Environmental

We believe it is essential to not only offer distinctive knit accessories, but also to help support sustainable local economies, while striving to minimize environmental impact.

How do we do this?

1. Local Production

The vast majority of our knitting is done in the same place that Olena Zylak sketches and "prototypes" her designs: at our studio in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. During busy periods, we receive occasional knitting assistance from another local artisan. By keeping our production on-site and local, we minimize the fuel consumption (and its emissions) needed to ship items between our studio and our associate artisan.

Working locally also enables us to contribute to our regional economy, and is the key to the outstanding quality of our finished pieces.

2. Fair Trade Organic Cotton

Beginning in 2014 we have made a point of using more EcoCot™ fibres. This yarn is made of 100% organically-grown cotton, which is cultivated under verified fair-trade practices in Tanzania and India. There are numerous economic, societal, environmental and health benefits of this ethically-minded agriculture.

Farm Worker Benefits

  • fair pay
  • a pension or similar retirement funding
  • work conditions must conform to acceptable standards
  • reasonable limits are set on working hours per day and week
  • no exposure to pesticides

Farm and Region Benefits

  • no dependence on chemical companies for seeds and fertilizer
  • farms receive long-term trade agreements with guaranteed purchase minimums
  • farms are paid a premium of approximately 20% over general market prices
  • this premium is used to:
    • construct schools
    • pay for teachers
    • drill water wells for the villages
    • build roads
    • install irrigation systems for the farms

This ecologically sound agriculture is part of a socially-responsible production chain which adheres to the standards of bioRe® of Switzerland. Additionally, the spinning and dying of the raw cotton is carried out according to the ecological standards of the European-based IVN (International Association of the Textile Industry).

You’ll find this luxury cotton in numerous styles, including the Après Punk Hat, Chatsworth Toque, Dunedin Hat, Killarney Tam, Ravenna Hat, and Valhalla Hat.

Items which feature EcoCot are knit at our studio. During busy periods, we receive occasional finishing assistance from another locally-based artisan. All of our pieces are made on a local level here in Ontario, Canada.

3. Sustainably Produced Marketing Materials

We are deeply concerned about our planet’s wellbeing. Wherever possible, we seek out materials with smaller environmental footprints, without sacrificing quality.

For example, our hang tags, postcards and business cards are all printed in Canada using vegetable and/or soy based inks. And for our rectangular “logo” hang tags, we work with a printer that is certified by both the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the PEFC Chain of Custody standard. The FSC is “a global, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management worldwide”, and PEFC (The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) is “an international non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management through independent third-party certification.”

In the case of our boutique point-of-purchase displays, we insist on using 100% recycled cardboard.

4. Reduced Energy Consumption

Our studio generally has the lights and air conditioning turned off, relying on natural light and attic insulation. It’s never a bad idea to try and make a difference through the everyday “little things”.

2017 marks our 20th year in business (and 20 years of being made-in-Canada). While this milestone is significant on many levels, we look forward to implementing even more economically- and environmentally-sound practices as the future unfolds.

EcoCot™ is a registered trademark of Silk City Fibers, Paterson, NJ.

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