Sustainability is not optional. To us, it’s so important that it's woven into every decision we make as a business, from the environmental impact of our garments, to the welfare of skilled workers who help bring our designs to life.
We believe that it should not fall on the recipient of our garments to have to question the ethics of its creation or continue to offset the environmental impact of the garment as they use it.
When someone shops with LacunaFit, they purchase peace of mind. At LacunaFit we are thankful for being given the chance to bring our designs to life, and understand that it's our responsibility to consider the full lifecycle of our garments.
The full lifecycle impact of a garment
A garment is not just what it's made from. There are countless other steps in the whole lifecycle of each piece of clothing we wear, from fabric production, to shipping from the manufacturer, to what happens when the item gets thrown away.
We want to take into account all of these stages, so that we can lessen the overall impact of each item as much as possible.
There are two ways that one could consider the full lifecycle impact of a garment:
- ‘Bottom up’ - Considering each stage of the process from material selection to garment creation and then onto shipping and customer usage.
- ‘Top down’ - Using approximations from existing research on similar fabrics and garments to give a guide (based on rigorous research) to the lifecycle impact of a garment.
In an ideal world we would be able to track our garments from thread to wash to understand its true impact, but we are realistic in our sights and have opted to take existing research conducted and add on a tolerance for inaccuracies and differences. The key fact here is that tolerance is added in pursuit of more than offsetting the impact of our garments.
After doing plenty of research (1,2), we believe each garment we sell has a lifetime impact of 14 kg CO2e, which we’ll round up to 15.5kg CO2e to ensure that we fully compensate and even overcompensate. This takes into consideration:
- The raw materials used
- How the item is manufactured
- How the item gets to us
- How the item gets to you
- The packaging
- The usage lifetime of the item
- The disposal of the item
Within each of these categories there are lots of details - even down to the electrical lighting used in the factory! However it would be a gross misunderstanding to say this was accurate analysis for every garment made, and is more of an approximation based on our best assumptions.
How we offset the lifecycle impact of a garment
At the end of every calendar month, we calculate the environmental impact of the garments we have sold and with this figure in mind, we donate to a project with a calculated offset equating at least to impact calculated. The projects vary in nature by month, and are selected based on feedback from our community; they range from reforestation to clean energy and social projects which help develop energy efficiency.
How we oversee the ethics of our supply chain
The production of garments is a notoriously difficult aspect of the supply chain to ensure no individual or group of individuals are taken advantage of in pursuits of profits by the factory. We rely on third party auditors to review the factories periodically with varying factors of consideration ranging from safe working conditions to structures in place to ensuring living wage is being met.
We have strong relationships with each of our factories and continue to engage with them proactively to understand where processes can be modified to reduce environmental impact. For example modification of hangtags to recycled materials, and usage of alternative materials such as vegan suede.
Ultimately LacunaFit does not do enough. It’s as simple as that. In fact, we don’t really know how any business which operates in our space can truthfully say they are 100% sustainable. It's a journey, not a destination. We feel the best we can initially do is to be honest and transparent. From a solid base of trust we will gradually work our way through every aspect of our business, modifying anything that can be, in pursuit of a greener reality.
We are disappointed that we cannot state plainly that WE ARE SUSTAINABLE. But what we can tell you is that when you shop with LacunaFit, you are supporting a small business which takes sustainability seriously and will remain transparent on its journey, and do as much as it can (on your behalf) to offset the impacts of you enjoying our garments.