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ETHICS & SUSTAINABILITY

OUR MISSION

Our design mission is to make sustainable clothing affordable.   We believe that sustainable fashion doesn’t have to come at a huge cost to you or the planet.   We want sustainability to be the norm, and not an out-of-reach luxury. 

OUR PEOPLE 

Our people come first, always.  We proudly work very closely with a small factory in Jiangsu, China, who have grown with us - providing jobs for the local people.  Our factory conditions are of high standards and are continuously monitored - as is the happiness and wellbeing of the team. We ensure our staff are treated fairly across our supply chain and receive a living wage.  Our staff are our extended family.  We think it’s important you know who made your clothes.

 

 

OUR PLANET

By 2025, we strive to produce 100% of our products from recycled or organic fibres.   These are some of our favs: 

REPREVE®

Swimwear presents a conundrum when it comes to sustainability.  Most swimwear is made from plastic based fibres which aren’t biodegradable and release micro-fibres - plastic based hair-like strands that pollute our waterways. For this reason we recommend hand washing your bikinis to limit the excretion of microfibres and you only buy swimwear you truly love!

Thankfully, we’ve found what we believe is a sustainable alternative (or the best currently available):  REPREVE®.  REPREVE® transform recycled bottles into fibre by melting down post-consumer bottles into pellets which are then spun into yarn to produce fabric.  Compared to making virgin fiber, making REPREVE® offsets using new petroleum, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and conserving water and energy in the process.   Our REPREVE® fabrics are also

Standard OEKO-TEX® Certified meaning they are free from harmful substances.  100% of our swimwear produced from 2021 onwards is proudly made from REPREVE®.

REPREVE® Unifi, Inc.  

ORGANIC COTTON

Traditional cotton is grown with harmful pesticides that cause detrimental impacts to the environment and the health of the farmers.  Traditional cotton uses 11 times more water, contributes more CO2 emissions and has negative effects on the lives of many farmers compared with organic cotton. 

We have begun using organic cotton wherever possible and will strive to use only organic cotton going forward.  Our organic cotton is Standard 100 OEKO-TEX® Certified (free from harmful substances), BCI certified (Better Cotton Initiative; to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector's future), and GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standard;  recognized as the world's leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers).

 ORGANIC LINEN

Organic linen is the holy grail of sustainable fabrics.  Derived from flax, linen requires minimal water and pesticides and grows just about anywhere.  There is very little waste as the entire linen plant is used.  Linen is durable and can withstand high temperatures.  When untreated, linen is also fully biodegradable.  Our organic linen is OEKO-TEX® Certified (free from harmful substances) and GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standard;  recognized as the world's leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers).

 TENCEL®

TENCEL® uses an environmentally friendly closed loop production process to transform wood pulp into cellulosic fibers with high resource efficiency and low environmental impact.  This process recycles process water and reuses the solvent at a recovery rate of more than 99%, reducing dangerous waste.  It also requires less energy and water than cotton to produce. 

We aren’t perfect, and we have a long road ahead of us, but strive to be at the forefront of sustainable brands.  

 

ANIMAL WELFARE 

We have a strict no animal products policy.   All of our products are 100% Vegan. 

These are some reasons why we don’t use animal based materials:

PETA has found time and again that well-intentioned certifications do not guarantee humane practices – a fact that even industry sources acknowledge. 

SILK

Silk is the fiber that silkworms weave to make cocoons. To obtain silk, distributors boil the worms alive inside their cocoons. Anyone who has ever seen worms startle when their dark homes are uncovered must acknowledge that worms are sensate—they produce endorphins and have a physical response to pain.

LEATHER

Leather can be made from cows, pigs, goats, and sheep; exotic animals such as alligators, ostriches, and kangaroos; and even dogs and cats, who are slaughtered for their meat and skin, which exports their skins around the world. Because leather is normally not labeled, you never really know where (or whom) it came from.  Buying leather directly contributes to factory farms and slaughterhouses because skin is the most economically important co-product of the meat industry. Leather is also no friend of the environment, as it shares responsibility for all the environmental destruction caused by the meat industry as well as the pollution caused by the toxins used in tanning.

