Our main Environmental principles:
- to implement Zero waste practices / patterns
- 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/laws
- to encourage sustainability & 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 create less waste as 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. We have chosen to use:
What about the ones use list below, organic cotton, linen ….?
Our fabrics are made from sustainable fibers and sourced as locally as possible. For our clothes, we use natural fibers, such as organic cotton, linen, hemp and other low impact manufactured fibers plant-based fibers like TENCEL™ and 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. Most of our fabrics are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified. We work with high-quality materials that offer a lasting good fit and beautiful appearance.
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. (Link to Close the Loop Project here)
See more about our fabrics here.
Re-Use of Materials and surplus fabrics (Deadstock)
At Elementum nothing is considered a waste. We try and see the value in everything. With the minimal waste that is occasionally created, we create and design new products. For example our NANO collection of hand knitted necklaces is made from dying and knitting faults/mistakes. Another example is our QUINTO scarfs made from silk printed tryouts and mistakes. As we treasure our resources our aim is to keep the material quality and avoid down-cycling the materials. (see photographs)
See more about our up-cycling accessories here.
Surplus is simply a fabric that has been sitting around as a leftover from fashion brands or textile mills. And so one of the main aspects making it sustainable is that when used it has been repurposed instead of thrown away and ending up as a waste in a landfill. So using it prevents further unnecessary waste.
On a short term Surplus also saves energy and reduces the carbon footprint by making further fabric production needless. However on a long term we know is a cycle based on waste that should not exist, therefore at Elementum limits the use of surpluses to about 10% of the collection. We prefer to invest on fabrics that are made sustainably from its origin and contribute on a long term to a conscious living. Furthermore Elementum uses fabric SURPLUSES from Portuguese factories only, and exclusively from plant- based fibers.
Elementum uses recycled buttons from Louropel that are made from corozo, cotton, recycled paper, semolina, vegetables, fruit and wood. (Infographic?
A photo of a button with an equals sign button = paper, vegetables (just an idea)
Low impact non-toxic dyes
All our fabrics are certified with OEKO-TEX® ensuring the non-use of toxic dyes and respecting the Restricted Chemical Substance List. Our main fabric suppliers are also certified STeP by OEKO-TEX® - Sustainable Textile Production certification, which confirms the permanent implementation of environmental-friendly production processes and safe, healthy and socially acceptable working conditions.
We choose long term colors but for some of our jersey knits (about 10% of the collection) we utilize a company called Class Wash for dying new particular colors. This process in done by garment avoiding over production. ?
(We are waiting to Find out more about their wastewater treatment process, or certifications of any kind and water reduction initiatives etc.)
100% natural prints
For our prints We only use 100% natural inks from Livos for our prints
This textile printing ink contains mineral pigments and exclusively renewable raw materials. The inks are free of heavy metals. After printing, we can simply use sunlight to dry and affix the colors on fabrics avoiding the use of any extra heating or dying equipment. This also helps to reduce our carbon and energy use footprints. We do all of our screen printing by hand and not machine. This ensures a high-quality screen print, and also drastically cuts down on the amount of electricity used and CO2 emissions. We truly believe in contributing to a better planet through these sustainable methods.
Eco-friendly Packaging and Tags
We used recycled packaging (does this have any recycled content in it?) and paper to wrap our clothing in prior to shipment. We re-use our cardboard boxes for multiple shipments and use only recycled paper tape. When strictly necessary we use biodegradable bags to ship our garments to our customers.
Labels & Tags
To further the life of Elementum clothes it is essential to give information on how to wear our multifunctional garments. When you have a multi-functional item, you can wear it on different occasions, dress it up, dress it down etc. You can also wear it in different ways, for example, tied at the back or front. We created a Q&R Code for each design. This code is printed on the paper tag and links to a video on “How to wear” and “Where was made”. Because not every person as access to this digital information, we still feel the need to use images on our tags. However we design this paper tags also in a multifunctional way. Our paper tags are trans-seasonal and are also used as catalogues avoiding extra printing or accumulation of materials.
Our fabric labels are hand made in our studio with transfer paper printed on a sustainable printer. ** What is a sustainable printer? We only make the necessary required amount of labels. Our labels are made from small scraps of fabric waste from our knitting process. Each piece comes with a re-purpose fabric ribbon also made from fabric waste from knitting process. Show photo! ;)
OUR USE OF RESOURCES
CERTIFICATIONS OF OUR SUPPLIERS
WATE & RECYCLING
Ranking of fibres by Environmental Impacts. Descending from high to low impact. *
* According to DEFRA Report April 2010.If you still have questions about our Environmental Principles email us at firstname.lastname@example.org we will be happy to share more information with you.