What does sustainable fashion mean for Aimmea?
Do a Google search for “what is sustainable fashion” and this is one of the first results you’ll see;
“… Sustainable clothing is a collective term for clothing produced without harming people, animals, or the environment. The garment industry is one of the most polluting and degrading industries in the world. Only 1% of all clothing is produced fairly…”
Nice positive start, not really so. But there’s no getting around it, most fashion is bad for our planet and what lives on it. But since we prefer not to walk around naked anyway (not me at least : ) fashion is necessary. Yet it does not have to be disastrous for humans and animals. So why is only 1% of all clothing sustainable? The answer is simple, greed, because producing sustainably is expensive and not easy.
Aimmea and the 1%
Improve the world, start with yourself. It is a motto I have lived by all my adult life. Even though my contribution has only a very small impact, if everyone did it … Slightly trite perhaps, but certainly no less true. What I was already doing privately (recycling and making conscious choices) I also wanted to implement at Aimmea. So from the beginning, I have always pursued the most sustainable way of producing and sourcing.
When the clothes come from less far away it makes a huge difference in CO2 emissions. Paying a fair wage and providing decent working conditions also contribute to the sustainability of a clothing brand. Personally, I also like the idea of supporting local workers and entrepreneurs, because that in turn is good for the local economy. In addition, we like to work with smaller family businesses that benefit directly from our assignments themselves rather than investors, because that’s also a thing.
In addition to producing locally, the next step is to use fabrics and materials exclusively from our own continent. We are well on our way because the pandemic has driven up the price of our brushed jersey so much that it is now overpriced. Our fabric suppliers within Europe have a wide range of beautiful fabrics and they both also have increasingly sustainable choices. This makes it increasingly easy for us to complete the path towards 100% sustainability. Because 100% sustainable, we’re not there yet.
We also choose European producers of our haberdashery, for example our buttons come from Lithuania where they use recycled materials to make beautiful buttons. Our packaging is currently the most sustainable as it is 100% biodegradable and leaves no microplastic behind. Not only the mailers in which we send the orders but also the product bags themselves.
Durability also means that your garment is made from a high quality fabric and thus lasts a long time. We want you to place a new order with us because you want something new, not because your garment is falling apart after 1 season as is the case with fast-fashion clothing brands. Did you know that such clothing brands purposely make fabrics of poor quality so that you will quickly buy something new from them again? That falls under the bit of greed I mentioned earlier. Of course we want to make money, there is – in our opinion – nothing wrong with that, but we like to do that honestly and in a positive way for people, animals and planet.
As I mentioned, we are not yet 100% sustainable. It could be much, much better. For example, I recently received a delivery of ‘Thank you’ cards that we had printed on paper-free, recycled material using toxic-free ink. But those arrived wrapped in a thick layer of plastic. That was really one of those “facepalm” moments.
But we too have a long way to go. Not all of our production locations are already using the new biodegradable product bags, nor is it yet possible to deliver the packages CO2-neutral, for example. And so there are still a lot of improvements to be made. And maybe 100% sustainability is not possible at all, but as long as we strive for it, we will be fine.
We continue to work on solutions to become, step by step, more and more sustainable. For example, we have already found a new supplier who will make clothes for us from bamboo. Bamboo is the most durable fabric available and also has many other advantages such as the softness of the fabric (we also think this is very important) but also the fact that bamboo is naturally antibacterial.
Thanks for reading! And know that when you order something from our webshop you not only get a nice outfit but also do your bit for a more sustainable world.
Sweet greetings, Maria