Factories Spotlight

We’re often asked about where our clothes are made, and what the working conditions are like in our factories. We’re incredibly proud of the longstanding partnerships we have with our vendors, and of the progressive initiatives that they are constantly pushing forward.

When it comes to our relationships with our factories, it’s all about working with the best possible partners who adhere to our high standards for protecting people and the planet. We require that all of our partners follow our strict Code of Conduct, ensuring fair wages and proper working conditions. We also choose partners based on their sustainability practices, not just in the manufacturing process, but throughout the entire supply chain – sourcing, transportation, and production (About 75% of our garments are made with fabrics produced in the same country, which helps reduce environmental impact). And because making quality garments is crucial to sustainability (the longer your clothes last, the less you have to buy), we only work with partners who we know produce the highest quality clothing.

Here’s a spotlight on two of our biggest partners:

Egedeniz Textile

We’ve worked with Egedeniz – the first certified organic textile company of Turkey – for 20 years. They’ve been long standing leaders within Textile Exchange, and have progressive initiatives regarding solar energy, job training for women trying to get into the workforce, and they plant 1,000 trees annually to offset their carbon emissions. When it comes to organic cotton, Egedeniz is known for managing the whole process – from growing it to manufacturing it – all within the same country. Not only does this ensure that their cotton is not grown with pesticides or other harmful substances, but it also means reduced fuel usage for transport. Double win for sustainability.

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Photos from the Toad team’s most recent trip to Egedeniz. That’s Our Head of Production Joanna (center), our Head of Product and Design Kyle (right), and Egedeniz partners Yener, Aysemin, and Ozgu (left to right). 

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Hemp Fortex

We work with Hemp Fortex in China to produce our hemp clothing, and (you guessed it), most of the hemp they use is grown in China too. Their main facilities (knitting, cutting, and dye house) all run on 100% solar power, and they have only used sustainable fabrics in their manufacturing process since day one. While sustainability is a definite highlight of this partnership, they also have progressive social initiatives. Hemp Fortex was the first member of the Fair Wear Foundation – an independent non-profit organization that works with factories to improve labor conditions for garment workers. Hemp Fortex also provides assistance to employees to help motivate home purchases, and in 2013, founded Hemp Fortex Foundation, which aims to help those with physical disabilities be able to afford their medical bills and day-to-day living expenses. So if you weren’t already a hemp clothing superfan, all the more reason to love it.

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And just like not all factories are created equal, the fabrics and fibers we choose to work with make a world of difference too. Learn more about our eco materials and certifications.

 

What is bluesign®?

From high-end garments to fast fashion, most of the clothing you wear is produced under less than stellar conditions. One of the dirtiest parts of fabric production takes place in what’s known as the “Dyeing and Finishing Process, ” like dying yarns and treating them Polygiene® Odor Control or a water resistant finish. 85% of all water, 80% of all energy, and 65% of all chemicals used to produce a garment are used in the dyeing and finishing process alone. With the majority of resources used during this stage of production, the bluesign system focuses its auditing efforts on the dyeing and finishing stages of production. Since we are continually implementing new ways to lessen our footprint, we are proud to use fabrics that have been certified as safer for the environment by the bluesignⓇ certification system.

When it comes to auditing sustainability standards, bluesignⓇ relies on a 5 principle system:

Resource Productivity
Resource productivity refers to a manufacturer’s ability to produce textiles of maximum quality by minimizing consumption of resources. For example, in the case of dyeing and finishing, bluesignⓇ certification ensures that a manufacturer has used the least amount of water as possible during production.

Water Emission
bluesignⓇ certified facilities are required to have a well-functioning wastewater treatment facility. Much of the water used in the dyeing and finishing process ends up contaminated with chemicals. In the past, manufacturers often disposed of waste water by dumping it into nearby watersheds. bluesignⓇ strictly monitors handling of wastewater and works with manufacturers to optimize wastewater treatment technology.

Air Emission
In order to be bluesignⓇ certified, a manufacturing facility must reduce greenhouse gases and make an active contribution to climate protection. Each and every process of textile production produces air emissions.  bluesignⓇ works to implement best practices in material usage and requires that any CO2 generated via dyeing and finishing must be cleaned and recycled adequately.

Occupational Health and Safety
The health and safety of employees who manufacture textiles is a large part of bluesign’sⓇ auditing process. In order for a manufacturing facility to be bluesignⓇ certified, they must adhere to a strict list of guidelines. Employees must complete a chemical training program and have complete protection from dust and noise. bluesignⓇ helps factories improve working conditions by decreasing exposure to chemicals during the dyeing and finishing stages of manufacturing.

Consumer Safety
Today’s consumers want high quality goods that were produced under fair conditions. So “consumer safety” has to include both: the promise for high-quality textile products without health risks as well as the compliance that sustainability is implemented in each step of the production process.  bluesignⓇ ensures that manufacturing facilities are operating in the most conscious manner possible to provide consumers ecologically high-quality textiles as well as a clear conscience.  As a result, proactive manufacturers are able to meet the requirements of their customers for sustainable and reliable products – even before legal obligations will force them to act.

Aside from the 5 principles, bluesignⓇ also requires a list of general criteria to be met. This ensures that partner companies stay competitive by using responsible and sustainable solutions. In our effort to provide the most sustainable clothing possible, we have committed to using bluesignⓇ certified materials as much as possible and we’re actively pursuing more bluesignⓇ certified materials across all styles.