How It's Made
with care for the environment
What is sustainable fashion? Sustainable fashion aims to ensure clothing is manufactured, sold and consumed in the most sustainable way possible, and it involves all levels of the supply chain including material sourcing, production, and commerce. It also aims to embody ethical standards into all levels of production, addressing social issues that concern industry and factory workers such as low wages and poor working conditions.
A large part of the problem with the fashion industry comes surprisingly not from the materials that apparel is made from, but from the actual production and selling method itself. Even something as simple as a 100% cotton t-shirt can have a detrimental effect on the environment because of the chemicals involved in production, the water required for the cotton crop (up to 731 gallons per t-shirt), and the carbon emissions created during production. Plus, traditional apparel brands mass-manufacture clothing that - when it doesn't get sold - ends up as waste in landfills. And quite shockingly, statistics show that around 85% of all textiles produced by the fashion industry end up in landfills, making it a major contributor to environmental damage.
THAT'S WHERE WE COME IN...
Make Waves Clothing Company is a made-to-order apparel company, meaning that when you place an order, we create that order just for you! Our made-to-order method means we avoid overproduction that results in unsold product ending up in landfills or being burned. In other words, made-to-order means virtually zero waste.
100% of the apparel items we offer are both sustainably and ethically produced. This means that the suppliers we have partnered with meet the criteria for sustainability and ethical responsibility during production.
Every single item in our store is made-to-order, a method that results in minimal-to-no waste, which addresses the major issue of over-production and mass-manufacturing that is so present in today's global fashion industry.
The textiles that our clothing is made of includes cotton, cotton/poly blends, cotton/fleece blends, organic cotton, and recycled polyester. Yes, not all of these are natural/organic/recycled, however there are a vast amount of issues to address within the fashion industry and we are working on tackling one (or a few) problems at a time so that we can do it the most effectively.
All types of textiles come with their own environmental consequences, whether they are organic, natural, recycled or synthetic. Our main focus is to encourage mindfulness in consumption. 'Fast fashion' has created a very detrimental mindset worldwide, where consumers frequently (and unnecessarily) buy clothing that is made with cheap materials in order to satisfy a fad. These clothes aren't designed to last more than a couple uses, and they are being marketed to consumers as a temporary fix, which perpetuates a dangerous attitude of unnecessary consumption that leads to incredible amounts of waste. This is the major part of the problem we are hoping to address.
We want to encourage consumers to buy clothing with intention. Think about what it took to manufacture and ship your clothing to you. How will you consume it? How will you take care of it? Following proper wash and care instructions can greatly extend the longevity of your clothing and allow you to enjoy it for years to come. And eventually, what will you do when you no longer want to keep it? Donating your clothing, or selling it online or to secondhand stores gives it a new life and keeps it out of landfills.
That being said, we are always planning for the future on working on improvements to do and be better as a business, without compromising on the durability and longevity of the items we sell- after all, we don't want to fix one problem by creating another! We are constantly researching and testing out new apparel pieces that meet our standards for sustainability and ethical production, and our goal is to have a clothing portfolio that is made 100% from organic, natural or recycled materials by 2022.
all about the ethics
All of the apparel suppliers we partner with are either WRAP certified (Bella + Canvas, Stanley/Stella, Cotton Heritage) or part of the Fair Labor Association (SanMar).
What is WRAP?
WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) is a globally recognized, independent 3rd party certifying body who focuses on promoting ethical, humane, and lawful conditions and practices in manufacturing facilities. Companies have to go through an extensive application process in order to receive WRAP certification, which is designed to ensure that the manufacturing facilities, working environments, and worker's rights are inspected and approved according WRAP standards.
The certifications are awarded based on international and national humane workplace standards, local laws, and ethical manufacturing regulations. The principles of WRAP certification include: Human Resources Management, Health and Safety Standards, Environmental and Eco-Friendly Practices, as well as legal compliance for import/export and customs compliance and security standards.
