Owning Our Impact
NATION LTD is beautiful, comfortable, and perfectly undone. At the cornerstone of our DNA is the belief that when you buy better you buy less. The idea that shopping mindfully will result in a wardrobe full of effortless essentials you truly love is why we focus on impact, quality, and longevity over trends.
EVERYTHING WE MAKE HAS AN IMPACT ON THE PLANET
Environmental responsibility in fashion is an ongoing conversation, and our approach is about progress (not perfection) and finding the best ways to have the least impact on our planet. We believe in transparency. That means 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’ve recently chosen to step away from the word “sustainable”. In our efforts to be honest, we realize that nothing in fashion is truly sustainable. Everything has an impact on the planet. We see the "S word" all over campaigns for companies that have a tremendous environmental impact. It’s sometimes greenwashing and it can be manipulative. We feel the word “impact” is more truthful.
AT OUR CORE WE’RE A T-SHIRT BRAND (MAKING A QUIET DIFFERENCE)
Our intention is simple: offer elevated staples that make you look and feel good, day in and day out. Our feminine spin on classic styles brings you one step closer to mastering that elusive effortless look. Our collection is made for women of all shapes and sizes, and our approach is guided by our commitment to do better for the planet. Always.
GET TO KNOW US
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 standard.
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.
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.
Corporate headquarters. Our clothing is mindfully designed in Los Angeles and approximately 15% of our garments are produced locally. We aim to work with local factories who have a minimal environmental footprint.
Ranked based on social and environmental impact.
We developed a fabric grading system to hold ourselves accountable. It highlights the most eco-friendly elements of our fabrics, and acknowledges where improvements in sourcing can (and should) be made.
NATION LTD x thredUP
Clothing circularity. Chic.
We’ve partnered with thredUP to make it easy to (responsibly) clean out your closet. Our resale marketplace extends the lifetime of our pieces by keeping them out of a landfill.
WE STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT EVERY DECISION MATTERS...
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.
OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
We are currently undergoing a complete audit of our business and production processes to get a more exact cost of offsetting emissions. We’re looking forward to sharing more information on this process as we go. While we verify our current footprint, it is being estimated by EcoCart through verified industry standards for similar businesses. EcoCart’s methodology centers around scientific best practices, widely accepted by GHG accounting experts and utilized by many Fortune 500 companies.
Through EcoCart we are proud to offer carbon neutral shipping. They’ve helped us estimate the cost of offsetting the emissions from manufacturing and shipping each order. We’ve given our customers the option to make their order carbon neutral at checkout, usually adding 1-2% to their total. EcoCart then uses the extra cents to donate to a carbon offset project. Currently, our carbon offset dollars go to The Purus Project, a tropical forest conservation project in Acre, Brazil. They work to prevent deforestation across 105,000 hectares of pristine rainforest in the Amazon basin, protecting some of the world’s most biodiverse habitats. They also provide alternate models of economic development to local communities. We chose this cause due to our deep ties to South America.
Each project EcoCart works with is verified by a third-party internationally-recognized verification standard, such as the Gold Standard, the Verified Carbon Standard (VERRA), the Climate Action Reserve, and the American Carbon Standard. In addition to working with projects that are verified under the world's major carbon standards, EcoCart goes above and beyond verification with additional project selection criteria. With a rigorous verification process, EcoCart searches the globe for projects that are legitimately reducing carbon pollution. They confirm the science and financials, making sure each project meets the toughest requirements of the world’s major carbon standards—including the United Nations.
EcoCart projects don’t just slow climate change, but also have a positive impact on local communities and animal habitats. By working closely with project developers, EcoCart ensures that each program is stable, sound, and capable of doing good for both people and the planet.
By carefully tracking the emissions reductions of each project, EcoCart provides a greater certainty that what they see is what they get. EcoCart also ensures that all project verification documentation and reports are available.
In 2021 we reduced the amount of our wholesale sampling by 57%, instead choosing to utilize our visual digital assets in better ways by eliminating the sampling of multiple colors and core styles. For context, our showrooms used to receive a sample of each item in the line. It’s industry standard for sales purposes, but it got us thinking about the negative environmental impact with regard to resources, waste, carbon emissions, and water for producing this many samples. Our reduction in sampling translates to about 774 less samples in a season, and that is roughly 3,096 samples in a year.
QUALITY COMES AT A HIGHER COST
Our choice to use premium fabrics and pay everyone in the supply chain a living wage contributes to a higher production cost, but we believe those things are 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, process, and 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.
LOWERING OUR IMPACT - THE JOURNEY (SO FAR)
See where we’ve been, and where we’re headed.
Because we look at this as an ever-evolving goal that we continue working toward today and every day, we are consciously adjusting our business practices as we look for ways to do better for our people and our planet. We wanted to share some of what we’re proud to have achieved and what we’re focused on achieving in the (near) future.
DO GOOD, LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD.