SUSTAINABILITY AT MARJON SNIEDERS
We are very conscious of the fact that fashion in 2022 must satisfy more than style and quality alone. The fact that brands, agencies and shops are transparent in their production processes, visions and actively engaged in developments towards a more sustainable fashion world are increasingly high on our list of demands and those of our customers. We realise that we are only just on our way to a more sustainable and transparent collection ourselves, but with awareness at number one, we are on the right track. During brand surveys, the subject is therefore also high on our agenda. We find it important that our questions, and those of our customers, are taken seriously by agencies and fashion houses. And from an initial introductory meeting, we very quickly sense whether we share the same values and requirements. With openness, transparency and honesty, we hope for a personal and sustainable collaboration that only strengthens the processes between the brands, us as team Marjon Snieders and our customers.
On this page we try to mention per brand the relevant sustainability visions, reports, statements and future developments so that you can make an appropriate and conscious choice while shopping in our shop. All information we received from our brands or copied from the official websites we have coded with so-called 'Marjon Snieders transparency codes'. On the basis of these codes, you get per brand, and at a glance, a summary conclusion of what brands are currently transparent about in their sustainability reports.
Transparency codes Marjon Snieders:
(H) HUMAN RIGHTS (employees, humanitarian projects)
(F) FUTURE (planned projects, investments, innovation)
(P) PLANET (recycling, up-cycling, biological material use, water waste, general awareness).
(A) ANIMAL RIGHTS (animal welfare, alternatives)
In several sustainability programmes of our conscious brands such as Agolde, Ganni and Nanushka, among others, it is also made clear that they have joined (environmental) organisations that, with their own goals, investments and outreach, can play a bigger role in nature management, sustainability and innovative developments. Often, being affiliated to such an organisation gives a brand the right to use certain certificates. These certificates show that a product (and their production) meets the high (environmental) requirements set for it.
For instance, we are familiar with the terms Organic, FSC label and organic but how does a brand get these certificates and most importantly, what are these certificates proof of?
A few big players in the fashion industry are the (4*) Global Canopy non-profit organisation, the (3*) Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the (2*) Global Organic Textile Standard standard and the (1*) Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) non-profit organisation.
1* Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) non-profit organisation.
FSC certificate: An FSC Chain of Custody guarantees the segregation of FSC-certified timber, wood products and paper in a supply chain from the stump in the forest to the finished product. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council which freely translated means something like Council for Good Forest Management.
FSC Recycled - certificate: To promote and support the reuse of wood, the FSC Recycled label exists for both wood and paper products. In addition, FSC Recycled material can be part of wood and paper offered under the FSC Mix label. A condition for using FSC Recycled material is that the company is FSC-certified and that the material is at the end of its intended life cycle. Either when the material is labelled as waste or would be used for energy generation. The wood does not have to come from FSC-certified forests in its original application
2* Global Organic Textile Standard.
A GOTS-certificate is an international label that sets requirements for both the production of the fibres and their further processing into garments.
With a GOTS-certificate, as a brand you are authorised to use the terms Organic or Made with Organic. For the term Made with Organic, a product must consist of at least 70% organically produced materials and for the term Organic, at least 95% of the garment must consist of organically produced materials. In addition, the Global Organic Textile Standard sets environmental requirements for all stages of the textile chain: from growing (natural) fibres to processing and sewing workshops. All chain partners must also have an environmental policy, with targets and measures to minimise waste streams.
Monitoring is carried out by an independent, accredited party.
The environmental requirements can be divided into five categories:
1. Raw material and fibre production: At least 70% (Made with organic) or at least 95% (Organic) of the garment must consist of organically produced materials. There are no requirements on cultivation in water-scarce areas. However, a water management plan must be in place. For the production of raw materials, no genetically modified organisms may be used.
2. From fibre to cloth and from cloth to clothing: All wastewater from wet processes (bleaching, dyeing, etc.) must be treated. All chemicals used (e.g. dyes) must comply with basic toxicity and biodegradability rules. Hazardous substances (e.g. toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde and certain solvents) must not be used. Efficient use of water and energy should also be considered.
3. Packaging material: Must not contain PVC. Paper and cardboard should be recycled or made of FSC/PEFC certified material.
4. Animal welfare: Raw material and fibre production of animal fibres must be predominantly organically grown. In silk production, there are no additional requirements for the welfare of silkworms.
5. People: There should be no discrimination, forced and child labour. There should be healthy and safe working conditions, acceptable working hours and trade union freedom. There are no requirements on contributions to the local community, established trading relationships or training for workers.
3* ELLEN MACARTHUR FOUNDATION
'A NEW TEXTILES ECONOMY, REDESIGNING FASHION'S FUTURE.'
_Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with the UN Environment Programme, more than 500 organisations are already working on a joint Global Commitment to accelerate the transition to a circular economy*.
*Circular economy = a model of production and consumption where existing materials and products are shared, rented, reused, repaired, refurbished and recycled for as long as possible to create more value)
Through this Global Commitment, these companies and governments are committing to change the way plastic is produced, used and recycled. They are working to eliminate plastic items we don't need; innovate so that all the plastic we do need is designed to be safely reused, recycled or composted.
SO IT STAYS
IN THE ECONOMY
AND OUT OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Among other things, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation helps member companies 1; adopt more effective policies 2; find new ways of doing business and 3; design better products. The network also brings together leading companies/emerging innovators/governments/regions/cities.
The goal is to: build circular economy capacity, address common barriers to progress, understand necessary enabling conditions and test circular economy practices.
Members of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation network can:
- Have open discussions with counterparts they would normally never speak to, including competitors and emerging innovators.
- Share experiences and learn from others trying to implement the circular economy.
- Challenge their thinking and push their innovation further and faster
- Raise their level of ambition by understanding more clearly what is possible, what the opportunities are and what others are doing
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has focused their goal on areas where shifting to a circular economy could have the greatest impact.
- Biodiversity and the circular economy: This thematic area explores how the circular economy can help shape a nature-positive future.
- Cities and the circular economy: This thematic area looks at the role cities play in the transition to a circular economy.
- Climate and the circular economy: This thematic area looks at how improving the economy can help improve climate change.
- Fashion and the circular economy: This thematic area examines how the circular economy works for the fashion industry.
- Finance and the circular economy: This thematic area looks at the role of the financial sector in the shift to a circular economy.
- Food and the circular economy: This thematic area shows how the shift to a circular economy for food will contribute to the flourishing of people and nature.
- Plastics and the circular economy: This thematic area shows how the circular economy can help keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment.
Driven by the goal of tackling plastic pollution at source, companies (including Coca Cola, Unilever, L'Oréal) representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally have committed to these ambitious targets to help realise this shared vision by 2025.
4* GLOBAL CANOPY NON-PROFIT ORGANISATION
Global Canopy is a data-based non-profit organisation targeting the market forces that are destroying nature.
"We are funding our way to extinction. A combination of deforestation, industrial agriculture and overexploitation of resources is destroying the ecosystems and biodiversity we all depend on. It worsens climate change and increases the risk of future pandemics. It destroys the rights and livelihoods of indigenous and local communities. And it is driving us ever closer to dangerous tipping points in the Earth's system, such as the loss of the Amazon rainforest.
We are all connected to this problem. It is ingrained in our globalised system of trade and finance. Whether it is the products we buy, our pensions or our financial decisions, we cause effects we do not see. Last year alone, the world's 50 largest banks passed $2.6 billion in funding to companies that cause natural loss. Every six seconds, a piece of rainforest the size of a football field is cut down for raw materials like soy, beef, timber and palm oil - which end up in half the packaged goods in our supermarkets."_Canopy
Working with partners around the world, they collect and disseminate the data needed to break this destructive state of affairs. This data, statistics and insights enable companies, financial institutions and governments to address their hidden sustainability risks. At the same time, it enables campaigners and the media to hold accountable those who fail to take action.
AGOLDE (H) (F) (P)
CITIZENS OF HUMANITY (H) (F) (P)
ROHE FRAMES (F) (P)
FRAME (H) (P) (A)
GANNI(H) (F) (P) (A)
ISABEL MARANT (H) (F) (P)
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CASHMERE
AGOLDE & CITIZENS OF HUMANITY (H) (F) (P)
Citizens of Humanity and AGOLDE each have their own unique and independent voice. The characteristics that unite them are built on a foundation of commitment to quality and uncompromising standards. Products are developed in Los Angeles and Turkey in facilities owned by the brands themselves, this allows them to have maximum control over quality and a better focus on sustainability efforts. They only produce to order, resulting in as little overproduction as possible.
"Sustainability for us means investing in the future. We use all resources to meet our own needs and do so in a way that recognises the needs of future generations."_AGOLDE & COH
It all starts with the designers putting together a collection that brings to life a new vision for the coming season. These designs are developed, tested and produced with sustainability in mind. Designs and use of materials are subjected to high environmental requirements, resulting in a fair and sustainable collection. Some examples of the sustainability policies of Agolde and Citizens of Humanity that materials and related production processes must comply with include improved washing and dyeing processes (including ozone washing), efficient dyeing, washing machines and dryers, laser technology, natural enzymes and so on. We will elaborate on some of these below.
