Our goal is to ensure that you are happy with our high quality products. In doing so, we want to be able to guarantee that you will not only enjoy your product for a long time, but also that it is produced under fair working conditions and that the environmental impact is kept as low as possible. The fashion and textile industry is facing a fundamental change: production must be made more ethical and cleaner. That's why, step by step, we want to become the most sustainable and responsible version of ourselves. We are happy to take you with us on this journey - and remain as transparent as possible.
Our products are manufactured in Shenzhen, an innovative metropolis near Hong Kong. State-of-the-art technologies are used in the processing and production of materials, enabling us to break new ground and make the best possible progress. To ensure that ethical standards are met, we maintain very close contact with our partners and are regularly on site. We also have external audits conducted by QIMA, which visits production sites annually and checks for a variety of standards, such as safety and hygiene concepts, working hours and practices, waste disposal and the payment of fair wages.
Since March 2022 we are officially a member of the FAIRWEAR FOUNDATION. Together with FAIRWEAR and our suppliers, we now want to work on creating more transparency in our supply chain and improving the working conditions at our local suppliers. FAIRWEAR's Code of Labor Practices will serve as a basis for developing suitable strategies and a work plan. We will receive our first Brand Performance Check in the first half of 2023. We are very happy to be part of the FAIRWEAR FOUNDATION!
In Cologne (Germany), we also have our own glazing laboratory where we manufacture the lenses for our prescription glasses. Trained opticians grind the lenses on site according to the prescription of our customers, and insert them into the frame of the respective model. This way, we can ensure that your prescription glasses are perfectly tailored to you and meet your needs. From here, the prescription glasses are then shipped to you.
For us, sustainability starts with the design of our products. For this reason, we keep the designs minimalist and timeless, so that you can easily combine our products in your everyday life. We also look in detail at raw materials and resources in order to combine quality and sustainability. This means that, with the right care, our products will be long-lasting companions instead of seasonal trend pieces. To give you an overview, we present our most commonly used materials below. Since a backpack alone is made up of many layers of fabric and reinforcements, seams, adhesives, zippers and buckles, we can't go into detail about every single material. But we are working on preparing information about all materials to make them available to you. If you want to know how to properly care for your products, you can read the FAQ's.
The abbreviation rPET stands for "recycled polyethylene terephthalate" - a material made from old plastic bottles. RPET has the advantage that it is particularly robust, durable and also recyclable. On average, about 20.5 plastic bottles are recycled for our backpacks. How does this work? Through the recycling process, the so-called "post consumer plastic" that comes from private consumers is returned to producers. There it is cleaned and melted down for spinning into new polyester fiber. In terms of quality, recycled polyester is in no way inferior to newly produced material - but it consumes significantly less energy in production. With the Sustainknit collection, which we launched at the beginning of 2021, we have brought the first backpacks onto the market in which rPET is processed as a woven material.
The material PU (polyurethane) is a plastic and similar to rPET particularly robust, wear and weather resistant - and therefore perfectly suited for our durable backpacks. Due to its material properties, PU absorbs less dirt than coarser textiles and can be easily washed and cleaned if necessary. While PU is less harmful to the environment than other plastics, such as PVC or PFC, we are currently looking into more sustainable alternatives, such as recycled PU or water-based PU, which only requires ecological solvents during processing. Meanwhile, our entire backpack range consists mainly of the two materials rPET and PU.
For our glasses and sunglasses, we mainly use acetate, which is known for both its light weight and high flexibility. Acetate is made from cellulose, which in turn is derived from cotton, a natural and renewable resource. The cellulose is ground into a fine powder, esterified and pressed into a sheet mold, from which the respective frame shapes of our glasses models are subsequently cut out. Any waste produced in the process is collected and can be reprocessed, making production even more sustainable. We are currently working on switching entirely to bio-acetate for our sunglasses and glasses models, which only requires plant-based plasticizers during the process, allowing the material to biodegrade more quickly. In fact, some of our glasses and sunglasses are already made from bio-acetate.
For the majority of our watch and jewelry collections we use very high quality 316L stainless steel made of chrome, nickel and molybdenum. A high proportion of chromium makes the housing particularly robust as well as corrosion-resistant, while nickel and molybdenum provide protection against, for example, water, heat and salt. Among other things, this composition gives our watches increased resilience to ensure that you enjoy your watch for a long time. In addition, 316L stainless steel is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for everyone. For our latest watch models, we are currently already using recycled 316L stainless steel, which is extracted from offcuts and waste materials and then reprocessed. To ensure that we become even more sustainable in our watch production in the future, we have set a goal to further expand the use of recycled stainless steel.
For the covering of our watch housings we use high quality sapphire glass as much as possible. Sapphire glass gets its name from its particularly strong properties, which provide a high level of protection for the watch housing as well as excellent scratch resistance. This is how we guarantee that your watch will look as good as new for years and can be a loyal companion to you. To produce sapphire crystal, high-purity aluminum oxide is melted and shaped. It is then cut, ground, polished and anti-reflective treated in several steps.
Some of the pieces in our jewelry collections, as well as the glasses chains, are made of brass, which, when polished to a high shine, can hardly be distinguished visually from gold. Brass consists of a copper-zinc alloy and has the advantage that it can be completely recycled as often as desired - without any loss of quality. Thanks to its robust character and the fact that brass can be polished over and over again, it guarantees a very long service life.
Unfortunately, we cannot do without packaging for transportation. After all, our products need to be adequately protected during transport. However, we follow the guiding principle of reducing packaging as far as possible. Where this is not possible, we keep an eye out for more resource-saving alternatives. We have already adapted our packaging in many places, for example by introducing smaller cardboard boxes for our watches. We have completely eliminated unnecessary plastic packaging from our sunglasses and backpacks. Some of our cardboard boxes are also FSC-certified. We would like to expand this in the future, also from the point of view of recyclability.
Recyclability plays a major role in our packaging materials, as we cannot completely do without the protection of packaging in some places. For example, our backpacks are delivered in cloth bags that can be used as laundry bags or similar afterwards. The small bag in which our glasses and sunglasses are delivered can be used as a cleaning cloth for the glasses as well. We design the cardboard boxes for our watches and sunglasses to be robust and of such high quality that they can be used for storage or as a decorative piece in your own home. In 2022, however, we will once again put our packaging to the test and develop even more sustainable packaging.
Transportation, in particular, contributes a significant amount to environmental impact. Since we sell our products worldwide, we cannot avoid this factor. However, as one of the biggest levers for reducing pollution, we want to make it as sustainable as possible. In 2021, we were already able to transport a very large percentage of our total products from Shenzhen to Germany by train. Why can't we use trains for the entire transport? In the event of delivery bottlenecks or the like, we still have to rely on alternative means of transport, such as airplanes, for a small amount of delivery. This is particularly apparent in 2022, in that we will not be able to uphold the amount of goods transported by train. Due to the Russian war against Ukraine, we unfortunately had/have to rely on ships and airplanes as a means of transport.
We want to give back to the earth what we take from it elsewhere. Together with our partner "CO²-positiv!" we annually determine the emissions of our entire transportation, as well as our offices and stores. While the ultimate goal is to reduce CO²e emissions and in 2022 we want to develop strategies on how to reduce them further, offsetting is an equally important measure until then. Thus, since 2019, we have been offsetting the calculated CO²e footprint of our offices and stores, as well as our products from collection from the supplier to delivery to the customer, through a high-quality reforestation project in Panama (CO2OL Tropical Mix).
We want to create even more transparency for our employees, partners and customers by compiling a sustainability report for fiscal year 2022.