Ethics / Manufacturing / Quality / Care
SA8000 is a social accountability standard and certificate developed by Social Accountability International (SAI). This organization created this certification to help and protect workers worldwide by providing a standardized guideline to protect the integrity of workers’ conditions and wages. Our factories, certified SA8000, use zero forced or child labor, and always provide living wages and safe conditions.
Why China, and not the USA? (we do produce in the US now as well, if it makes sense).
You may not know it, but most fabric mills today are located overseas. We know - we looked and priced out our garments. The United States has great manufacturers for basic knitwear, (and we do use them) but for our constantly evolving collections and fabric needs, we found that we had to stay based 65% overseas (for now). Once we found our SA8000 certified manufacturers, we knew it was a match. Quality and Global sustainability is everything to us, and we wanted to make sure we gave you the best product at the best price that you could find.
What do you mean by “high quality?” Can I simply throw my Cupro or Velvet dress in the washer with a bunch of other laundry and do a hail mary?
Nope, really you can't. First of all, not all washers and dryers are created equal. Nor is water, so if you're not sure if your washer is trustworthy, or if your water is especially hard, simply refer to our CARE page, or if you're in a rush - Dry Clean. All of our fabrics are hand selected, when we are in between two fabrics, one being more expensive and nicer and the other cheaper we always choose the "right" one. Sometimes for different properties, like the perfect color, weight, etc. Kindly refer to our CARE page for detailed instructions on how to best care for your garment.
We believe our high quality comes from four things, and we spend a good portion of our design process obsessing over each of them:
FIBER / FABRIC / FIT / CONSTRUCTION
FABRICS MADE FOR THE LONG RUN
Studio 18 carries one of the most sustainable ranges in the contemporary market – our collections include over 99 % products made from sustainable materials yearly. By sustainable materials, we mean non-conventional materials that have a lower impact on both nature and human health, such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Modal®. We also have a selection of upcycled products where we reuse leftover fabric from earlier collections.
For ethical and environmental reasons, we do not use skins, suede, fur, feathers, wool with mulesing or traditional silk in any of our products or collaborations.
Chemicals are needed in all kinds of textile products including ours – from the manufacturing of raw material to dyeing, printing, final look, and function. The challenge is to avoid the toxic ones that are harmful to the environment, animals and our health. Since our products are mainly used by women and children, chemical management is a subject close to our hearts.
You might have seen fabrics in the past that are wrinkle resistant, stain resistant etc. Those fabrics are usually laced with very harmful chemicals, most of these chemicals are made by the multinational company DuPont, which is a company we would like to stay away from. Eating organic is just as important as what you have touching your skin on a daily basis perhaps even more, who knows but we know we don't want to provide you with a chemically laced product.
We actively work to limit the use and waste of chemicals in all of our products. Already in the design phase, we eliminate a massive amount of harmful substances by choosing sustainably better materials with third party certifications. We also make systematically risk analyses and tests to assure all products comply with our requirements.
Our chemical restriction list is based on EU’s regulation REACH, but also includes additional prohibited and limit value substances beyond this law. We believe this is needed for calling a product and production safe and sustainable.
The textile industry depends heavily on human resources – for every collection, there will be waste including fabric, labor, energy, chemicals and water. What we can do is to minimize our waste and take better care of it.
We use environmental standards that ask the suppliers to have policies such as water treatment plants and sustainable chemical management and do our best to optimize every batch of production. Instead of sourcing new fabric qualities for each season, the majority of our fabric qualities are repeated. We don't match prints with pattern pieces, bindings or cuffs, and we avoid using too many contrast materials and colors for smaller pieces of garments.
Like other companies in the clothing industry, Studio 18 does not own any factories. Instead, we share the responsibility together with other brands. We source factories with sustainability and fair labor as key criteria and priority and therefore choose facilities already certified with the well known third party standards such as Fairtrade and SA-8000. If you are an a new brand that want to join us in this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL
The choice of material does not only apply to the main fabrics, but also the trims, labeling, and packing of a product. Today, the majority of all these details are organic, recycled or biodegradable. Additionally, we reuse cartons from our suppliers for outgoing shipments to customers, our stores, and retailers.
When a package is good to go, we optimize our packing methods to fill every load and ship goods from different suppliers together whenever possible. Our policy is to use sea and truck transport for bulk production depending on its origin. We only use sea/air or air transport on rare occasions to secure quality or to keep critical deliveries. For local courier freights between our warehouse, stores, and head office, we use bicycle transportation in all cases possible.
THE ART OF KEEPING A PROMISE
To assure that our materials and processes are as promised, we work with various certifications and standards covering materials, production and the employees in the factories we are working with.
We mainly work with GOTS, Fairtrade, Oeko-Tex, OCS, Bionic Finish Eco, GRS, FSC, SA-8000.
Lastly, we are a young company with our heart and intention in the right place. We are committed to constantly improving where we can and take responsibility for the mistakes that may happen as we grow. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about us. We hope you stay and help us grow.
Madeleine Simon, Founder and Creative Director.