Crisp Journal

Spotlight on ELK: Fashion Revolution Week 2020

Spotlight on ELK: Fashion Revolution Week 2020

Do you know #whomadeyourclothes? The team behind Fashion Revolution want to make sure you do. This week April 20-26 marks their annual “Fashion Revolution Week”, during which they run a series of events, workshops and social media campaigns to highlight major issues in the fashion industry and illuminate brands and retailers who are leading the way. This year Fashion Revolution Week has four focus areas:

 

Consumption; how can individuals change consumption habits to ensure they make sustainable and ethical choices?

 

Composition; are the fabrics our clothes are made from sustainable, safe and ethically produced?

 

Conditions; what conditions are those who made my clothes subject to? and,

 

Collective Action; how can we work together to facilitate change in the industry?

 

At Crisp Home + Wear, we know our customers are increasingly concerned about sustainability – where their clothes are made, what they’re made from, and who designed them. It’s something we’re passionate about, and as a small, local business we love to support local Kiwi and Australian designers and brands.

 

One of these brands is ELK, a clothing and accessories label out of Melbourne that many of you know and love. ELK describe their design ethos as “simplicity and sustainability meets innovation”, and they have emerged as an industry leader in the sustainability space.

 

ELK cofounders Marnie Goding and Adam Koniaras were always out to create pieces that appealed to the slow-fashion lover, but they hadn’t initially thought out the environmental impact of some of their supply chains. They realised this was key to both their philosophy and their success as a brand, and undertook a five-year journey to transform their business and consider the impact it had socially, ethically and environmentally.

 

Since then, ELK has been at the forefront of positive change in the fashion industry. In 2019 they released their Transparency Report, which provides complete business transparency from internal operations to suppliers and materials. Marnie and Adam believe that transparency holds them accountable, and is the only way forward.

 

Some highlights from the report include:

 

- 100% offsetting of carbon and reduced carbon emissions through lighting upgrades in their warehouses.
- Using Organic Fairtrade Cotton in their garments as well as signing the Responsible Sourcing Network Cotton Pledges, pledging to not knowingly source cotton from Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan due to known human rights issues in these supply chains.
- 92% of materials used by ELK are from natural or renewable resources. ELK aim to keep their use of synthetic materials under 10%, and where they do use them, opt for recycled forms.
- Ensuring all staff are paid a living wage.
- Eliminating plastic wrap from their business and replacing it with paper alternatives, with a 70% reduction in plastic overall.
- 83.7% of ELK employees are female.
- ELK know their makers, primarily in China, India and The Philippines, and visit them multiple times per year.

 

The full transparency report is available here. By taking this step, ELK have set the standard for other brands as well as providing a blueprint for how to make these necessary changes. We are extremely proud to be a stockist of ELK in New Zealand.

 

And while Fashion Revolution Week looks a little different this year (think, lots and lots of streaming!), Covid-19 has actually made it easier for you to get involved. Visit the Fashion Revolution Week online calendar here and register to join live panel discussions, Instagram live events and Q & A’s all from the comfort of your own home. And let’s face it, probably in your pyjamas…

 

x Team Crisp

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