Recycled & organic cotton
Recycling is a process whereby used cotton clothes are stripped of zips and buttons (hardware) and then shredded into smaller pieces. Once the material is broken down, the fibres are cleaned, stripping them of their colour. Once clean, the fibres can be re-spun into a new blended cotton yarn. Organic cotton is organically grown and grows without the use of synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides. Its production is designed to promote and enhance biodiversity and the biological cycle and to avoid the use of abiotic depletion (impact on climate, soil and water) to reduce the impact on global warming.
Tencel is a (renewable) wood-based fibre. Wood pulp is treated with a toxic-free solvent and ends up as a smooth fibre that falls smoothly and is soft to the touch. It is both compostable and biodegradable, allowing the producer to work with a so-called 'Closed loop process'. Wastewater and emissions are minimised and the by-product *sodium sulphate (a by-product created in various chemical processes; *sodium sulphate is a low-value by-product) is later used in the laundry, glass and food industries.
Efficient painters, washers and dryers
Agolde and COH's laundries use various (laser, ozone and e-flow) machines capable of using washes and dyes in a conscious manner. These tools and techniques help achieve an authentic wash while eliminating the overuse of stone washed techniques, chemicals, excessive water use, energy and unnecessary (manual) labour. Organic and certified softeners, silicones and neutralisers are also used for finishing products to give a beautifully soft finish to the fabric.
Bio Indigo® is a natural dye extracted from the plant "Indigofera Tinctoria", which has been used since ancient times to obtain an indigo blue colour. It is the only GOTS (*2) certified powder form of Indigo that is organically grown and produced.
The above are just some of the very comprehensive, transparent and prominent sustainability report by Agolde and Citizens of Humanity. The way they communicate openly, include us in future projects and share innovative developments with us means we can (and will) enter into a long-term partnership. Openness with brands like these also allows us to put together a conscious collection that tells an honest story to our customer.
Would you like to read more about Agolde's and Citizens of Humanity's sustainability report and future plans? Click the link and find out more about how they work with recycled apple leather patches, recycled ocean plastic, product tags made from natural fibres (sourced from the California poppy!) as well as future plans regarding water recycling, alternatives to chemicals and eliminating single-use plastics.
"We want you to feel good in your jeans, not only because you feel comfortable and fashionable in them, but also because you know they are made with attention to reducing environmental impact."_AGOLDE
ROHE FRAMES (F) (P)
In existence since 2021, Rohe focuses on a more mature collection in succession to the younger 'girls collection' that triumphed under the name Les Coyotes de Paris. Alongside the growth in maturity, silhouette and design, Rohe Frames' brandstory is also growing to a peak in sustainability and innovation in particular. The openness with which they share their processes and visions with us is admirable. We get a unique, albeit metaphorical, look behind the scenes at Rohe. From design to production, we get to join them on a journey through modern factories in Portugal, Italy, Letla, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and India. With over 90% of the collections produced in Europe, they try to keep it as close to home as possible to save emissions. The end result is an honest, high-quality collection that exudes femininity and luxury. Beautiful knits, blouses, dresses and trousers that will take your wardrobe to the next level.
"Our responsibility starts already in the design phase of the collection. When selecting fabrics, we strive to use GOTS (2*) - and FSC-certified (1*) qualities."_ROHE
FRAME (H) (P) (A)
Frame uses biodegradable cloth in their denim manufacturing process. A pair of Frame jeans is made from 100% cotton cloth that is dyed and finished without using toxic or harmful chemicals, making it environmentally neutral in its subsequent life. Also, these jeans are made with yarn from natural fibres and are washed with eco-friendly finishing agents. In addition, Frame follows 4 key pillars in making their denim process sustainable, the are: using water-saving machines, not using bleach, not using potassium permanganate and not using stone-washing techniques. Frame jeans feature recycled and organic labels printed with soy-based inks, breaking down without leaving toxic substances behind. Traditional 'nails' have been removed from the process and easily removable hardware has been added on top. Buttons are made of partially recycled metal that can be unscrewed by hand and zips are made of 100% recycled polytape that can be easily cut from the jeans, allowing you to recycle them in an environmentally friendly way.
'We believe that truly high fashion pushes the boundaries of style, quality and sustainability. It takes big ideas, consistent change and expert craftsmanship to create iconic styles that are kind to the earth, and we are proud to commit to all three.' _FRAME
A sustainable future is only possible with passionate partners from all corners of the luxury fashion ecosystem. Frame employees value sustainability, service and community. It aims to make its collections only in factories committed to reducing waste, recycling materials and lowering energy consumption at every point in the process. When choosing partners, Frame prefers companies affiliated to (2*)The Global Organic Textile Standard. This ensures that partners meet, exceed or actively pursue the highest industry credentials.