WOOL

Wool comes from sheep, which due to genetic mutilation and breeding methods, these sheep produce excessive amounts of wool.     In a similar manner to cattle farming, sheep farming generates huge quantities of greenhouse gas emissions which cause climate change.  Wool production also leads to deforestation and the production methods release toxic chemicals.   On top of the wool trade’s horrendous environmental impact, sheep suffer terribly in the industry. Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast work without regard for the welfare of the sheep.

According to the “Pulse of the Fashion Industry” report and the Higg Materials Sustainability Index, the greenhouse-gas emissions generated by wool production are far greater than those caused by the production of acrylic, nylon, viscose, and many other synthetic materials.

FUR

Animals on fur farms spend their entire lives confined to cruel living conditions. Fur farmers use the cheapest and cruellest killing methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gassing and poisoning.   Even animals who are trapped in the wild suffer for days.  To prevent decomposition, furs are loaded with chemicals, which has devastating environmental impacts. 

DOWN

Down typically comes from chickens, turkeys and geese raised for meat, confined to cruel living conditions.  When they’re slaughtered, they’re first electrically stunned, their throats slit and bled, they’re scalded to facilitate the removal of the large feathers.  Some of the birds are still conscious when they are scaled.  Down is also often plucked from  live birds multiple times in their lives.  A process so inhumane is outlawed in Western European countries.  

ANGORA

Angora wool is violently ripped from the rabbits sensitive skin as they scream in pain.  Even the rabbits whose fur is cut or shorn also suffer: their front and back legs are usually tightly tethered and they are often wounded by the cutting tools as they struggle desperately to escape.  Additionally, they spend their lives confined to cruel living conditions.  

The above information has been sourced from ("Animals Used for Clothing | Issues | PETA Australia", 2021). 
 

OUR PRACTICES

PACKAGING

Our sustainability mission doesn’t end with our products.  We have proudly just transitioned all of our packaging to 100% biodegradable packaging made from plants.  Our mailer bags are in the process of being transitioned to 100% recycled poly mailers.  But we want to do even better, if you have any eco-friendly solutions, let’s chat.


NO MASS PRODUCTION

We have implemented waitlist products to our store allowing us to minimise the amount of excess inventory we produce. This will contribute to the reduction of waste produced in the fashion industry each year.

DIGITAL PRINTING

We strive to only use digitally printed fabrics. Digitally Printed Fabrics virtually eliminate the consumption of water and the discharge of noxious effluents. Using low volumes of liquid dispersions of Pigment Colours, therefore offering a positive environmental impact. Digital Printing also removes the need for water and post processing, since colour fastness is achieved by heat fixation alone as opposed to lengthy steam fixation and washing off procedures.

MINIMAL WASTE PRODUCTION

Our factory use a pattern making software that uses AI to intelligently map our pattern layout to optimise the fabric usage and avoid waste. This leaves us with minimal to no waste. Any bigger offcuts are then repurposed into accessories.

CIRCULARITY 
VINTAGE
We sell a range of vintage products in our retail and on our New Zealand online store. We believe in circularity and giving products another life.
TAKE BACK PROGRAMME
We are working hard behind the scenes to introduce a take-back programme, to give your products a second life.  
NO WASTE
All returns are cleaned, mended, repaired or repurposed, we strive to ensure nothing goes to waste.  

 

CHARITY

We support the Coral Gardeners:  1% of all bikini sales goes to the Coral Gardeners.  At the end of every month, we adopt coral to account for 1% of that months bikini sales.  You can keep track of our coral adoption journey on our socials.  

Here are our adoption certificates this far:

We support the Breast Cancer Foundation and One Tree Planted. You can purchase Breast Cancer products in store with 100% of the proceeds going towards the Breast Cancer Foundation. We also have a donation bucket in store - SHEKOU matches 100% of these donations. 

You can donate to One Tree Planted via our TikTok bio - we also match these donations.

CERTIFICATIONS

*We are currently seeking legal permission from our partner fabric mill's to share additional certifications on our website.  

Our certification number's are the basis for customers to obtain market support online and therefore we need to go through the correct legal process to share these certifications publicly.  

 

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