People need to know how their clothes are made, who makes them, the conditions they’re made in, where they end up, and how that process affects people across the globe. We believe the journey to lessening our impact starts with transparency.
OUR FACTORY PARTNERS
The garments we make in Peru are currently produced across seven factories. We aim to work only with factories that have received (or are in the process of receiving) their WRAP certification. WRAP, or Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production, is the world's largest factory-based certification program for manufacturers of clothing, footwear, and other sewn products. WRAP certification ensures humane and fair practices (including no child or forced labor) by checking payrolls, benefits, and hours/week.
Two factories (Diseño ACMM, Catalogo) are WRAP certified. This means they are certified according to twelve "Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production Principles." The Principles encompass human resources management, health and safety, environmental practices, and legal compliance including import/export and customs compliance and security standards. Catalongo, the factory we use for our largest category (knits) has received WRAP Platinum certification.
Right now, we are also producing at two factories (4S Textil, Tsonkiri) that are not WRAP certified, however, they are in the process of receiving their certification. WTS (World Textile Sourcing, our production partner) has committed to supporting the cost of having both factories officially become WRAP certified and they are currently undergoing the costly and lengthy review process. In the meantime WTS closely monitors both factories to ensure that all WRAP principles and Peruvian government standards are met. Tsonkiri is on track to earn their certifications by the end of the calendar year.
The other three facilities where we produce our garments (TAP, Marga, and Alpafina) are currently too small to receive WRAP certification. After thorough review, our choice to support these smaller operations is based on their strengths and skills and our desire to employ local artisans. As they grow, our production partner, World Textile Sourcing, will support them in receiving their certification. Much like 4S Textil and Tsonkiri, WTS closely monitors each of these facilities to ensure that all WRAP principles and Peruvian government standards are met.
ALL of our partners have made a commitment to ZERO WASTE. Our fabric scraps from cutting are bundled and then re-purposed into mops, rags, and mattress fillers, or recycled into new fibers, ensuring a circular supply chain that keeps waste out of landfills.
Our clothing is mindfully designed in Los Angeles. Though it’s a small percentage of what we do, approximately 15% of our garments are produced locally. We aim to work with local factories who have a minimal environmental footprint.
ACROSS THE BOARD
We pay everyone in our supply chain a living wage. Yes, this contributes to a higher production cost, but we believe it’s worth it. For context, this list includes;
the farmers who grow and pick the cotton,
the people who sort the cotton,
the people who spin the cotton into yarn,
the people who dye and process the yarn,
the people who knit the yarn into fabric,
the people who dye the fabric,
the people who process fabric,
The people who finish the fabric,
the people who cut the fabric,
the people who sew the fabric,
the people who wash and dye the garments,
the people who finish and press the garments,
the people who make the labels and trims that get sewn into the garments,
the people who do quality check on the garments,
the people who ship the garments out of Peru,
the people who receive and ship the garments in LA,
the people who design the garments in LA,
the people who fit the garments in LA,
the people who coordinate production on the garments in LA,
the people who coordinate production on the garments in Peru,
the people who photograph the garments,
and the people who build and maintain our website in order to sell the garments.
The list goes on and on and on of the hundreds of hands who touch one tee shirt so that it can be perfect when you wear it.
We evaluate every fabric before adding it to our line and have created a fabric grading system to hold ourselves accountable. If it doesn't receive at least a “C” grade on our scale, it isn’t added. Our goal is to highlight the most eco-friendly elements of our fabrics, and also to acknowledge where improvements in our sourcing and supply chain can (and should) be made. It is our belief that making this information available will help you make responsible decisions on our website AND ask the right questions when shopping on other sites. We are committed to providing all of the good (and the not so good) information of our fabrics and practices to our customers. We also provide the landfill lifetime of our clothing in the hopes that it empowers you to think about the full lifecycle of the pieces you buy.
When it comes to prints, the environmentally conscious choice is digital printing. All of our fabric printing is done digitally with pigment ink. Digital fabric printing has 95% less waste, uses 60% less water, and 55% less chemicals than traditional rotary printing methods. The pigment ink we use can go straight into a finishing process with almost no water consumption. Other printing methods require washing (high water consumption) and steaming (high electrical consumption) before finishing. Printing digitally reduces water usage by up to 60% and electrical usage by up to 30%.
We produce approximately 85% of our clothing in Peru, utilizing a vertical manufacturing process with our partner, WTS. All of the cotton we use is grown, harvested by hand, spun into yarn, knit into fabric, cut and sewn into garments locally (mostly in the city of Lima). This local “seed to garment” approach minimizes pollution from transportation and dramatically reduces our carbon footprint as compared to industry standards.
Our choice to produce in Peru is based on the fact that Pima Cotton is native to Peru. This fiber is deeply tied to the traditions and culture of Peru, as indigenous people have cultivated the fiber for thousands of years. Peruvian Pima Cotton, unlike other cotton varietals, is drought tolerant. This means that it takes 50% less water to grow. Utilizing this fiber is further preserving a tradition that provides income to many and helps the local economy of indigenous people. Our sources work directly with communities in Peru to provide opportunity and ensure that quality and ethical standards are met.
We choose our partners based on many factors, including their values, ethical labor practices, worker wages, social compliance, and certifications.
We understand that truly sustainable development means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We are proud that our manufacturing partner in Peru, World Textile Sourcing, shares this vision.
One way that WTS is investing in future generations of their extended community is their commitment to childhood education in Racchi. Racchi is one of the traditional heritage communities located high in the Andes Mountains just outside of Cusco, Peru. Cusco is a tourist town and a stop for many people on their way to Machu Picchu or the scared valley, but surrounding Cusco are many small villages. Due to their isolation, the ancient traditions of Incan society are still the way of life in Racchi. The goal of WTS’s initiative is to improve the quality of childhood education. This is done by introducing tools that will help improve the community’s quality of life, while still respecting their culture and traditions.
Since 2014, WTS has been donating sewing machines to schools in Racchi. This donation helps parents, children, and teachers make uniforms, aprons, and personal items for the community. In addition to the sewing machines, they provide fabric, thread, elastics, and training. By teaching this skill not only are they increasing future income potential, but they are also creating a more engaged way of learning that fosters creativity. This program is designed to help the future generations in Racchi meet their own needs and preserve their way of life.
Physically improving the schools for safety and comfort is another component of this initiative. So far, WTS has been able to complete the following projects in Racchi: creating additional classroom spaces, reconstructing the library and greenhouse, implementing classroom textile/tooling audiovisuals, building a pedagogical park, and renovating roofing and water systems. They have also helped to create bio gardens in the community. Farming methods are taught as part of a workshop and the vegetables grown in the bio garden are then distributed among the community. The locally grown fruit and vegetables improves the overall health in Racchi.
It’s plastic free. Always.
Our shipping envelopes are 100% certified compostable and our card inserts are made of 100% recycled materials. We choose not to include a return shipping label to reduce potential waste. Every piece in our line is enclosed in a 100% certified compostable bag. When composted, the bag will fully biodegrade within one year.