Our suppliers must meet all Human Rights obligations to a fair wage and excellent (not just good) working conditions. We have a clause in our supply agreements to ensure no part of the making process can be sub-contracted unless it is a skill, they explicitly cannot produce i.e., machine embroidery. In which case the company is also vetted.
We visit our suppliers multiple times a year and have an excellent working relationship with them.
PORTUGAL - OUR MAKERS
Our maker is a very good company to work at, with respect for human rights and with very good conditions and the relevant policies. The company provides transport for pick and drop the workers at home, they also have free hot drinks for everyone, free fresh apples every day and an on-site kitchen plus many other benefits. They also have a policy for preventing and combating harassment at work. Their full policy is available on request. They have shared it with us. We
make multiple site visits all year round.
BIELLA ITALY - OUR FABRIC MILL
We have visited our beautiful mill in Idyllic Biella multiple times, each time we dine with the staff in their innovative staff restaurant and have a tour of the immaculate facilities.
Our fabric mill is a leading company in the production of sustainable fabrics in pure Merino wool. Founded in 1865, the historic wool mill directly manages and controls the entire production chain. Crucial in its philosophy is the drive for technological innovation aimed at finding cutting- edge solutions that allow to create high-performance fabrics in full respect of the environment. After becoming the first Italian textile company and among the first in the world, to obtain the B Corporation certification, from 2021 has become a Benefit Company, modifying its statutes, and thus committing itself to pursuing goals of common benefit by operating in a responsible, sustainable, and transparent way towards people, the territory, and stakeholders.
Packaging - Our primary garment Packaging is water soluble at 70 degrees and we constantly looking to improve this to meet our minimum waste target. Our E-Com packaging is made from renewable forests and is 100% reusable and recyclable. Made in the UK by SIMPAC. We have signed up to the LUCID Packaging Register
Waste - We have a comprehensive trade-in program, where you can earn store credit for trading in your old Smalls to buy new ones. We re-sell these smalls at a by demand online sale or donate to Little Village UK.
PORTUGAL - OUR MAKERSFrom reading our blog you will see it was a journey to find the very best makers!
Membro Better Cotton – BCI
They make as many of our offcuts into Scrunchies or eye masks and other accessories.
ITALY - OUR FABRIC MILL
Waste and Chemicals - They have joined the 4sustainability® Commitment and apply the Chemical Management Protocol for eliminating toxic and harmful substances in production through the ZDHC MRSL.
They have a charter of values with the 4sustainability®
Has a code of Ethics and a 57 Page environmental declaration!
Energy Consumption - Photovoltaic Plant and energy recovery in thermal power plant
With the goal of reducing the dependence from the external electric energy acquisition and its impact on the environment, our Mill decided to invest on the electric energy production through renewable sources, setting up, during 2009, a photovoltaic completely integrated plant covering the 2700 mq roof large area. The energy produced by this plant (FTV1) is self-consumed by the production cycle.
Mill CERTIFICATIONS relevant to our fabric and policies
Early 1970s Certification that guarantees the quality of virgin wool through periodic checks of standards established by The Woolmark Company in terms of performance, durability, and quality. www.woolmark.com
2009 New Zealand certification program to ensure animal welfare by certifying wool as mulesing-free and guaranteeing full traceability along the entire chain.
2020 GRS (Global Recycled Standard) Certification that guarantees products contain discarded or recycled materials, while also guaranteeing full traceability along the entire value chain, the quality of materials, a lower use of chemicals
and respect of environmental and social requirements across the entire cycle. www.textileexchange.org
2020 RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) A certification that grants an environmental declaration verified by a third party to ensure wool comes from responsible farms that meet specific requirements in terms of animal welfare and lowenvironmental impact. This also guarantees full traceability along the entire value chain. www.textileexchange.org
2004 Voluntary management instrument developed by the European Commission for companies and other organisations to evaluate, report, and improve their environmental performance. An Environmental Declaration is submitted and approved every year to provide information to interested parties.
2004 International norm that can be subscribed to by any organization committed to environmental improvement through the implementation of a management system that establishes a number of criteria for the improvement of environmental performances.
BS OHSAS 18001
2007 English standard designed to establish minimum levels of good practice for the protection of workers worldwide, by defining the right conditions to allow for a safer environment, reduce risks in the workplace and improve employee health and wellbeing.
TRACEABILITY AND FASHION
2013 Voluntary certification system aimed at guaranteeing full product traceability to the end consumer, from start to finish.
2015 AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) Certification designed to measure the reliability of companies in relation with customs authorities to guarantee full respect of mandatory rules and product safety.
2020 International norm designed to establish minimum standards for good practice for the protection of workers worldwide. It defines the right conditions to allow for a safer environment, reduce risks in the workplace and improve employee health and wellbeing.
2020 Brand that certifies a superior sustainability performance within the textile industry. As of today, change has come in the form of the implementations of the Chem 4sustainability pillar, which implies the removal of toxic and harmful chemical substances from the production cycle as per the ZHDC method (Zero Discharge of Hazardous
Chemicals). In 2021, the EXCELLENCE level was reached. www.4sustainability.it
2020 the first textile company in Italy and one of the first worldwide to receive the B Corporation certification, the most advanced international standard created to measure the economic, environmental, and social impacts of companies.
2018 EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) Protocol created to certify the nature and number of impacts generated by a company during the production cycle, based on a Life-cycle Assessment (LCA). www.epd-australasia.com
As you will see, the team at ZQ go many steps beyond this to ensure all farms are working towards regenerative farmland.
It also ensures that our sheep have the FIVE FREEDOMS met.
RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) GLOBAL LEADERS IN ETHICAL WOOL
"As global leaders in ethical wool production, the team at The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) was proud to work with Textile Exchange in the development of the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) as we share common goals with respect to transparency and animal welfare. The RWS was developed through an open and transparent process led by Textile Exchange and a multi-stakeholder group which included representatives from across the industry and different sectors, including animal welfare groups, industry organizations, supply chain members, brands, and area experts.
Textile Exchange and NZM have worked together to create a robust combined audit process and checklist that simultaneously addresses both RWS and ZQ requirements. This means that farms audited and compliant to ZQ after April 2021 will also simultaneously be audited to and be in conformity with the RWS.
RWS is an industry tool designed to recognize the best practices of farmers, ensuring that wool comes from farms with a progressive approach to managing their land and from sheep that have been treated responsibly. As an independent, voluntary standard, companies can choose to become certified to the RWS, and the standard is globally applicable to all breeds of sheep and provides a robust chain of custody system, from farm to final product.
ZQ is an on-farm certification programme established by NZM in 2007 and was the first such programme in the world to require growers to meet strict standards with regard to animal welfare, environmental integrity, social responsibility, fibre quality, and traceability. ZQ and Textile Exchange have worked closely together since the launch of RWS in 2016 to ensure alignment and harmonisation of the audit process and to maximise the positive impact of both programmes on the environment, farming communities, and livestock." - source: https://www.discoverzq.com/rws