One of our top priorities is to minimize and prevent harm to others and the environment, and we’re not just saying that. Though it sometimes adds extra layers of complications, and additional costs, we are committed to producing clothing that we’re proud of making, and that you are proud of wearing.
Here are the ways in which we incorporate sustainability into everything that we do.
MATERIAL & DESIGN
We aim to create products that are evergreen, rather than focusing on seasonal trends that go in and out of style quickly, to make sure your clothes last longer, aesthetically.
We also ensure that your clothes last, in terms of durability, by using unique, high-quality materials that last, or even improve with, everyday wear and tear. For example, our organic cotton bubuleh hoodies use a long-strain organic cotton that actually gets softer with each wear. The cotton is more durable than regular cotton, ensuring it will last for years, and we’ve intentionally designed the colors and style to be ones that would look great with normal signs of wear for a vintage look. Having this strict bar for quality also limits returns, which is great for both you and the environment.
We also make an intentional effort to look at other factors in sustainability when determining materials. For example, for our Shayna Punim face masks, we use 100% flax linen, a naturally skin-friendly material that doesn’t need the type of chemical pesticides and fertilizers that other materials do.
In addition, though we’re focused on style, we’re also very focused on comfort and the soft feel of our materials (many of our customers say that our products are the softest pieces of clothing they own). Why? First, we want you to be comfortable wearing our clothes, and second, this ensures that even if and when your style changes, you could utilize your products for other purposes later.
For example, though our Generations Long-Sleeve Tee is handmade in London using sustainable practices (detailed below), the material itself is polyester, which can be problematic in terms of breaking down and recycling. So, with that polyester, we use a blend that’s incredibly soft and durable so you can wear it as pajamas or loungewear even if you decide in the future that it’s not your style anymore.
The combination of these practices gives you the best bang for your buck, since you won’t have to replace these clothes due to material or aesthetic for years to come, and allows us to divert products from landfill.
100% VEGAN, CRUELTY-FREE
We are a 100% vegan and cruelty-free brand, which means that we use no animal products or byproducts in our process (i.e. no wool, leather, silk, etc.).
LIMITED INVENTORY & LIMITED WASTE
As a new clothing brand, we’re still learning what products are resonating most, selling best, etc. So, rather than order or produce large quantities of clothing that may go to waste, we make our products in small, limited quantities to ensure that no waste is leftover.
We often order styles in as few batches as 10 or 20, which also makes many of our products sell out quickly.
RESPONSIBLE, SWEATSHOP-FREE PRODUCTION
To produce our clothes, we closely vet our vendors and production partners to ensure we know everything possible about their environmental and ethical standards. If we do not feel their practices meet the high bar we are striving for, we will not work with those partners. This is especially true with international production partners, given that we do not necessarily see them in person. All of our clothes are guaranteed to be sweatshop-free.
To accomplish this, we rely on building authentic and open relationships with our partners, in addition to relying on international standards and certifications.
For example, we have built a great relationship with a sustainable production partner in London, which makes all of their clothing by hand in one facility that:
• Is gas-free.
• Uses water-free manufacturing and printing processes, as well as natural inks.
• Uses FSC-certified materials that meet a high standard for environmental sustainability.
• Uses fabrics made from 100% natural materials, as well as fabrics that are recycled and purchased locally.
• Provides all scrap fabric to individuals, like crafters, rather than sending it to landfill.
• Provides all employees with fair wages and safe working conditions in one safe facility.
Another international partner we work with adheres to many exceptionally high standards, such as:
• Adhering to the SA 800 for Social Accountability Management System. The SA8000 Standard is the world’s leading social certification program. It provides a holistic framework in any country to demonstrate a company’s dedication to the fair treatment of workers.
• Certifying their factories as Fairtrade Labeling Organizations (FLO) which are dedicated to alleviating poverty afflicting the majority of the world's farmers and workers by setting and certifying the compliance of stringent, socially-conscious production standards.
• Making all of their factories WRAP-certified and compliant. The WRAP certification is a comprehensive facility-based model that has made it the world’s largest independent social compliance certification program for the apparel/textile industry.
• Producing clothing in wind-mill powered facilities.
• Using raw materials that meet international standards and accreditations for quality and environmental management systems.
AUTOMATIC CARBON NEUTRAL SHIPPING
Through working with an innovative tech partner, as of February 2021, we automatically pay for your order to ship carbon neutral!
What does this mean and how does it work?
When you place and order, our website looks at how much the package weighs, how far it’s going, what type of garment it is and which type of materials it uses to calculate the carbon footprint of the order. On our end, we then pay to offset that carbon footprint by directing that exact amount of carbon to certified carbon offset projects, like planting trees or building new wind farms.
To do this, our partners include carbon offset projects that are additive, permanent, and without unintended consequences (i.e., creating more carbon elsewhere, like Whack-a-Mole). All of the projects are independently certified to internationally recognized standards. In addition to the carbon reduction, all of the projects include an element of social good such as protecting an endangered species or creating local jobs.
In our first month of utilizing this partnership, we offset 2 Tons of CO2 (the equivalent of 446.8 trees saved)!
ECO-FRIENDLY, RECYCLABLE PACKAGING
All of our poly mailers are made out of mostly post-consumer recycled material, and are fully recyclable. Our mailers also have two sealing straps, so if you need to return or exchange an item, you can use the same mailer. Our cardboard boxes are recyclable, as well.
And we go beyond that, too. Our packaging includes very detailed elements for a personalized touch (curious what we mean? Guess you’ll have to order to find out…), and we ensure that each of these elements is environmentally-friendly, too, such as using recycled and recyclable gift wrap, recyclable plastic wraps for the clothing, organic plant essences for aroma, recyclable paper, etc.
Because of all of this, we are able to avoid single-use plastic in our packaging.
UPCYCLING & REPURPOSING
Fashion is one of the most wasteful industries in the world, with major brands and designers throwing away mountains worth of fantastic fabric and clothing everyday. Fortunately, there are ways to reuse this fabric.
When we have scrap fabric or packaging, we often repurpose it for usage somewhere else rather than throwing it away or even recycling it. This helps us to create cool new products and styles, and also divert these materials from landfill.
In addition, we work with several partners to use upcycled, high-quality fabric that would have gone to waste otherwise, and even utilize thrifting as a way to reuse older materials.
FACE MASK BUYBACK PROGRAM
We are constantly looking for new ways to incorporate sustainability into our offerings, which is why we’re launching a buyback program for our face masks. We plan to use the flax linen for future products.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
We're committed to transparency, and we believe that actions speak louder than words. We’re constantly working to improve our production process to be more sustainable, ethical, and eco-friendly.
So, beyond looks, you can count on feeling great knowing that you’re wearing bubuleh.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.