OUR SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
WE STAND BY IT
West 14th stands for quality well made wardrobe mainstays. Creating heirloom pieces to share with girlfriends or treasures found in re-seller stores. We love the idea of our pieces having several lives as they elevate our girlfriend’s wardrobes over time. From the very beginning, our approach to slow fashion and sustainability has been “Buy once, and Buy well!”
However, as our business and awareness developed, we became more and more mindful of our global impact, and keen to reduce, reuse, recycle where possible. To do that, we needed to look at each opportunity along our supply chain to honour our beautiful planet. After two years of research, innovation and testing, we are proud to launch our first sustainability conscious collection in 2020. We are really excited about these changes, and hope you will be too!
We have outlined the changes made to the manufacturing of our new styles in 2020 to be more responsible and the additional changes made in 2021, 2022 and 2023. It’s a good start on a journey toward our sustainable future.
PLANT BASE TANNING
The tanning process is the cleaning, preparing and dying of the hide to create leather. It’s a water intensive process and some of the dyes use harmful chemicals. By moving to a plant-base process known as vegetable tanning, we use materials from the earth to prepare our leathers, such as roots, barks, flowers, fruits, leaves, and twigs. This improvement leaves our leathers in a more natural state to change appearance over time and significantly reduces water contamination.
We have increased our use of plant-base, vegetable tanning with our new collection leathers in 2020 by 50% and continue to seek cleaner options moving forward.
We trace the journey of our leathers from tannery to customer. In some cases from hide to you.
We have increased the sourcing of local hides in Australia and New Zealand and continue seeking to increase local procurement.
Every style made in 2020 onwards will use a 100% recycled polyester thread in the sewing of each piece. Perma Core ECO 100 by A&E is an ethically manufactured, core spun, industrial sewing thread, featuring a completely recycled, continuous filament core and fully-recycled polyester staple wrap. (That’s a mouthful, but Yay!)
Select styles in our 2020 onwards range will use Natulon Recycled Zippers by YKK Corporation and is a bluesign® certified. The zipper’s tape is made from post consumer polyester waste, such as water bottles. The process breaks down the plastic bottles by pulverization and pelletization to turn the particles into recycled yarn and then into the zipper’s tape.
In 2021, with a product expansion into a leather puffer jacket presented the opportunity to source an innovative down filler material and proceed with one that is made of post-consumer plastic bottles called THERMORE® ECODOWN®. We save up to 10 plastic bottles from the ocean and landfills with each jacket. This innovative material is certified by bluesign® and Global Recycled Exchange.
Our swing tags are printed on recycled paper.
ZERO WASTE MANUFACTURING
Up-cycling leather off-cuts and material is now a focus in our manufacturing process.
We up-cycle leather off-cuts to make small leather goods and bags, such as our fabulous cross body mini bag.
For the even smaller off-cuts, we up-cycle them in a new program called “Request a Swatch”. Now you can request to see and feel a small piece of leather to help narrow down which gorgeous leather to select for your next West 14th piece.
Just like we banned single use plastics in our home and office, we are doing the same in storing and sending our pieces to you.
Your forever pieces are stored and shipped to our retail partners in compostable bags.
When you shop online, you’ll receive your forever piece in shipping satchels that are 100% compostable. YAY!
Compostable shipping satchels are made from 100% compostable materials; corn starch and PBAT (Polybutyrate Adipate Terephthalate).
Our pricing focus has always been super sharp to deliver a ‘designer quality piece at an obtainable price point for our women.’
We have always ensured our local and overseas teams are paid fairly.
Our sustainability solutions come at an additional cost, and have been absorbed by West 14th, as this is not business as usual.
For our Founder, “its putting our planet before our profits. I want to ensure the business and culture I build at West 14th is not only making women feel good, it’s also knowing our forever pieces are made with the planet in mind.”
Placing the power for change in our customers hands.
We're excited to give our customers the option to offset their personal carbon footprint through their shopping! This goes beyond just the product being brought, and actually goes towards a positive carbon offset to your yearly lifestyle.
Our partner Future Neutral has developed a one-click carbon offset at checkout option which is a calculations of your yearly carbon footprint then averaged over your yearly retail transactions. Their team of experts then take care of the carbon offsets with investment into United Nations certified projects, and local partnership with Australian non-profit Green fleet. Learn more.
Starting in 2021 we offset the carbon emission of our stock deliveries between Hong Kong to Sydney warehouse facilities using DHL Go Green Climate Neutral Projects. Our credits are used to invest in high quality climate protection projects that advance the cause for better environment and healthier climate. These projects are in based in less developed countries and focus on helping local communities. You can read about the project portfolio here.
Selecting materials and processes that are backed by a global certified organisation is a focus of ours. With each improvement we look to these organisations to ensure these smart solution, such as material, process or supply chain, meets sustainable standards centred around people and planet.
The introduction of new zippers to our range come with the bluesign® certification. This certification ensures consistent transparency and traceability of all processing steps down to the raw materials to meet the responsible and sustainable, with regard to people, the environment and resources, requirements of this certification.
In 2021 we introduce new West 14th labels that are made of 100% organic cotton with certification of STANDARD 100 by OEKO-Tex. The new neck label and swing tag are free of any harmful substances and this testing process review every article of material from tread to finished label to ensure it meets regulated and non-regulated standards of substances which may be harmful to human health.
With a product expansion into a leather puffer jacket presented the opportunity to source an innovative down filler material and proceed with one that is made of post-consumer plastic bottles called THERMORE® ECODOWN®. We save up to 10 plastic bottles from the ocean and landfills with each jacket. This innovative material is certified by bluesign® and Global Recycled Exchange.
We are proud to partner with Sisterworks Inc and Ampjar.
SisterWorks Inc is a not-for-profit social enterprise supporting refugees, asylum seekers or migrant women with opportunities to become economically empowered and thrive living in Australia. Our luxurious dust bags are now made with love by three women in Melbourne, Australia. Learn more here.
We love to encourage and support other founders and small businesses. We share these #smallbiz discoveries with our instagram community each Thursday on stories, which is all made possible by Ampjar. Tune in here.
WE GIVE BACK
All together for our planet
With our commitment to leave mother earth a little better than when we found it, we're incredible proud to join 1% for the Planet. We now give back 1% of our total sales to high impact not for profit organisations supporting environment change.
Our donations of 1% of sales is a commitment regardless of profitability. It's our responsibility to make a positive change for this planet and honoured to join a growing list of global businesses making the same conscious decision. We look forward to sharing our giving partners soon. In the meantime read about 1% for the Planet here. Our membership commenced in April 2021.
Each year we will continue researching sustainable solutions to improve the make and material used to create our forever pieces. Trust us, we have so much more to do… from the lining of our jacket to working with tanneries that have full sustainable accredited process… our list is long! We appreciate your patience and encouragement in guiding us in this first step.
You can search by product to learn of the transparent development process specific to that piece. All products with these smart improvements will have a hangtag with the below symbol to help identify them.
Also remember for some styles we are working through existing stock levels with our old methodology of producing. Please don't forget about these pieces as they are still built to last a lifetime in the care of a special owner.
Violeta & West 14th