Sustainability in 2022
At koko+kind our commitment to sustainable practices permeates our home and business. No we don't really shout about it, like you would think, because, well that's just not us. Some actions won't be seen by the customer but are important to us nonetheless. Here we explain some of our choices and what they mean to us.
Carbon Offsetting/Carbon Neutral Business.
Our collective home is in the process of being turned totally upside down which is leading to strife for almost all life on Earth. We know it’s preventable. And we know it’s not going to save itself. So, it is up to us to solve it. But what levers can we pull? Reducing our carbon footprint is entirely necessary, but the transition of change is far slower than the time we have remaining. In 3 months of climate impact through our partner Ecologi we have saved 2.64t of carbon reduction and planted157 trees in our forest. Ecologis scheme means we can eliminate the impact of posting parcels by changing the dialogue around to create something positive with every order. koko+kind is therefore proud to be a Carbon neutral business supporting Gold Standard Certificated Schemes to reduce the environmental impact of our carbon usage and resources.
All of our printed apparel is certified VEGAN and most are PETA approved. This was an important choice to us to not use animal products in our clothes. Every day people are bombarded with decisions. One of our goals is to make your choice in shopping easier, and one of the ways we do this is by keeping our choice of products vegan and cruelty-free. This means no animals were harmed when making our goods. This also means that we produce all of our clothes in factories audited by international, third-party non-profits who monitor ethical working conditions.
Shockingly many clothing companies are cashing in on the vegan community and will happily use non-vegan materials, inks and methods to sell you a ‘vegan tee’. It’s hard to know on the face of it who is doing this, so either buy from Vegan Certified businesses or ask the company what the clothing dye is made from, and do not accept “natural dyes” as their answer. Darker colours and red often contain animal derivatives. Ask what ink AND what emulsion they use for screen printing. It's not common knowledge but the emulsion used on the screens to create the stencil itself is usually the non-vegan element. They commonly contain gelatin! Permaset inks have no animal derived ingredients and aren’t tested on animals. Plastisol inks require harmful solvents during the screen cleaning process which harms aquatic life. What about water-based inks you ask? Well some are sustainable and others...not so much. The tip within this tip is to simply ask, and if they don't have the answers then walk away and toward a 100% vegan business that has transparency when it comes to their Tee's and Hoodies. The Tee-Shirt and Hoodies are Fair Wear Accredited, PETA-Approved Vegan. Other fabrics used are Polyester and Lycra.
Our manufacturing plastics have been donated to Crisp Packet Project Shirebrook or recycled through TerraCycle UK. The Crisp Packet Project uses washed & cut foil crisp packets to make survival blankets/bivi bags/pillows/mats and other items for our less fortunate communities. Did you know, it can take up to 80 years for a crisp packet to decompose! So turning them into something useful reduces waste and provides comfort to those in need. Each blanket uses 75 packets, that's 6,000 recycling years! The saved crisp packets are then ironed between layers of our waste plastic so they can provide a combination of waterproofing and insulation to the homeless as a blanket or pillow. Check out our reel here.
Sample and Return Waste:
Our personal commitment to sustainability doesn't stop at the products, all of our samples are finding homes at Sharewear Clothing Scheme in Nottingham. This charity is aiming to reduce clothing poverty whilst also reducing barriers to exercise, job interviews and school uniform. Our returned goods, if faulty, have also been repaired and donated. We have also donated a small amount new products during our yearly 'active-wear amnesty' in July. See how they have been used here!
Our current packaging for postal items uses small mesh bags and a small amount of tissue paper. These mesh bags, made specifically for koko+kind, are meant to be re-used and our VIP FB Group are having fun determining what they can be used for. We have gym bands in ours, but we have seen them used for track spikes, gym accessories, swimming goggles and nose clip, laundry bags, sanitary items, and baby items! Coming soon is our own Leopard Print compostable mailer bags which we will be combining with compostable shipping labels. We have also recently switched to other compostable labels!
Having researched the use of rPET my concerns are about the life cycle of plastic and around the use of bleaches. Many brands are looking towards using recycled plastics (bottle/fishing nets) in their active wear but having researched this extensively I feel very differently. A plastic bottle can be recycled infinitely, cleansing the plastics and reusing again. As soon as the plastic is turned to fabric that cycle ends. So while it is a great sentiment and gives a sense of doing better, using a recycled bottle in the fabric does very little to close the gap. A better solution is to wear the clothes and prioritise using items until the end of their life and developing better consistencies for recycling plastic waste. The rPET cycle also uses more bleach etc. to obtain whites, but this is definitely an area we will be reflecting, developing and researching in the future. Our reflective vinyl is vegan however, producing vinyl can be considered un-sustainable which was a decision in keeping our logos very small. Our leggings are ethically produced in China by a family-owned garment factory that meets high standards of labour, quality and working conditions.
Hope that helps, Team koko+kind x