Doing our part
Our sustainability efforts and stance
OFFSETTING OUR IMPACT AND REDUCING OUR FOOTPRINT
"We completely get that producing new goods in its essence is not 100% sustainable, and we do not pretend that it is"
Sustainable apparel is really really important to us, especially being based in Stockholm – the first city to be awarded European Green Capital by the EU. We completely get that producing new items in its essence is not 100% sustainable, and we do not pretend that it is. However, we are taking steps to a) offset our impact and b) reduce our footprint.
We do not have the perfect solution, and we are not going to pretend that we do but we have already made remarkable progress since we started Ninepine 14 months ago. There is always room for improvement and we're perpetually exploring new opportunities.
ONE TREE PLANTED FOR EVERY ORDER
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH EDEN PROJECTS
"Planting trees is one of the most effective way to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere." - The Perfect World Foundation
For every order placed, a tree is planted on behalf of you, our customer, in Kenya's Great Rift Valley and the Northern Coast in partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects and local communities. Specifically, the reforestation efforts involves planting afromontane species within the Kijabe Forest and mangrove and coastal forest species in the Northern Coast. Kenya only has 7% of their land covered in forrest and 42% of the population live below the poverty line.
The reforestation project in Kenya commenced in 2019 and aims to produce positive environmental and human impact:
- Reduce carbon levels in the atmosphere
- Restore biodiversity
- Restore rainfall patterns
- Improve water quality
- Minimise soil erosion
- Increase local crop yields and local economies
- Reduce poverty by providing work in local communities
As of 2020, Eden has planted of 400m trees in 8 countries and created over 4m workdays.
CLIMATE POSITIVE WORKFORCE
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ECOLOGI
Together with Ecologi, each month we offset 1.17 tonnes of CO2 through investing in wind energy in Andhra Pradesh, India and reforestation efforts in Brazil. This is equivalent of 4m2 of sea ice saved each month or 4600km of driving each month.
We strive to reduce our environmental footprint by working from home, avoiding commute/travels, cycling when possible and using renewable energy sources.
OUR PRODUCT PHILOSOPHY
IN ACCORDANCE TO BRISMAR (2019) MODEL OF SUSTAINABLE APPAREL
Ninepine pieces are designed to be of high quality and timeless (keeping our designs minimalist in true Scandinavian form) – We pay a lot extra and do our very best to ensure that we have highest quality seams, fabric and finishings. We acknowledge that we cannot be 100% perfect, especially since garments are hand-sewn, but we do our absolute best to maintain high quality and low defect rates.
We strongly believe that one of the most powerful ways of having sustainable apparel is by buying items that last and less often. This is why we do not focus on seasonal trends, patterns and designs, rather focusing on a small catalogue of core staple pieces.
As a young small business, keeping our pieces green is a top agenda. But what does this actually mean? Sustainability can encompass a myriad of issues including: energy use, waste, emissions, degradation, deforestation etc. The diagram below shows how complex the definition of “green” really is in the context of textiles and garments. Again, we are working super hard to ensure top notch quality in our fabrics and seams. We also inspect our suppliers in person before we start production to check that conditions are satisfactory.
Our current range uses a blend of nylon/spandex and polyester/spandex – the quality and function is top notch (which meets our high quality criteria of the model) but we are researching a variety of other fabrics. There is a lot of attention around recycled fabrics, such as recycled polyester from plastic bottles. Through analysing the latest scientific research articles, we found that there are potential issues with over-simplified marketing messages of recycled fabric = green or natural fabric = green. With any argument there are counter arguments. For example, the process of turning bamboo into a fabric also requires lot of energy expenditure and chemicals, despite it frequently being marketed as a green fabric. Measurability of impact is also quite difficult.
Additionally, recycled fabrics such as recycled polyester has up-sides such as reducing land-fills, but can also involve high energy use, chemical leakages etc. At Ninepine we strive to keep an open and critical mind. We are actively testing recycled fabrics and will be releasing products made of recycled fabric in the not too distant future.
We do not have the perfect solution, and we are not pretending that we do - doing so would be both naive and misleading. There is still room for improvement and we have made great progress since we started Ninepine in the summer of 2019. We are perpetually looking for ways to minimise our footprint.
COMMUNITY FIRST APPROACH
Our suppliers are primarily located in southern China (near Hong Kong, and the home province of one of our founders father, relatives and ancestors dating over 600 years back). This was really important for us when we decided where to produce our goods as we wished to support the local region. We also understand that many have quite a negative view of China (regarding quality) but while this is not entirely true, we believe that this primarily is based on historical prejudices. China is the second largest economy in the world, and in some ways far more advanced than the west regarding technology and manufacturing. It was not too long ago where "made in Italy", "made in Korea" or "made in Japan" were also was seen in a negative light, but today, represent quality.
We have personally inspected our suppliers on many occasions and were satisfied with the working conditions and supplier quality and capacity (They are also a well established and premium manufacturer focusing on exports to Northern America, Australia/NZ and Europe).
We are also in continual discussions with factories closer to home in Europe and in Asia
ON OUR WAY
We are transitioning towards using lower impact packaging throughout the entire supply chain. Our current mailer and product zip bags are made of 100% recycled plastics and we are experimenting with plant based postage bags.
We are working actively to improve on this front.