Guidelines of Your Eco-Recipe

Sustainable or responsible business practices are not a defined end point. It is a journey each brand and business takes in order to continually learn, do better, and have less of a negative impact on our planet and our citizens. Each brand can create an Eco-recipe that best fits its values, beliefs, human, material and financial resources. Each step taken toward a healthier brand is important.

These are some examples:

Textiles/Materials

  • Natural Fabrics: Fabrics made of natural, decomposable fibres.
  • Organic Fabrics: Natural Fibres grown without the use of any pesticides, herbicides, artificial fertilizers or other toxic materials.
  • Up-cycled/ Recycled fiber: Converting waste materials and/or discarded products into new. Fabric made from reclaimed or fibres or post-consumer material.
  • Eco Dyes and Eco Printing: Use of natural dyes, non-toxic dyes, pigment dying, use of water based inks, low-energy printing, and textile laser printing.
  • Craft/Artisan Fabric:  Handmade textiles and/or finishes, E.g. se of methods such as knitting, felting weaving, embroidery, and handmade printing or dying
  • Vegan Fabric: Manmade materials used instead of animal leather or animal tissue products.
  • Second Hand : The use of any second hand textiles, material, notions.
  • Vintage : The use of any textiles, materials, notions, etc. from a previous era.

Production

  • Ethically Produced: Collections produced with respect to people and the environment. This could mean being Fair-trade certified to ensure people behind the products are being treated fairly with reasonable work hours and a fair living wage.
  • Produced Locally:  Manufacturing locally (inside 250 miles from the retail point) creates more local jobs, helps the local economy and helps to reduce the pollution from long distance transportation.
  • Produced Nationally: Manufacturing nationally means inside of the same country as the retail point. Creates National Jobs and support the country’s economy.
  • Minimum waste: The minimum use of materials and fabrics when producing to reduce wastage. This can include the number of fitting samples produced, having a good inventory management, and re-using or cutting less patterns.
  • Low-impact technology (L.I.T): Using renewable energy, less electricity, Natural dyes or finishing
  • Minimum water wastage: Using no water, minimum amount of water or re-using water to wash, the use of Ozone technology
  • Custom Production: Made-to-order fashion that encourages quality and avoids mass-produced disposable fashion. It reduces over production and encourages the production of sustainable fashion. It also fits the customer properly for years to come.
  • Craftsmanship / Artisanal production: A production process characterized by minimal automation, little division of labor, and a small number of highly skilled craftsmen as opposed to a larger, less-trained traditional workforce. Participants in an artisan process may be self-employed, or employed by a smaller-scale business. Opposite of industrial process. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/artisan-process.html#ixzz3njurNRba

Distribution

  • Shipping Packaging: re-usable bins and minimum use of plastic bags, boxes and wrapping tissues.
  • Shipments: Reduce the amount of shipments per week, month or per year to decrease pollution from the use of transportation.
  • Transportation: Delivered by electric, hybrid or diesel vehicles. If locally produced, the use public transportation or by foot delivery, helps decrease pollution.
  • On-line sales and minimum use of middlemen.  Having a direct contact to clients or retailers can help reduce the amount of energy consumption, transportation, and materials. Minimizing the use of middlemen also increases the transparency of your business operations.
  • Offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions associated with shipping.

Marketing

  • Green Packaging: Sustainable packages involving the increase of their life cycle. E.g. bags made from fabric or lasting materials that could be used for other purposes. Eco-friendly and recyclable packaging.
  • Advertising: Minimum or no use of paper for fliers and catalogues.
  • Labelling:  Use of recycled paper and fabrics for labels and price tags, miminum number of tags per item.
  • Visual Presentation: Use of recycled props for window displays and use of recycled hangers.
  • Offer a recycling or exchange program for pieces the consumer do not wear anymore.

Final Products

  • Sustainable/durable products: Products that will last a lifetime and do not have to be constantly replaced, because of their outstanding quality.
  • Multi-season: Creating pieces that can be used through the year and help reduce consumerism each season. Collections made to be fashionable all year round.
  • Functional and Versatile: multi-wear/multi-use products.
  • Recyclable products.