When the consumer starts to advocate sustainability,
we actually stand a chance to save the world.
DOES THE WORLD NEED ANOTHER FASHION BRAND?
If we're so interested in making the world a better place, why introduce a new brand? Wouldn’t it be better if we just put on our vegan sandals and hemp kaftans, and led the fight against consumerism?
Well, you can change a lot, but not human nature. As long as we need to make an impression on someone else, we will dress up (or down) to make our mark. The fashion industry, however, is one of the most polluting industries in the world. So we thought our role should be to give people better and more sustainable choices for their wardrobe.
WE MUST WORK WITH NATURE NOT AGAINST IT
Every choice we make, both as consumers and manufacturers, has an impact on the future. Which is why we think and rethink over and over again every time we design a product or pick a contractor.
We don’t want to be a part of the fast fashion industry, creating low-quality fast fashion with non-renewable fabrics that are bad for both the environment and your wallet. Our ambition is to make functional, great looking clothes with the design and quality that will make them last for years, and the ability to be recycled or composted after use.
As all manufacturing has an impact on the environment in one way or another, we’re probably never going to reach our goal of being a 100% sustainable brand. But we promise to push extremely hard every day to find new and better choices. It’s kind of in our genes.
OUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
Scandinavian design is built on the idea that every little detail should add value, have a reason and a clear function.
Our approach to product design and development has four pillars:
#1 Make it last
We don’t want our products to end up in the cupboard or as landfill. That’s why longevity should be defined by both durability and a clean look. After all, your favorite piece of clothing was probably never the pink rayon shirt with yellow flowers anyway.
#2 Make it work
Consider every detail, and match it with an active outdoor lifestyle. Look for smart new ways to bring function to an everyday urban lifestyle.
#3 Make it appealing
When the consumer starts to advocate sustainability, we actually stand a chance to change the world. And there is no reason you shouldn't look great doing it.
#4 Make it circular
Either we make it recyclable and renewable. Or we make it compostable. That’s why we aim for natural and plant-based fibers for the whole collection, and also why we strive to use «mono materials» in each garment as this makes recycling more efficient.
OUR SUSTAINABLE PROMISE.
The ultimate goal is to make functional clothes that look and feel fantastic and at the same time cause no harm to the planet. This is, of course, an almost impossible task, as all production has an impact on the environment in one way or another, but it’s not going to stop us from trying.
We are never going to compromise our quest to give you and the world a better alternative. Ever.
During design, we plan how to keep materials in different cycles. We call it a mono-material strategy. Fibers derived from nature like Cotton, Tencel, and Wool are kept separate to manmade fibers like polyester. All materials can be recycled at the end of their life. Biobased materials are prepared for biodegradation in order to return to nature.
This doesn't mean there aren't challenges; trims, material blends, even sewing thread. We prefer high quality to support long life, while looking for new solutions to go with the biological cycles.
For every product, the ambition is a 100% mono-material composition.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Fair and decent working conditions, as well as environmental standards in our supply chain, is of high importance to >A. We always cooperate closely with our suppliers and business partners in pursuit of this aim. We have prepared and communicated a Code of Conduct to all Tier 1 suppliers in order to illustrate what we expect. The code of conduct covers human rights, workers’ rights, the environment, and animal welfare.
>A is a member of the Initiativ for Etisk Handel. (Ethical Trading Initiative Norway) IEH is a membership organization, a resource center and advocate for ethical trade practices. >A reports annually to IEH Norway, a report made publicly available.
Currently production at the following factories:
- Tekosöm (Poland)
- Olmac (Portugal)
- Marbäcks Tricot (Latvia)
- LTP (Lithauenia)
- Kalito (China)
- IMW (Portugal)
- Baruma (Taiwan)
Cradle to Cradle Certified™
Cradle to Cradle™ certification documents a product`s performance in material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. It ensures that product ingredients are compatible with human health and nature and can safely return to biological cycles and recycling without harmful substances.
The Global Organic Textile Standard is the world's leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well. GOTS can certify all levels of a product from fibre to finished product.
The bluesign® system eliminates harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process and sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production. This ensures that the final textile product meets very stringent consumer safety requirements.
ÖkoTex is a worldwide certification system for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products at all processing levels. Test criteria often go far beyond international standards to ensure the industry has a responsible use of chemicals, and contributes to high product safety from a consumer’s point of view.