1. MATERIALS AND ECOLOGICAL IMPACT
For every piece of clothing, we research the most sustainable and feasible options. We only use recycled or organic materials and consider all phases in the production process of these materials. We work mainly with recycled polyamide, recycled polyester and organic cotton fabrics.
The majority of our uni-colored clothing is made from a sustainable techno-fabric that is made with Econyl® yarn, a 100% regenerated polyamide fiber from post-consumer materials.
The Econyl® Regeneration system starts with rescuing waste, like fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring and industrial plastic from landfills and oceans all over the world. That waste is then sorted and cleaned to recover all of the nylon possible. Through a radical regeneration and purification process, the nylon waste is recycled right back to its original purity. That means Econyl® regenerated nylon is exactly the same as virgin nylon. The fiber is a product of the Italian company Aquafil.
For every ton of Econyl® raw material, we are able to save 7 barrels of crude oil and 5,7 tonnes of CO2 eq. emissions. So as well as being a solution on waste, ECONYL® regenerated nylon is also better when it comes to climate change.
54% of our collection contains the Econyl® fiber. As we produce sportswear, we also need to include a percentage of elastane in our fabrics. The average proportion contains 80% fully recycled polyamide and 20% elastane. Our elastane is sourced from the extremely durable LYCRA® XTRA LIFE, which we cherish for its strength increasing garment longevity. We buy the fabric from the Italian companies Carvico S.p.A. and Jersey Lomellina S.p.A.
Our printed garments consist of recycled polyester that is made from pre-consumer textile spills and post-consumer materials. As we produce sportswear, we also need to include a percentage of elastane in our fabrics. The proportion is 78% fully recycled polyester and 22% elastane. Our elastane is sourced from the extremely durable LYCRA® XTRA LIFE, which we cherish for its strength increasing garment longevity. We buy the fabric from the Italian company Carvico S.p.A.
Part of our collection is made from the sustainable techno-fabric SEQUAL®, a 100% regenerated polyester and high quality fiber created from marine waste.The SEAQUAL® organization pays fishermen from the Spanish coasts of the Mediterranean Sea to collect garbage and bring it ashore. Additional garbage harvesting platforms will be built in The Americas and in Asia. Each material, including aluminum, metal, glass or plastic, goes to its own unique recycling chain. Textile technology enables us to take the plastics found in the ocean and upcycle them into new yarns that are used to produce our high quality sportswear fabrics.
We use the recycled polyester fabrics in 25% of our collections.
All cotton we use is made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton. The GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is the world’s leading standard for the production process for organic textiles. They guarantee the entire production process for responsibly grown cotton, including the environmental and social aspects of cultivation. This means no hazardous chemicals are used, the farmers are free to choose which crops they grow and they can grow their own food.
Organic cotton uses less water and energy because it gets more time to grow. The land also gets more time to recover after harvesting, so the soil doesn’t slowly become infertile. GOTS sets strict conditions for factories where hand-picked cotton is processed: good labor conditions and a good working environment.
21% of our collections contain organic cotton.
All of our fabrics are certified with the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®. This is a worldwide consistent, independent testing and certification system for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products at all processing levels. The certification means that no hazardous chemicals such as Azo colourants, Phthalates, Per fluorinated chemicals… are used. The standard contributes to high and effective product safety from a consumer’s point of view.
When we receive our garments from the factory, they are packaged in recycled plastic. We are currently working on an alternative for the plastic packaging of these productions. By 2021 we want to have a ban on these plastic packages.
All packaging for e-commerce is plastic-free and made from 100% recycled paper products or compostable bio-based films. Our hangtags are made from 100% recycled paper and serve multiple uses: after being a price tag, customers can use it as a travel tag to attach to their luggage.
We are a vegan brand. We do not use materials from animal origin. Also, our products are PVC free.
2. SUPPLIERS AND ETHICAL IMPACT
As we want to keep our ecological footprint as low as possible, we choose to only work with suppliers within Western Europe. In addition, all of our suppliers are subject to EU legislation, which implies no forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace. In addition, staff do not work more than 48 hours per week on average, receive a sufficient living wage and have voluntary and paid overtime.
Our fabric suppliers are established in Italy and Portugal. This is a list of all our fabric suppliers:
Carvico S.p.A.Via Don Angelo Pedrinelli, 96, 24030 Carvico BG, Italy.
Jersey Lomellina S.p.A.Via Don Angelo Pedrinelli, 94, 24030 Carvico BG, Italy.
Valérius Textêis Rua Industrial do Aldão, Apartado 219, 4750-078 Vila Frescaínha, S.Martinho, Barcelos, Portugal.
All our garments are produced with one supplier: Valérius Textêis in Barcelos, Portugal.
Besides being subject to EU legislation, they are also member of BSCI and audited by Sedex (SMETA). Sedex stores information on ethical and responsible practices covered by International Labour Organization Conventions, Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code, SA8000, ISO14001 and industry specific codes of conduct.
Our enterprise agrees to respect the following labor principles set out in the amfort BSCI Code of Conduct.
3. USE OF ENERGY AND FURNITURE
Our Belgian office, warehouse and shipping facilities run 100% on renewable energy. We generate solar energy from our own solar panels and warm water from our own solar water heating systems. Our furniture is made from recycled materials or second-hand.
We strongly believe that transparency is the only way to achieve a more sustainable future of fashion. This is why we publish an annual sustainability report to inform our customers about the products they buy from us.
In addition, we try to provide more easily accessible information on product level. When buying an item through our webshop, customers can immediately find the suppliers of our fabrics and garment production.
5. END OF LIFE
We encourage our customers to return their pure by luce garments after use. In exchange, they get a 10% discount on their next order.
We will collect these items and fabric scraps from our own production and make carpets out of them. This will be a cooperation with carpet of life, a fair design brand.
6. SHORTCOMINGS AND GOALS FOR THE FUTURE
We realize that we are still far from perfect and need to keep working to ensure a more sustainable future for pure by luce. We have some issues that we want to tackle in the future:
We are concerned about microplastics coming off garments during the washing process. Although working with recycled fibers is much more sustainable in terms of raw materials and use of energy, small plastic parts could still come off.
The smoothness of our fabrics already result in a minimal amount of plastic particles coming off while washing. We are offering a washing bag that holds the small particles so they can be disposed properly.
While developing future collections, we keep looking for the most sustainable options. We want to keep learning and keep developing more sustainable garments. We are currently exploring the options of using other sustainable textiles in our collections.
We only work with suppliers within Europe but would like to decrease the distance between our suppliers even more in order to decrease the carbon emission due to transport. Also shipping for e-commerce has an impact on our carbon footprint. We are looking into ways to find more sustainable shipping managers.