Our goal, quite simply, is to be better. By this, we mean being better in all things we do. Not only making better choices when it comes to raw materials for our designs, but also choosing fairtrade and organic coffee for our staff in the office and using biodegradable poly bags for packaging. This also means working with suppliers that have appropriate certifications and factories that ensure fair and responsible conditions for their workers. We visit all suppliers and factories as we like to know who we’re working with.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments you may have. We would love to hear from you.
The list is long, and we know we will not be able to succeed at everything at once. But we know we have to take responsibility, and we have to take action sooner than later.
Here are areas in which we’re trying to be better:
- Better qualities
- Better packaging
- Better care
- Better community
Our designs are the core of our existence. As a sustainable and responsible brand, we choose all our qualities with the utmost care and only use materials that we believe in.
The reason why we compare materials side by side is so we understand the environmental tradeoffs between these options and in order to make the best choice.
Here’s a selection of our qualities and the reasons why we chose them:
Tencel, the new age fibre, is a lyocell fibre made from wood cellulose or pulp. The wood comes from trees such as fast-growing eucalyptus. These trees require no irrigation or pesticides to grow. The fibre bears a strong resemblance to cotton and linen in texture, and can be used in many qualities. The fabric made from this fibre is naturally biodegradable and production does not create harmful by-products. Tencel is one of the most well-known lyocell fibres and is produced by Lenzing.
Lenzing viscose is another fantastic fibre, also known under its brand name EcoVero. This viscose fibre is derived from sustainable wood and pulp from certified and controlled sources. Compared to generic viscose qualities, the Lenzing viscose production reduces emissions and water impact by up to 50%. It is also certified eco-responsible and labeled with the internationally recognised EU Ecolabel for its significantly lower environmental impact through its lifecycle. Find out more about Lenzing’s EcoVero.
Waste or recycled cotton is post-consumer or re-purposed cotton that is reused for clothes production and other purposes. From a sustainability perspective, cotton recycling, if using just pure cotton, requires no new ingredients other than cellulose fibres (typically from wood), that can be added to the existing cotton fibres.
Organic cotton uses less water than traditionally farmed cotton. Compared to traditional cotton, organic cotton farming does not allow the use of toxic chemicals or genetically modified organisms. In this way, it doesn’t damage the soil and also uses 71% less water because organic cotton uses 80% rain water, and 62% less energy than conventional cotton. Absence of chemicals mean cleaner and safer water, for the environment, and the farmers. Interested in learning more? Find out more about organic cotton.
Recycled wool is a low-impact process. Production of traditional virgin wool requires land and water for grazing sheep. And subsequent production requires a high-energy process of shearing, water and chemical usage that all has a negative impact on the environment. Using recycled wool means using much less energy and reduces carbon emissions substantially.
Recycled polyester is the green, eco-friendly alternative to conventional polyester. Although it shares the same name as traditional polyester, the non-sustainable synthetic fibre some of us grew up with, recycled polyester is nothing like its conventional counterpart. Recycled polyester uses plastic as its raw material. In fact, PET, the material in most plastic containers, is recycled to create fibres for recycled polyester fabric. The big win is that recycling PET for fabrics means preventing a lot of plastic from going to landfills.SEAQUAL, one of the most certified, nature-friendly fibres in the world, is made from recycled materials including post-consumer plastic bottles and plastic waste collected from our oceans. The plastic is up cycled into yarn, fabrics and other materials for various purposes. The result are recycled fabrics that meet certifiable and quality standards.
There is an incredible amount of waste in our industry and we’re not just talking about the energy and raw materials used for producing fabric. We’re also talking about the huge amounts of leftover fabric that are sitting in warehouses and storage around the world that are not being used for various reasons.
When we visit factories and suppliers we work with, we often come across beautiful fabrics and qualities that are not being used. These materials have already been produced and are no longer serving a purpose. We want to repurpose this leftover fabric and give it new life in new designs.
Better qualities also means no animal harm
We want to choose raw materials that do not originate from animals or cause animals harm.
