People & planet first...
Quality does not exist without responsibility. It's no longer acceptable to consume to the extent we are without making every possible effort to minimise our impact on the environment.
In reality it's very difficult consume anything in a truly 'planet-positive' manner, but what we can do is be thoughtful and honest in how we choose to produce and consume. So, we made a commitment to ourselves and our customers towards sourcing, printing and packaging our products in the most ethical and sustainable way possible. It's just the right thing to do and we are continuously looking for ways to improve.
Here are some of the things we're doing right now...
1. GOTS Certified 100% Organic Cotton
Not all cotton is created equally which is why we only work with suppliers who source, process and manufacture organic cotton to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) which, in the case of VÉLOKIND's suppliers, are independently certified by the Soil Association. It's the world's leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres which defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.
Why choose certified organic cotton?
Better for the environment
Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic pesticides that, in non-organic systems, are responsible for poisoning wildlife and rivers. Organic fibres are also grown without the use of synthetic fertilisers which cannot themselves be produced without generating significant CO2. Avoiding synthetic fertilisers also helps build natural soil fertility, locking CO2 into the soil and helping mitigate climate change.
Better for farm workers
By avoiding potentially toxic pesticides cotton workers benefit by avoiding the associated health problems and deaths common in non-organic cotton production. It's estimated that 16,000 people each year die due to the use of toxic pesticides. Avoiding pesticides also reduces production costs and farmer debts – the burden of pesticide debt has resulted in thousands of suicides in India which is the world’s largest cotton producer.
Non GM promotes a more sustainable approach to farming and less dependence by farmers on multinational corporations. GM cotton has failed to deliver the benefits promoted by the multinationals leading to significant financial and emotional stress and suicide amongst farmers.
Restricted use of chemicals
GOTS ensures that the chemicals used in processing textiles meet strict requirements on toxicity and biodegradability. Not only is this better for factory workers but the final products are restricted in the amount of allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemical residues. These residues can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and may cause allergies, skin rashes or respiratory problems.
Better conditions for factory workers
Poor working conditions and rights in the garments industry are common place. GOTS certified organic textiles must meet social criteria based on the International Labour Organisation conventions. These cover minimum wages, working hours, child labour, freedom of association, discrimination, harsh or inhumane treatment and more.
2. Ethically Manufactured Garments
3. Eco-Friendly Water-Based Inks
When it comes to screen printing garments, there is a basic choice between using plastic-based inks (plastisol) or water-based inks.
Most commercial screen printers use plastisol inks, which are easy to use, last well and produce a 'bright' print. However, plastisol inks contain PVC and phthalates that are harmful to the environment. Water based inks on the other hand do not and require fewer chemicals to clean the screens after they’ve been used.
In fact, not only is our organic cotton GOTS certified, but so too are our water-based inks. Our inks are 100% solvent free, yet still deliver a superb quality, superior 'soft hand' feel, excellent breathability and durability.
4. Skin-Friendly Clothing
All VÉLOKIND organic cottons and inks are tested and certified under OEKO-TEX Standard 100. The OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 is an independent testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and end products at all stages of production. It tests for harmful substances and focuses on the actual use of the textile. The more intensive the skin contact of a product, the stricter the human ecological requirements to be met. All VÉLOKIND organic cottons and inks meets Class I criteria for textile items for babies and toddlers up to 3 years, the highest of the four classes of certification.
5. Responsible Garment Decoration & Packaging Choices
We think hard about every element to ensure that it is sourced responsibly and functions appropriately without being excessive. Here are some of the things were are doing:
- Woven labels - 100% recycled polyester
- Woven label thread - 100% organic cotton (GOTS certified)
- Hang tags - 100% recycled card
- Hang tag thread - 100% organic cotton (GOTS certified)
- Tissue paper - 99% recycled paper
- Boxes - 80% recycled, 20% FSC certified virgin card
- Self-adhesive tape - kraft paper
- All paper, labels and envelopes - 100% recycled paper
- Bookmark decoration - used inner tube, various brands ;)
We're proud to say our packaging is plastic free and fully recyclable.
If you have any ideas as to how we could improve we'd love to hear from you.