GANNI (H) (F) (P) (A)
Based in Copenhagen, GANNI is run by married couple Ditte Reffstrup (Creative Director) and founder Nicolaj Reffstrup. GANNI has developed exponentially in recent years with their 'Scandi 2.0 style' full of personality as well as contrasts. GANNI is all about making wearers of the brand feel confident and capable of anything! GANNI is on a journey to become a more responsible version of themselves. They believe it is a moral imperative to do better every day. In 2020, they launched a GANNI Gameplan that sets 44 tangible goals (divided into four main pillars: People, Planet, Product and Prosperity) to be achieved by 2023. This helps GANNI take a moral and results-based approach to responsibility. The brand publishes an annual Responsibility Report to share progress and make their commitments public. GANNI currently uses 70%+ certified organic or recycled materials in their collections and is committed to using only 100% responsible materials in the future. As we speak, the brand is working towards transparency throughout its supply chain in an effort to bring about meaningful and structural change for both people and planet.
GANNI LAUNCHES SHOES MADE FROM GRAPES, AN INNOVATIVE PLANT-BASED ALTERNATIVE TO LEATHER
"Selling leather products, although highly profitable, will soon be as obsolete as smoking on TV. We are abolishing leather completely by 2023 because it goes against our commitment to minimise the impact of high methane emissions. We are introducing VEGEA™; a plant-based alternative made from agricultural waste, as a step towards more responsible collections."_NICOLAJ REFFSTRUP, GANNI
GANNI announced a collaboration with Italian manufacturer VEGEA last year. This as a major step in their journey towards phasing out animal leather from 2023. GANNI's spring/summer 2022 collection will feature eight pairs of shoes made from VEGEA™, a plant-based alternative to conventional leather. VEGEA™ is an innovative material that uses leftover grape skins from wine production, vegetable oils and natural fibres from agriculture. The use of leftover material helps prevent waste from ending up in landfills. No toxic chemicals, heavy metals or other hazardous solvents are used according to the *REACH production process.
VEGEA was founded in 2016 in Milan, with the aim of promoting the connection between chemistry (chemistry) and agricultural production through the development of new eco-sustainable products. VEGEA develops plant-based alternatives to fully synthetic (oil-derived) materials currently widely used in the production of fashion, furniture, packaging, cars & transport equipment. By using renewable resources (energy sources such as water, wind and biodiversity that continue to recover), as an alternative to non-renewable fossil resources (minerals, ores and fossil fuels that can run out at constant extraction because they are not replenished to little), VEGEA'S production processes are based on making organic and plant-based raw materials available.
VEGEA™ has a high plant content consisting of: 55% organic composition (such as vegetable oil and grapes) and 45% **PU water-based.
GANNI has previously faced difficulties in finding alternatives to conventional leathers due to quality considerations and the high plastic content in available materials. VEGEA™ has undergone rigorous testing and meets GANNI's high standards in terms of sustainability as well as design, partly due to the use of relatively little plastic in contrast to market standards.
*REACH is a European regulation on the production of, and trade in, chemicals. It describes what companies and governments must comply with. REACH stands for: Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. This regulation applies to all European Union countries.
**Water-based PU. In water-based polyurethane finishes, water instead of solvents is used as the base for the solid substance carrier; PU/ polyurethane. Like oil-based polyurethane, water-based polyurethane can form a tough protective film (but this requires more applications).
ISABEL MARANT (H) (F) (P)
Authenticity, openness and innovation have always been at the heart of Isabel Marant's thinking. The company's philosophy has always been to design clothes that last and that women (and men too) can wear season after season to feel independent, strong and comfortable. As both a person and a company, Isabel Marant stands for sincerity, fairness, and sustainability in every sense of the word. She also tries to convey this philosophy to everyone she works with; suppliers, partners and employees. By establishing a so-called 'code of ethics', Isabel marant tries to normalise all the norms and values from her own company philosophy and inspire others in the fashion industry. On the other hand, this also makes it clear where improvements can be made!
Also by calculating her own environmental impact, Isabel Marant commits to improving it year after year. An equivalent promise is what she also expects from all her suppliers, manufacturers and partners. At the very least, local and international environmental regulations must be met, such as responsible sourcing of materials, efficient use of water and energy and reducing waste (substances). Other initiatives to reduce harmful impact on the environment are strongly promoted and encouraged! When entering into a partnership, there is also a requirement to comply with all laws and regulations, both of local laws (also in countries where Isabel Marant is active) and also EU legislation. A few topics Isabel Marant pays attention to are laws on human and women's rights, health, safety, labour law, fair competition, etc. Naturally, it is greatly appreciated when partners demonstrate similar transparency and responsibility.
To be continued...