This means that our designs will not use:
- real fur
- cashmere wool
We like to know who we’re working with. Before we enter a partnership, we visit all our suppliers and factories to find out if there’s a good fit. For us, a good fit means a supplier who can sign off on our supplier manual that details our responsibility to the environment and people. If you’re interested, get in touch and we would be happy to share the manual with you.
This basically means that we want to be sure our entire supply chain is acting in accordance with how we run our company and how we want to do things. For example, we only work with suppliers who have sustainable production, or those who have taken an active decision to make positive changes towards sustainability. We know changes take time, we know because we’re still changing the way we’re doing things. And we also know good things don’t happen overnight, so we don’t expect our suppliers to perform miracles either. However, small steps, in the right direction from all of us, add up and make a difference.
As a fashion brand, we use a lot of packaging. The thing is, we want to be able to send items to our customers around the world and we need to be able to pack collections properly during transportation to various distributors in cities all over. So what can we do about packaging? Actually, a lot can be done. We use biodegradable poly bags for packing clothes, and for our hang tags, we use stone paper, that is produced using less water than traditional paper. Neck labels and the string are made of recycled polyester.
Eco-friendly digital printing
Water pollution from the textile industry comes mainly from the dyeing and printing processes of textile production. Traditional textile printing has a huge impact on the environment because it creates a lot of waste water and a great deal of chemicals are used.
At STORM & MARIE, we only use fabrics that are digitally printed. Digital printing, as opposed to traditional textile printing, is the latest innovation within textile printing and is an ink-jet based digital method that reduces waste substantially compared to traditional rotary screen printing and other traditional dyeing methods.
Digital printing creates no ink wastage as only the exact amount of ink is used. This means, less chemicals and less water wastage. We like!
It’s no secret that transport and freight has an impact on our planet. One of the biggest offenders is air transport. And the most sustainable solution, is land transport which includes road and rail options.
The majority of our transport takes place on land. All transport in Europe is by road from either Portugal or Italy. And all goods from the Far East are transported by rail to Hamburg and then by road to us. Using rail transport reduces carbon emissions by 50% compared to sea transport.
The only time we use air freight is for packages weighing less than 5 kg, such as colour tests, quality cuttings, and other small items. In these cases, sea and rail options would create a larger carbon footprint.
Here’s a breakdown of carbon emissions by transport form:
- Air freight takes 2 days and consumes 139 ton CO2
- Ocean freight takes over 40 days and consumes approx. 4.8 ton CO2
- Combined sea and air freight take more than 22 days and consumes 77 ton CO2
- Rail takes 17-18 days and consumes 2.5 ton CO2
For us, better care means more wearing and less washing. Surprisingly, many consumers are unaware of the fact that they are washing their clothes incorrectly and that less washing means more wearing. We want to inform and involve our customers in how to better care for their clothes. We believe that this will not only increase the lifespan of clothing but also ultimately spare the environment of water wastage and unnecessary detergents.
We want to encourage consumers to join a movement that goes beyond the clothing industry. We are on a mission to move in a greener and more sustainable direction and we can’t do it alone. This is why we want to build a better community. We want to do this by informing, including and involving customers, partners, suppliers, stakeholders and other interested parties in what we are doing and why we are doing it. Because we know that it takes more than one brand to make a change.
Nordic Designers Aid
We support Nordic Designers Aid’s civic society projects. We donate our surplus stock to Nordic Designers Aid, a Danish not-for-profit, volunteer organisation with a mission to create less waste in the Scandinavian fashion industry and equal opportunities for girls.
Have you ever wondered what happens to faulty clothing that gets returned? Here at STORM & MARIE, we offer replacement styles whenever possible, or a refund.
On the rare occasion that we receive faulty styles, they are repaired by the Danish chapter of Soroptimist International, an organisation dedicated to empowering women and girls through projects that advocate their rights. The repaired and fault-free styles are sent to Romania for distribution among women and girls who are in need of clothing.
The Danish chapter is part of the Soroptimist International organisation that works to improve the lives of women and girls in over 60 countries. Soroptimists have addressed women’s issues in their communities and beyond since Soroptimist International was founded in 1921. Today, it is a strong international network of some 75,000 women, who are powerful and effective advocates of women’s and girls’ rights. Find out more about their work on their website.