ÉTICA carefully selects local suppliers based on their commitment to sustainability, their labor practices and the quality of the fabrics they produce. Our Vendor Code of Conduct contains strict guidelines for social responsibility and corporate compliance, based on the tenants of the Fair Labor Association and Bluesign®. Our mills have earned additional certifications including OEKO-TEX Standard 100, Better Cotton Initiative™, Cradle to Cradle™ and GOTS.
We consider every aspect of the lifecycle of our clothing, starting with the fibers grown to create our fabrics. A percentage of our cotton is recycled, while some is organic. We are constantly making improvements to our fabrics though, and our brand goal is to be sourced at 80% organic cotton by 2022.
We love cotton as a fiber, but even organic cotton requires an excess of water, irrigation and pesticide use. This is why we blend our cotton with Tencel, a cellulose fiber sustainably sourced from renewable wood sources, which do not require pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation or genetic manipulation. Tencel fibers are durable, biodegradable and very low impact. Denim and other fabrics made with Tencel are typically stronger and last a lot longer as well.
All of our fabrics are produced with minimal impact, and all have Bluesign certifications. Also, our mills use liquid indigo (instead of powder) for the majority of our denim fabrics, which greatly reduces both water and chemical usage, while eliminating the creation of millions of pounds of waste water sludge.
UPCYCLING & DEADSTOCK
We also lean into alternative sources, like deadstock, upcycling and recycled fabrics. With these methods, we use pre-existing fabrics, or pre-existing garments as the raw material for our clothing. Solving the waste crisis is important to us, and circular sourcing is the most sustainable way to produce clothing. Not only does it prevent landfill waste, but it eliminates the most environmentally challenging process (fabric production), saving large amounts of water, energy, and chemicals in the process.