What is the Fair Labor Association?
The FLA is an international organization that implements a collaborative effort including universities, civil society organizations and socially responsible companies dedicated to protecting workers’ rights around the world. The association places the onus on companies to meet internationally recognized labor standards wherever their products are made. They offer opportunities for civil society organizations, universities and socially responsible companies to sit at the same table and find effective solutions to labor issues, and they share innovative and sustainable strategies and resources to help companies improve their compliance. Their platform offers a mechanism for addressing serious labor rights violations through the Third Party Complain process.
Our clothing is printed with the direct-to-garment (DTG) printing method, and uses biodegradable, vegan water-based ink that is free of harmful chemicals (toxin-free and non-hazardous). Our printing partners have invested in state-of-the-art printers that create almost zero waste-waters, and uses less overall energy, which lowers our carbon footprint. The printers used in production are also energy-efficient, meaning they use less electricity, water and chemicals than standard industry printers. Inks are disposed of according to supplier guidelines to avoid any potential harm to the environment.
Working with suppliers who hold high standards for sustainability and ethical responsibility is extremely important to us. That's why we're proud to partner with suppliers who uphold these values: Bella + Canvas, Cotton Heritage, SanMar, and Beechfield.
Bella + Canvas is a company that holds environmental care and sustainability as a top priority in their manufacturing process. This includes water and energy reduction, as well as a production method that results in virtually zero waste. Additionally, all of their US production and office facilities have received Platinum accreditation from WRAP. Learn more: Bella + Canvas, Eco Friendly
Cotton Heritage's production facilities are all WRAP-certified, and they promote fair and safe working standards in all levels of production and distribution, meaning no child labor, no forced labor, fair wages, timely pay, medical aid, and safe working environments. With regards to carbon footprint, all of their factories use state of the art dye machines that use seven times less water than the average manufacturer, saving millions of gallons per week. They also utilize modern technologies to aid in heat recycling, water recycling, fabric recycling, and efficient waste management. All factories also have an ETP (Environmental Treatment Plant) on-site, so that the water used gets filtered, treated and recycled, and their DC's and HQ use energy-saving systems like solar power and motion-sensor LED lighting. Learn more: Cotton Heritage
SanMar is a Canadian company that became part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) in 2017, aiming to assess and minimize environmental impact in their supply chain. The company values the importance of environmental responsibility and minimizing the carbon footprint that they leave behind. To name a few initiatives, their production facilities operate with automated lighting systems, they use green cleaning products, and they have implemented recycling practices throughout. They are also part of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and have been recognized for their dedication to the compliance program that involves monitoring their supply chain partners for strict adherence to labor standards. Learn more: SanMar & Sustainability
Beechfield is a member of Fairtrade, which is focused on decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. The company (who produces our hats), do so in a fair way that is socially responsible and environmentally conscious. They do not condone the use of any forced or coerced labor and they implement a strict assessment process with their suppliers to ensure factories meet or exceed local standards (wage, health & safety, welfare and human rights). They also ensure their factories meet or exceed local environmental laws to help reduce waste and minimize the environmental impact of their production. Learn more: Beechfield
Our production partners have facilities all over the world, including across the US, Mexico, Latvia, Spain, and Japan! Locations close to customers worldwide means more efficient shipping processes with less energy consumption (and less wait time for you)!
Our products are shipped in poly bags that are made from recyclable, low-density polyethylene that is both FDA and USDA compliant, and has no direct effects on the environment (unless of course it is littered). Our goal is to transition to biodegradable bags for shipping, by the end of 2021.
For every single purchase from Make Waves Clothing Co., we pay to offset the carbon emissions created by that shipment. We understand that carbon offsets are not a perfect solution, however they are a tool that we have employed in the meantime to compensate for carbon emissions that as a business we cannot currently avoid. The emissions are offset through a Verified Carbon Standard certified project called the Jari Pará Forest Conservation Project, located in Brazil. You can read more about the project here.
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