journals, and marketing materials to ensure our marketing is reflective and celebratory of a diverse community, and continually works to support women-identifying people in all aspects of our organization, supply chain, and community at large. These benchmarks include representation guidelines for trans, gender non-conforming/non-binary, and differently abled content creators, amongst other identifcations.

SIZING

We celebrate all bodies and are continuously working towards offering more size-inclusive styles.

In 2021, we pledged to offer our 7 size run in 45% of our styles, and finished the year offering 48% of our styles in a 7 size run.

We also added additional sizes in our denim, which now includes sizes 23, 32, 33 and 34. We look forward to building upon our size runs in the coming years.

Over the next year, we expect that 80% of each wovens collection will be offered in our 7 size run, and we plan to add size 14 to all non-denim bottom styles. By 2023, we plan to expand our denim collection to be offered in additional rises and sizes.

In other exciting news, in 2021, we also shared that we would add a kids size 12 to certain styles this year, and have completed this extension to our childrenswear clothing.

04.

Internal Progress

In 2021, in an emergence from the year where everything came to a screeching halt, we saw a year of growth and new life breathed into our brand and in our internal walls. We grew from 67 to 85 employees in the past year, hiring some key roles which will guide us on our path forward.

With this growth, the understanding that our internal work is the cornerstone of realizing our vision as an evolved and innovative company is more clear than ever. We must do the work to continue addressing systemic inequities, implicit biases, and racial disparities within our own company culture, and creating a space where our employees feel empowered and respected.

In order to invest in the internal team, we’ve created and rolled out new programs this year to encourage and support long term wellness and physical and financial well-being. Adding to our previous benefits:

  • We officially implemented our corporate 401K program with a generous employer match.
  • We will be implementing our Parental Re-Entry Benefit Policy which provides eligible employees with an opportunity to return from their Parental Leave with a 4 -day workweek while being paid for 5 days. The length of this benefit is 8 weeks.
  • We will also be recognizing Wellness Hours where all regular full-time employees will receive 16 Wellness Hours at time of hire and completion of their 90-day probationary period, and thereafter will be granted 16 Wellness Hours each calendar year.
    • Employees may use their Wellness Benefit for a variety of activities and wellness needs, including, but not limited to:
      • Counseling/Therapy Sessions
      • Nutrition Consultations
      • Wellness Programs
      • Weight Management Programs
      • Smoking Cessation Programs

In 2022, we will embark on our fourth round of Employee Resource Group sessions. Employees will have the opportunity to join any and all of the four groups: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging; Health and Wellness; Environmental Impact; and our newly established Prospective/Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers. These sessions are led by employees, with the purpose of creating an inclusive, educational, receptive, and supportive workplace. Department managers and directors are required to participate in one (1) ERG per session.

Dôen Employee Resource Groups enrich the company culture by providing education, discussion, and support, with the goals of increasing professional and personal development, and creating a safe place for employees to bring their whole, unique, selves to the table. Each of the four groups strive to:

  • Uphold and Evolve the Company Mission and Values
  • Encourage Progressive Thinking and Action
  • Create Connections and Community
  • Build Unity and Trust Amongst Employees of Varying Titles and Expertise
  • Provide Leadership and Engagement Opportunities for All Employees
ANTI-RACISM EFFORTS

In 2021, we continued working with the incomparable Dr. Akilah Cadet, who regularly provides guidance for our leadership team. In 2021, the Change Cadet team advised leadership and held an educational workshop with our managers. In the coming year we will host an all-team workshop and continue to create learning oportunities as we continue on our path to create an actively anti-racist and inclusive culture in our offices, stores, and virtual communities. We were proud to feature Dr. Cadet and the work she’s doing with Change Cadet in our journal in December 2021.

In order to create a more inclusive environment, we’ve fully rolled out our People and Culture Panel stage during the interview process. These panels create opportunities for all employees to be included in the recruitment process while also reducing unconscious bias by incorporating diversity of experience and through in the hiring process. When hiring, we make it clear that we are an equal opportunity employer and share these core values and our mission in all job descriptions and interviews.

We’ve also evolved our review process, implementing quarterly reviews in order to continue cultivating and nurturing a communicative, transparent, and developmental workplace. These quarterly meetings allow all of our employees to give and receive frequent feedback from their managers, receive information to help create pathways for professional development and personal growth, and create structured accountability as we continue to enrich our company culture.

05.

Ongoing Partnerships and Local Efforts

We remain committed, year after year, to our values of building, nurturing, and giving back to our communities. We strive to acknowledge and honor the delicate web that binds us, not only in our supply chain and production productions, but in our local community as well. We have sought out philanthropic partners that share our vision for progress and equality, and have a track record of true impact.

We continue to uphold our long-term partnerships with Room to Read, Planned Parenthood LA, and most recently, Kindred Space LA / Birthing People Foundation, and with these partnerships, are able to support women’s healthcare and education. We have made equal donations to our three long-term partners throughout the year.

Last Spring, as the United States was slowly beginning to heal and reopen with vaccination roll-outs, we watched COVID cases in India rise astronomically, affecting our partners in the country. We remained ready to help and raise funds to go towards Give India’s COVID drives and Room to Read, who work on the education and literacy of young children in India. Throughout COVID, we have seen just how committed our partners are to ensuring the wellness and safety of their employees, and we remain committed as ever to supporting them in times of need.

On Juneteenth 2021, a percentage of our sales went to support the Kindred Space LA / Birthing People Foundation. Founded by two Black midwives -- Kimberly Durdin, CPM, LM, IBCLC, and Allegra Hill, CPM, LC, IBCLC, Kindred Space LA is a community-supported birth center offering home birth midwifery, doula support, lactation education, and more, with the mission of creating a safe birthing home for parents and babies of color in South LA.

In the Fall, we launched our Mica and Little Mica dresses, embroidered with “Persist,” with a percentage of the profits going back to Planned Parenthood LA in support of their mission to provide safe and accessible reproductive care to all -- a mission that feels more vital than ever as decisions are being made posing blatant infringements on women's rights. We also shared a percentage of profits from Giving Tuesday and hosted our annual Planned Parenthood LA fundraiser here in Los Angeles

Dôen made additional product or financial donations to the LA LGBT Center, Give India, Baby2Baby, Suay and LA Mission throughout the past year.

After a year of virtual and distanced efforts, we were very excited to be able to contribute in-person again. In November 2021, we hosted our annual all-team volunteer day at the Los Angeles Food Bank. Thirty of our team members joined together to pack boxes for those in need. We look forward to more days spent together as a team giving back to our local community as the world continues to safely reopen.

We are happy to share our latest update with you, and are looking forward to sharing our 2030 Roadmap later this year. Should you have any additional questions about our goals and impact, please contact us at connect@shopdoen.com.

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