Our Sustainability Criteria
You want cute, colorful, on-trend, exciting styles. But you don’t want any of that at the expense of the environment or other people. Right? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Product Fiber Content
The material a garment is made from accounts for most of its environmental impact, which is why we place a lot of importance on fiber content when selecting pieces to sell at Ellekin.
Check out our Yes/Depends/No Fiber Content List below! Our fiber list was determined by using data from the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI), the apparel industry’s most trusted tool for measuring and scoring the environmental impacts of materials. We give preference to the Higg MSI factors we believe are most imperative for our product categories and the impact they have on our climate and environment. Global Warming Potential and Fossil Fuel Depletion factors are weighed most heavily, followed by Chemistry, Water Scarcity, and Eutrophication.
Cotton (organic, Better Cotton, in-conversion, recycled, conventional) with a preference for organic or recycled
Tencel Lyocell, EcoVero rayon, Livaeco modal
Acceptable if organic and/or blended with a Yes fiber
Virgin synthetics (polyester, nylon, acrylic, polyurethane, etc.)
Conventional MMCF/Regenerated Cellulosics (rayon, viscose, modal, lyocell)
Only acceptable when blended with a Yes fiber in minority content
Factory Labor and Wages
Ellekin pays a living wage (determined by state in the US according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator and by country and region outside the US according to Global Living Wage Coalition) to all direct employees, and it is our goal to one day carry only brands that pay their workers (at least at the tier 1 garment factory level) a living wage. As a start to this goal, we only carry brands that confirm they pay factory workers either a living wage or “fair wage” (above minimum legal wage) and ensure safe working conditions in factories. We give preference to brands whose factories are third-party certified (WRAP, Fair Trade, Fair Wear) and provide a public list of factories for transparency.
Brand & Business Practices
In addition to lower-impact fibers and ethical labor practices, brands we carry must use at least one additional sustainable practice of significant impact. What we consider “significant” depends on the type of product, but examples include: plant/natural dyes, non-toxic dyes, low-impact digital printing, use of upcycled or deadstock fabric, use of remnants/cutting waste, water reduction in manufacturing, B Corporation, and 1% For The Planet company. Check out the details of each product for specifics!
Our Business Practices Include:
• Office powered by clean, renewable wind energy
• Consolidate shipping whenever possible to reduce emissions
• Ship orders in 100% recycled poly mailers that can be recycled at thin film in-store takeback bins
• No unnecessary packaging. Any tags, polybags, tissue, stickers, etc. are reused.
• Shipping labels printed on a zero waste recyclable sticker release liner
• Provide free returns to encourage conscious purchases (instead of keeping something you won’t wear to avoid a high return fee)
• No sales that encourage impulse purchasing (BOGO, buy-now-or-miss-the-deal)