HOW TO DEFINE SUSTAINABILITY?
Sustainability: it’s a tricky word. It has been misunderstood and misused for years now. But the concept of sustainability is easy to understand. To paraphrase the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations definition, sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future.Don’t take more than you need. Clean up your mess. Follow your heart. Be kind. Be fair. Share. These universal truths are all associated with sustainability.
To us, sustainability is a mindset and a business methodology. It means applying both common-sense and science to every decision we make. It means doing what is morally right, humane, and pragmatic, not what makes the most profit.
On this page, you’ll find a glossary of terms that define what we mean when we use words like “sustainability,” as well as all the ways that we strive to be sustainable.
We’re not perfect. No business is. But as we grow and learn with customers like you and continue to chase innovation and evolve, we think we can become pretty good. Maybe even great.
HOW AMENDI DEFINES SUSTAINABILITY:
Merriam-Webster definition of sustainability: “capable of being sustained” (Sustainability | Definition of Sustainability by Merriam-Webster (merriam-webster.com).
Another definition written by the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations (March 20, 1987) can be summarized thusly: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future. (1.1 Sustainability Definitions | EME 807: Technologies for Sustainability Systems (psu.edu).
The Slow Factory’s definition of “sustainable literacy” is “the ability to understand the systems around everything we create in order for us to exist consistently” (Sustainability Literacy (slowfactory.foundation).
There are three commonly discussed dimensions of sustainability that overlap and interact with eachother: social, economic, and environmental, as shown in this diagram by the University of Michigan.
To AMENDI, sustainability means considering all these dimensions when making a decision. From the environmental non-toxic processes, recycled water, organic and recycled materials, to the social and economic: fair wages, deep partnerships with suppliers and farmers.
In our mission for transparency and in our general fight against green-washing it’s important to us that our customers, and everyone interested in sustainability and fashion, understand what we, AMENDI, means when we use these words.
CHEMICAL-FREE NANO BUBBLE “BALL” WASH
To create “stonewash” effects nd added softness to our denim we add wash balls to our wash process instead of traditional pumice stones, which are often soaked in toxic oxidizing agents like potassium permanganate. The wash balls are made of recycled rubber and can be reused up to 150 times before being recycled again, while pumice stones can only be used 1-3 times.
Deadstock refers to fabric that was made but not used and that would otherwise be discarded as waste. AMENDI often takes advantage of leftover fabrics from luxury houses to make limited runs of specialty pieces.
Fabric dying is when the fabric roll is dyed before the cut and sew process. It creates a much richer, solid colored garment than garment dying does.
Garment dying is when a garment is cut and sewn and then dyed, as opposed to yarn dying when the unspun yarn is dyed, or fabric dying, when the entire roll of fabric is dyed. Garment dying often soften colors and texture and is often described as looking “vintage.”
Also known as Tencel, Lyocell is a natural material made from wood pulp (primarily from Eucalyptus, Oak, or Birch) which is broken down using a non-toxic chemical process and reformed into fibers. Lyocell has the feel of a heavyweight silk but is much more durable. Lyocell is also naturally biodegradable.
Cotton is a natural fiber derived from cotton plants. It’s usage to make fabric dates back to 5th century B.C.
Cotton covers 2.5% of all arable land on earth. Commercial cotton traditionally uses toxic pesticides and potent fertilizers linked to cancer and soil degradation. Commercial cotton also uses irrigation techniques which is linked to inefficient and effuse water usage. There are also several documented reports of child labor in the commercial cotton industry.
Organic cotton doesn’t use toxic pesticides or fertilizers and makes use of natural water supplies (rain water, etc). Organic cotton is also intended to promote biological diversity and does not degrade soil.
AMENDI primarily uses GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified cotton, which guarantees our entire cotton supply chain as being both “organic,” safe, and socially responsible.
RECYCLED LEATHER PATCH
Recycled leather is leather that has been collected from scrap or disused sources, shredded, and reconstituted using glues and resins to make a solid piece of fabric. This is what we use for our patch on our denim.
Recycled simply means that waste was reused as new material. Recycling is critical in sustainable business as it reduces the need to extract new resources. AMENDI strives to use materials with certified with the Global Recycling Standard (GRS).
Undyed means a garment has not been dyed, and is of its natural color.
Upcycling means reusing product or material in a way that increases it’s value or functionality.
WATERLESS LASER WHISKERING
Instead of sandblasting, hand scraping, or spraying PP (Potassium Permanganate) AMENDI uses a programmable laser to burn special effects, like “whiskers” and “fades” into the finished denim. This not only makes it safe for the workers, but it also uses no water or chemicals to achieve.
Our suppliers are not only some of the most respected in their categories, they are our friends. They understand our mission and have all signed a Code of Conduct to commit to both high employee working standards and innovative sustainable practices. This is a crucial part of our mission.SUPPLIER DETAILS
Global Organic Textile Standard
The Global Organic Textile Standard or GOTS is generally considered the world leading standard for textiles made from organic fibers. Its criteria are broad, high-level, and ambitious. Major focuses of the GOTS standard is organic production that maintains soil fertility, uses non-toxic pesticides and fertilizers, responsible animal husbandry that excludes genetic modification, and social standards for workers. For more in-depth information visit the GOTS website at: www.global-standard.org
OCS100 Organic Content Standard
Organic Cotton Standard or OCS 100 is a certification created and controlled by Textile Exchange, a non-profit organization that is “committed to the responsible expansion of both organic cotton and all other sustainable textile value chains.” www.textileexchange.org The OCS100 is seen as a milestone for a company who seeks to eventually become GOTS certified.
For more details about the OCS 100 you can read the entire pdf description here.
OEKO Tex Standard 100
OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 verifies that harmful substances, both legally restricted and beyond, were not used in the making of the product. This means both the product was made in an environment safe for workers and is safe to wear. OEKO TEX uses a network of partners around the world to test against a strict criteria catalog. OEKO TEX regularly audits the manufacturers that become STANDARD 100 certified. For more information on OEKO-TEX visit their website: www.oeko-tex.com/en/.
GRS - The Global Recycle Standard
The Global Recycled Standard or GRS is controlled by Textile Exchange. Some of its objectives are listed as: Track and trace recycled input materials, reduce harmful impact of production to people and environment, drive innovation in the use of recycled materials, among others. You can read the entire Global Recycled Standard v4.0 by clicking here. Or, if you have some time, you can watch the two-part webinar on you tube here and here.
Sedex - The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange
SEDEX or The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by a group of UK Retailers who wanted to standardize high-level social audit standards and supplier monitoring practices. SMETA or Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit was created by SEDEX to standardize auditing practices and make the open sharing of audits of suppliers more efficient through a verified supplier network. Their goal is to promote and verify responsible, ethical business practices. For more in-depth information check out the SEDEX website: www.sedexglobal.com
BSCI - Business Social Compliance Initiative
BSCI or the Business Social Compliance Initiative The BSCI is a social initiative group that standardizes workers’ rights across various markets by enforcing 11 principles outlined in their Code of Conduct, which you can read here. BSCI uses the principles laid out by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) among others to guide these principles.
To learn more about BSCI check out this short video here.