Let me start by saying no-one is perfect. And we are definitely not saying that we are. But at Stripe & Stare we are deeply passionate about changing the way women shop for underwear, and in the process becoming more sustainably minded. We believe it is impossible to be perfect but small changes will add up to a big difference. Only 3% of the underwear market is currently sustainably sourced – not great for a product we use every day and cannot buy second-hand.
As a team we are always looking to educate ourselves on the sustainable developments in fibre and garment production. As well as looking at ways as a business that we can do better.
The statistics, as we all know, in garment production are depressing – 100 billion garments are produced each year from virgin materials, we buy 60 per cent more clothes than 15 years ago and wear them for half as long. 87% of clothing material is incinerated, consigned to landfills or dumped in the natural environment. Fashion is the second largest polluting industry, second only to the oil industry.
The best way to become more sustainable is to buy less and buy better. Buy only what you need and you know you will wear repeatedly. We always ask ourselves - how would our granny have shopped? Also, when you need to buy - know where it has come from.
We made a decision two years ago to use only Lenzing fibres in our range. There were many reasons for this, the most fundamental is that we trust Lenzing and their sustainable, transparent practices above all others. The sustainable market is a mine-field but all our research has led us to believe Lenzing practices are the best out there. They come out on top in all research – it is not just us saying this – they are certified by Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Fairtrade, FSC and European Ecolabel.
“Be sure to choose brands with transparent production processes to make sure you’re making the most ethical choice. Rest easy if the brand can assure you that their fabric is made from 100% Tencel Modal.” Good On You.
Tencel is the brand name owned by Lenzing and the fibre 95% of our Stripe & Stare products are made from. It is a modal fibre made in an integrated production process in Austria. It is made from cellulose, or wood as you and I know it. All the raw wood material is sourced from sustainably managed, unprotected, regenerated sources. The raw pulp is manufactured at the same carbon neutral site as the fibre. 100% of the raw material is converted into cellulose as well as other biobased products such as chewing gum and vinegar – there is no waste.
Lenzing fibres are compostable and biodegradable. Furthermore they use 95% less water in production than cotton. The garments themselves have a long-lasting softness, are efficient at moisture management and certified for use next to the skin of new-born babies. The fibres are scientifically proven to be 2-3 times softer than cotton.
Other promises we make:
- We also guarantee that our products are created in factories that pay living wages and they respect, protect and support their workers.
- Our products will arrive to you in packaging that is 100% biodegradable and recyclable and you can select packaging free when you shop.
The bad and what we are doing about it
We have issues that as a company we are addressing.
Our biggest issue is the elastane used in our range. Essential to give the stretch our underwear needs – this is currently non-biodegradable. We have been working very hard to find a solution to this and much research and development is underway to bring you a 100% biodegradable knicker – watch this space we think we have found a solution which we will be launching later this year! Furthermore, we might be able to offer you one of the world’s first biodegradable socks…
The dyes – our dyes do use chemicals – all of which are processed in environmentally compliant ways but they are sourced currently from non-Lenzing suppliers. Later this year we are moving as much of our range to Lenzing Eco Colour which is an eco-responsible technology offering long-lasting colour fastness. Fibres produced with Eco Colour Technology have been certified with the EU Ecolabel for textile products, a label of environmental excellence awarded to products meeting high environmental standards throughout their life cycle.
Freight – we do need to ship the product to you so this is unavoidable really! However, we are working on ways to reduce the imprint of this such as using sea freight as much as possible.
We also plant a tree for every order and operate as a carbon neutral company. We offset our impact through www.ecologi.com.
We are in the process of becoming B Corp registered and hope to have this in place later this year.
We hope this has given you some helpful information. Now let's finish with some goods news. An IBM study found last year that 57% of customers are willing to change the way they shop to reduce their negative impact on the planet – a number that is continually increasing. We truly believe that the more we all learn about the impact we are having on the planet, the more we can do together to make it better.
Happy World Earth Day.
Stripe & Stare x