If you're in a hurry, here is the short version of our factory policy. We work with factories who are dedicated to ethical production and the materials that we use have certain certificates like GOTS and FSC. That was pretty short ha? If you like to read more, down here is the long version.
Every good product starts with the right resources. As mentioned almost everywhere on the website, we only use natural materials for our athletic apparel. ‘Why is that?’, you may ask. Here is a blog that explains why they are sustainable and why we use them. These natural materials include hemp, eucalyptus, beechwood and organic cotton. Each one of them has their own unique advantages and we source them all in Europe.
'Well, how do you know that the fabric is really what the factory says it is?' The best way to know this is by certificates. There are international organizations which oversee the production of fabrics and give certificates to companies that obey the rules, like GOTS and FSC. This makes it easy for us to identify that we have the right fabrics.
After we have selected the fabrics from various suppliers, it’s time to make athletic apparel out of them. This is done in our factories that specialize in clothing production. Documentaries like The True Cost shed a clear light on the sad circumstances that a lot of clothing workers have to work in.
In order to make sure that all our clothing is produced in a fair way, we have selected local, GOTS and SMETA certified factories (in Portugal and Greece), which we have a close relationship with, visit regularly and from whom we know that they are dedicated to fair production standards. The employees have normal working hours, breaks and vacations and earn living wages. Living wages means that the employees earn a minimum of approximately 1.2 - 1.3 times the minimum wage and on average 1.5 - 1.7 times the minimum wage in their country.
We minimize textile waste in multiple ways. We reduce waste by designing a product to be made from a single fabric, by maximizing cutting efficiency and by even in some cases using the same fabric for multiple products. Besides that, we don't work with seasonal collections so we don't overproduce.
Besides the policies we have in place to select our factories and resources, we also have other parts of the business where we try to create a positive impact.
Packaging: We ship our products plastic free and without any orderpicking paper.
Digital: We use as little paper as possible in our office and between us, our suppliers and our customers.
Shipping: We always look what the most sustainable option is for the shipping of our products.
Recycling: We want our resources to last forever, so we give people a discount if they send back their worn out Iron Roots apparel. This way our products don't end up in landfills, and we can recycle them into new products when the minimum volume is reached, which is set by our recycling partner.
Knowledge: Through our blogs, talks at events and lectures at universities, we try to educate others on the important topics related to the clothing industry.
Our complete sustainability policy can be found here.