Our main Environmental principles:
- to implement ZERO WASTE PRACTISES
- to choose LOW ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS
- to REUSE and REPURPOSE
- to RECYCLE when is not possible to reuse or repurpose
- to REFUSE TOXIC MATERIALS
- to follow REGULATIONS
- to encourage SUSTAINABILITY and REGENERATION
Zero Waste Practices
At Elementum we treasure our resources.
All of Elementum’s knitwear is designed to be and produced with ZERO waste methods. For every item of knitwear we make, we use the total and complete piece of jersey fabric/raw material. There are no cut-offs from our cutting process. In addition, our all knits are tubular and seamless. With our designs being tubular and seamless we reduce waste during production and no thread or extra fabric is required.
Our latest line of woven garments is still not totally ZERO waste. That is because of the difference of flexibility in relation to the knitwear production. But we are working on converting all our designs into Zero waste patterns. In the meanwhile we reuse the little cutoffs into new products in our studio.
Low Environmental Impact Fabrics
At Elementum we use low environmental impact fabrics in our garments.
When we choose our fabrics we take in consideration the environmental, social and economical impact of its fibers and choose to sourced as locally as possible at the moment 77% of our fabrics are made in Portugal where we are based in. For our clothes, we have chosen to use natural fibers, our current collection is 64% organic cotton, 7,5 % linen, 9,4% hemp and other low impact manufactured fibers plant-based fibers like (5,7%) TENCEL™ and 3,8% cupro. These require fewer resources to be produced, create less pollution, and decompose back into the earth far more quickly than synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon. Our organic cotton (64% of the current collection) is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified.
In addition, we follow strict rules about not mixing natural and synthetic fibers so that our pieces could be fully recyclable or composted. We have our own initiative called Close the Loop project, where we encourage other brands and consumers to be more aware of what to do with their clothes at the end of their product cycle of life. Know more about Close the Loop Project here. Meet our fabrics here.
Ranking of textile fibres by Environmental Impacts. Descending from high to low impact. *
* Based on DEFRA Report April 2010.
In this graphic you can observe that the ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS of the different main textile fibers are varying depending on the environmental aspect you focus on: Energy use, Water use, Greenhouse gases, Waste water, Direct land use.
Energy Use, CO2 Creation and Renewables
At Elementum studio we use only energy provided from renewable energy sources and we have high energy efficiency lighting.
Most of our supply chain partners also make a priority to increase their energy efficiency and to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
For example RioPele, one of our main fabric suppliers, has programs and activities to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Has a solar photovoltaic power plant for self-consumption in one of their production units. Installed high-efficiency lighting systems, variable speed drivers in electric motors and control devices in the HVAC systems. Use thermal energy from a cogeneration unit in the form of steam and hot water. RioPele also tracks their CO2 and energy consumption.
Another of our fabric suppliers Popopique – Elementum mill for our organic cotton shirting fabric, has a multitude of environmental programs including waste and recycling and energy conservation.
Water Reduction & Treatment
Water is essential to life. Water is used in many different parts of the clothing industry. At Elementum we choose to work with supply chain partners that are committed to reduce their water use and care for its treatment.
We aim in the near future to become more involved on creating awareness on the use of water, by participating on local NGO actions and by sharing more information on the subject.
Our supplier RioPele utilizes a closed loop wastewater treatment. They are continuously investing in programs aimed at reducing the use of water resources, reusing water and recycling industrial effluents, which allow them to achieve a level of excellence in what regards water management and conservation. Their facilities are equipped with a water treatment and pre-treatment plant, ensuring that all the process water is appropriately processed and routed to a proper destination, while promoting its safe return to the water cycle. It is reported that their experts are regularly monitoring the water quality in the river Pele, both upstream and downstream of the facilities, ensuring a continuous surveillance of the health of the river and its ecosystem. To communicate their performance in all the aspects that support water management and conservation, as well as to promote a water-saving culture across all our levels of business, they have have implemented the “Cada Gota Conta” (“Every Drop Counts”) program.
Waste & Recycling
At the Elementum studio we create minimal waste. At Elementum when we cannot utilize it, we recycle our paper, cardboard, plastic and fabrics via our city waste management system. In our studio operations, we reuse most of our material waste, to create new products, to run tests on materials, or for shipping by reusing the cardboard boxes that we received from our supplies
We are committed to work with partners that have compatible waste and recycling principles as ourselves. When we choose our supply chain partners we take their waste and recycling programs in consideration and if they do not have one, we encourage discussion to improve their environmental initiatives.
Best example from our supplier Riopele that has a Waste and Recycling program and tracks all waste diverting it from landfill to be recycled.
Want to know how we commit to Circularity? Find out here.