We’re committed to making positive changes to one of the most polluting industries in the world. The fashion industry is not only a heavy polluter, but also marked by overconsumption and violation of human rights. We wish to change the trend of buy and throw-away culture which is prevalent today. To make these changes, we need you to take part as well. We want to encourage you to embrace slow fashion and responsible clothing. As we grow, so does our influence in the industry, and with it our ability to push for change. In 2022 we have expanded the scope of our responsibility efforts with new goals.
How do we work with responsibility? We have identified two main areas where we can make a difference: our environmental impact and social impact. Environmental impact encompasses responsible materials, a circular business model, and a lower carbon footprint. You can read more about our baseline for environmental impact in 2022 here. We strive to use only responsible fabric, however, on rare occasions it is not possible due to functionality etc. We have launched a new circular business model with our sales of preowned goods and the option of RE-ZIP packaging. Social impact encompasses good working conditions in the value chain.
We have identified two main areas which we prioritize on our journey to becoming more and more responsible - our environmental impact and our social impact. In 2022 we assessed our status in various aspects of our progress at esmé studios, and created new goals for the future. You can read more about our social and environmental initiatives here.
We at esmé studios have obtained certifications that help ensure that we produce clothes responsibly. We know that it can be difficult to find out what is good and what is bad between all the different certificates that exist. To be more transparent, we have made a short overview of the ones we use and what they mean. See the overview here.
esmé studios is more than just a brand, it’s a lifestyle and a statement about your values. In the spirit of our motto - buy less, buy better - we focus on versatile and timeless styles with long-lasting colors. We’re all about providing quality garments of durable materials that stay in fashion irrespective of changing fashion trends. This way, your wardrobe will always be in fashion. Our clothes are designed to be not only technically durable, but also emotionally. The goal of our designs is to give you clothing options that are sure to be mainstays in your wardrobe, and that you'll find yourself reusing again and again.
Materials and design goes together in creating a piece of clothing. On our journey in making our designs a reality, we’re on a constant search in finding the best responsible materials to create our clothes. The materials that make up a piece of clothing also determine the impact it has on the environment. We strive to use only responsible fabrics, however, on rare occasions it is not possible due to functionality etc. See our materials overview here.
We dream about making a difference in the world, and one way is to push for social responsibility. Social responsibility is important to us. We’re proud to say, that all our suppliers at esmé studios are certified by 3rd party social certifications. It’s essential that we do not contribute to cruel behavior towards any worker groups anywhere in the world. We’re actively keeping an eye on reports from Amnesty International, the UN, and other NGOs on workers rights violations in the textile industry. We make sure that we only source materials and services from regions and suppliers that respect human rights. We have been following BSCI’s code of conduct since we started. The BSCI code of conduct consists of 11 principles that serve to protect human rights, labor rights, the environment, and anti-corruption. You can read more about BSCI here.
Transparency is important and very much a part of who we are. While our supply chain is quite complex, we work hard everyday to be ever more transparent. We have defined four tier levels to help us analyze the level of transparency in our supply chain:
Manufacturing - Cutting, sewing, assembling, and prototyping.
Wet process - Fabric dying and printing.
Raw materials - Raw material farms and factories.
Material process - Fabric dying and printing.
We’re working hard on our supply chain transparency, and our goal is to provide an overview up to tier 3 by 2025. As of 2022, we share tier 1 supplier information.
From the very fiber that makes up our clothing, we care deeply about clothes. They deserve the very best treatment, as does the climate. That’s why it’s important for us to choose packaging options that do not compromise with environmental responsibility or the protection of our clothes. The goods from our suppliers are wrapped in poly bags made of recycled plastic and packed in boxes of cardboard that are FSC certified. Our business customers receive their goods in the polybags they arrived in and cardboard boxes. We try to reuse as many of the cardboard boxes as possible from our incoming shipments for our outgoing deliveries. Currently, about half of the boxes from our incoming shipments are reused. The other half of the boxes we use are FSC mix certified. This means that the boxes consist of 80% reused material and 20% new cardboard fibers from responsibly managed forests.
The goods we transport from China are shipped primarily by sea and secondarily by rail. We do our best to avoid using air freight whenever possible. On the occasion that it’s necessary to use air freight, it’s only to transport product samples. All our goods from India are transported by sea. Goods from Turkey and Portugal are transported by trucks. When we transport goods to our wholesale customers we use large and small trucks appropriate to the situation. The fossil fuels used in trucks is something we worry about. We’re closely monitoring the progress of alternative energy sources as potential replacements for fossil fuels. For transportation to private customers, we use different delivery services depending on where the customer is located. One of the courier services we use is DHL Go Green which offers a reduced greenhouse gas emission compared to conventional courier services.
Reuse & Recycle
Not buying clothes at all would be an efficient way to reduce our environmental impact. The chance of that happening is, however, not very likely. So what can we do as a compromise? Reuse and recycle what we already have! Reusing and recycling is very important to us at esmé. It’s in the very essence of who we are. For example, we aim to use only recycled poly fibers and not virgin poly fibers. Fiber recycling is a great way to help reduce emissions and there are big opportunities to be found here. We closely and eagerly follow the development of new technologies and recycling possibilities as they emerge. We work to increase our activity in this part of our business. We also ensure that samples of our clothing in our offices are not destroyed, but are instead given a new life by donating or selling them. There is no reason at all to throw away clothes that are perfectly fine just because they are samples.
Longlasting & Durability
Our clothes are made to last, but even so, sometimes luck does run out. Throwing away your favorite shirt because you’ve been unlucky is not a nice feeling - but what if you didn't have to? Repairing clothes removes the need to buy new ones and it's a great way to avoid buying new ones. We want to make your esmé clothes last longer - and that's exactly what we’re doing. If you are ever in doubt whether you have something that can be fixed, feel free to contact us!
In 2022, we launched RE-ZIP which gives you the possibility to shop even more responsibly and earn vouchers for our webshop. You can now choose RE-ZIP packaging when you shop through our webshop. With this option you can send the packaging in which you received your items back to us for reuse. When you choose this option, you will receive a voucher which can be used on our webshop. Read more about RE-ZIP here.
We are aware, that shipping our goods from our suppliers in China, India, Portugal, and Turkey has an impact on the environment. As we aim to reduce our carbon footprint, we’re constantly searching for new, better, and more green methods to transport our goods. For this reason, we strive to choose the transportation methods that are less C02-intensive whenever possible.
Buying & Selling Pre-owned
While our clothes are indeed designed to last a long time, we recognize that personal style preferences can evolve. That’s why we have made it possible for you to both purchase and sell preowned styles from esmé studios on our webshop. In 2022, we launched our new preowned concept and we’re excited to follow its growth. With this concept, you can make a difference by recycling your clothes, and help others reuse too! Read more about buying preowned and selling your esmé styles here.
We want you to enjoy your esmé studios’ clothes for as long as possible, and to give it a long life, your love and care is needed too. We have created a care guide explaining how you can best take care of your clothes, including ours! With these tips, you can not only give your clothes a longer life, but help the world by reducing your impact on the environment. See our careguide here
We cannot yet say that we’re fully responsible in all parts of the value chain but we’re getting there, and future goals are set. Being responsible is not a simple task, but it’s both inspiring and rewarding. Today we’re proud to say that, through hard work and determination, we have grown from a great idea to actual reality. We hope to inspire you to join us on our journey towards building a slower and more responsible fashion industry.