Frank And Oak's movement towards sustainability
Notes from Ethan: an update on sustainability
Words— Ethan Song, co-founder and CEO
Earlier this year, we made reducing our impact on the planet our number one priority. We wanted to give people a more responsible option when getting dressed in the morning. Fashion can be a dirty business – traditional methods through which garments are produced tend to be harmful to the environment and what’s even more harrowing is that more than 87% of garments produced end up in landfills.
It’s an old-school industry in many ways, so making sweeping, transformative changes is daunting as it requires the engagement of stakeholders in every part of the process, from the fabric mills to the manufacturers, to our shipping partners, to even the day-to-day in our Montreal office.
Right now, we are minimizing everywhere we can. We’re currently looking into buttons made of recycled materials, and even minimizing the number of metal components that go in our denim (rivets, buttons, zippers, all that stuff). Any way we can do our part in reducing landfill waste and avoid producing when recycling is possible-we will. Our biggest challenge is supply and demand and finding the right people to partner with to achieve this.
Both internally and externally, people have been dubious about the speed at which we want to push through such transformation. But this is important. There is no time to waste. I'm proud to say that for our Fall collection, which hits stores this month, over 30% of the products are made via sustainable materials or processes. This time last year it was close to 0%. It’s not perfect, and it’s nowhere near where we want to be, but it gets better every day.
Another topic that has been on the top of our minds is everything around how we package our products.
Most people love nice packaging: it enhances the brand experience and makes the product more desirable. The reality is that it’s wasteful and creates even more landfill.
We're in the process of implementing a
5-point packaging initiative :
- Going to 100% recycled and recyclable boxes for online orders
- Moving to 50% recycled bags for online orders
- Going to 100% recycled and recyclable shopping bags for in-store purchases
- Reducing the amount of unnecessary packaging in each order
- Adding a reusable bag option.
All this comes at a cost but, in our eyes, it’s worth it.
Finally, later this month, we will be introducing our reinvented denim collection. I'm very proud of the work that was achieved by our designers and sourcing team. While creating the collection, we had two guiding principles: to build new fits that would adapt to different styles and body types and to increase the sustainability of our denim. We’ve also increased the quality of our materials to make sure they last for years to come. I already have mine and hope that you will give it a try.
It's been truly amazing to read all the enthusiastic comments and suggestions we've received over the last few months. I’d love to hear more from you guys. I invite you to send any questions or suggestions to email@example.com and I'll make a point to address them in my next note.
Enjoy the rest of your summer! If your heading somewhere new this summer, have an amazing journey.