To operate as a fashion brand where ethics are at the forefront of our minds, operation and production. To only work with like minded parties both internally and externally where together we work to create product that is considered and ethically produced. We endeavour to minimise the impact we have on the environment and aim to support positive, social practices.
ELK was created by people, for people. We are all citizens of this World and believe that we have a responsibility to act with kindness, honesty, openness and integrity. These values have been the corner stones of our business and ring true in our personal and work lives.
We seek common values in those that join the ELK family at every level. We operate on a solid ethical foundation and work only with those that have a philosophy where fairness, equality and mutual respect is key.
We believe that everyone should question who, where and how something is made. It is only right to do so and it is our requirement that all suppliers operate openly with us, run an honest and fair business, make themselves available for independent assessment and continually strive for improvement. At ELK, we do know who our makers are. We know how and where our products are created and love the process of being involved at every step.
Our work is a journey. We know that as a fashion brand the products we create have an impact on our Earth and on the people that make for us. As such we are on a constant search to surround ourselves with people and suppliers who can collaborate to make to the best product in the best way for all.
To learn more about our makers and some of their wonderful initiatives we are putting together a complete biography of each maker. We have a couple of these bios completed - link below. In the meantime please get in touch if you ever want to know more, we are happy to share so that you can learn more about the wonderful people behind ELK.
MAKERS BIO LINKS
CORE VALUES & SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT
We have a responsibility to trace and monitor our supply chain to know where and how our products are made and where the materials come from. To achieve our mission and live out our philosophy all existing and new suppliers that work with ELK are subject to an agreement which is formed from our core values and includes a comprehensive code of conduct. This code aims to bring about transparency, to help us know who we are working with and build a trusting relationship. It also works as a road map where by independent assessments highlight changes or improvements needed so that together we can strive to ensure better working conditions and safe and fair trade.
The following is a summary of this code.
* no child labour or forced labour including hired subcontractors and outsourced workers
* sweat shop free
* wages to be paid above legal minimum and to consider the cost of living. These must cover over time (which must be voluntary), insurance and other such entitlements as sick leave etc
* clean and safe working environments that adhere to local laws and that pass the scrutiny of independent assessment. This covers buildings, safety equipment, waste management, chemical management, the provision and maintenance of hygienic amenities, clean drinking water etc
* all factories must initially be visited by an ELK team member before any work commences and then ongoing annual or bi annual visits
* all suppliers are to sign a working agreement and code of conduct with ELK before commencing any work which must be signed by all parties
* an independent assessment body will be appointed to provide factory accreditation. Most commonly SEDEX or Intertek. These accreditations must be kept up to date and any course of action to improve, repair or implement recommendations must be demonstrated
- Australia - Melbourne (some apparel) and Tweed Heads (swim wear releasing mid 2017)
- Philippines - Cebu (timber and resin jewellery)
- China - Tongxiang and Shanghai (knitwear and apparel)
- India - Delhi, Agra, Chennai, Kolkata and Pondicherry (Vegetable tanned leather and leather accessories including footwear)
- India - Kolkata (organic, fair trade knitwear releasing end 2017)
- South Korea - Seoul (fine jewellery)
FABRICS AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENT
APPAREL MATERIALS: We are currently on a mission to resource all fabrics (wovens and knitwear) where we believe there are better, more sustainable options available. Currently, we preference the use of pure fabrics including cotton, bamboo, silk, recycled lycra (for swimwear), timber based fabrics including viscose, tencel and lyocell. We are investigating the use of other fibres such as recycled fabrics, soybean fibres and vegetable tanned cotton. There is a great deal of research currently underway and we look forward to sharing these exciting developments with you.
LEATHERS: The leathers we use are mostly vegetable dyed and are the bi-product of the meat industry. We choose to use leather rather than synthetic (PU or PVC) materials as each component of our bags at the end of their life is recyclable (metal components) and as natural materials both the hides and 100% cotton linings can biodegrade. The factories that produce our leather goods have some amazing initiatives in place and are all certified by independent bodies ensuring that their working practices, facilities and process management are accredited and managed. Please refer to the individual Maker's Bios for more information (*all Bio's are due for completion by the end of April). For the future of this category, we are preferencing the use of factories that are vertically integrated where the tanning plants and finishing plants are all in one place and managed by the same teams for quality, consistency and transparency.
We support independent makers to sustain local communities and ethical manufacturing. In doing so we help to maintain traditional craftsmanship as well as the development of new skills to create self-sustainable communities of the future. Every day we strive to do our best; ethically, socially and environmentally.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Marnie & Adam xx