Our goal at Green Orchyd is to join the fight to end unfair treatment of workers in the fashion industry, as well as having a positive impact on our environment by carrying brands we know to hold this value as well. We have built, and continue to build, relationships with many trusted brands.
Linda Wong ...designs and creates her vegan and eco-friendly handbags with another woman-owned (Can Chan) business in Hong Kong. Linda was in charge of design while Can managed sourcing, production and quality control. Their relationship is built on trust and years of collaboration and working together. Linda saw firsthand all the waste that came with the fashion industry. Starting her own brand allowed her to cut down on the waste and reuse materials whenever possible and create eco-friendly processes in her designs.
Lily Lotus is a yoga and lifestyle brand based in Hawaii and has been in business for over ten years. Just because clothing is manufactured in the US does not mean workers are paid a living wage. Thankfully, all of Lily Lotus’ clothing is made in their partner factory in Los Angeles where they can ensure the wellbeing of their workers and their work environment. Lily Lotus also frequently visits the local dye house to make sure everything is up to code. Lily Lotus adheres to the strict work labor laws and US codes for labor as well as the laws regarding compensation and minimum wages.
Lily Lotus obtains their eco-friendly fabric from a trusted Los Angeles supplier and receives an organic certification for each lot that they purchase. Products from companies like Lily Lotus may cost a little more, but it’s because they are held to a high standard for worker’s wages and work environments. Also, production of organic and green goods in the US requires additional certifications and steps to ensure the quality of the product. Momi Chee, owner and founder of Lily Lotus, is involved in all steps of the production process, aside from the milling of the fabric.
In business since 1994, Indigenous Designs is a pioneer and leader in the ‘fair fashion’ business model. They assisted in the creation of the USA Fair Trade certification for apparel. All of their clothing is made in Peru and India and all of their facilities are fair trade certified.
Workers at Indigenous Designs work almost exclusively for the company, making it easier for Indigenous to ensure they are paid a living wage. Indigenous Designs visits Peru regularly and has their own employees at facilities where workers are knitting and sewing. With modern technology, it’s easier for the production team, technical design, and CEO and President to stay in constant contact with the vendors in Peru.
Indigenous Designs holds a number of certifications. Being GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified for both cotton and facilities means they must adhere to strict guidelines. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) certification on the organic cotton means the cotton fields and the facilities where the cotton is converted into yarn and fabric bolts are inspected. Indigenous Designs not only cares about the people, but the environment as well.
We think this quote from Indigenous Design’s website sums them up the best: “We believe that what your wear speaks volumes about who you are, and that a label can be much more than a status symbol. It can be a symbol of integrity and heart.”
One of the newest players on the block, Rok Cork makes luxury purses and bags made out of cork. Their products are designed by Elizabeth Roque, owner and founder of Rok Cork, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The purses and bags are handcrafted in Portugal in small family run factories with no more than 5-10 collaborators. Currently Rok Cork provides steady employment to fourteen families, mostly women who take great pride in their craftsmanship and that they are able to take care of their families.
Portugal’s labor laws and working environments are very different than other parts of the world. Employees work no more than 40 hours a week and have an hour long lunch break, as well as two smaller 15 minute breaks throughout the day. Factories close at 5:00pm giving mothers and fathers time to participate in their children’s activities. Living wage is also not an issue in Portugal as it is stipulated by the government and strictly adhered to. They also receive four weeks of vacation per year and a full salary on Christmas.
The perks are not taken lightly and employees would not accept otherwise. Roque, who is Portuguese, knows the language and the culture and has developed a close family-like relationship with her suppliers. She travels to Portugal twice a year to work on new collections and visit the factories. She always treats them to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Coffee Crisps, and Oh Henry! chocolate bars. Roque also visits the tannery that prepares the leather for some of her non-vegan pieces. She shares her passion and love of Portugal through each and every one of her handbags. She is happy to be able to provide employment to the families who make her product and keep the craftsmanship of cork alive.
The seeds of Synergy Organic Clothing were planted by Kate Fisher in 1993 during a trip to Nepal. Inspired by the beautiful fabrics and textiles, she began to design her own line of clothing. In 2006 she shifted her focus and started creating more eco conscious clothing.
Synergy’s clothing is made in Nepal and India. The company is committed to providing living wages and safe working conditions for their workers and are in the final stages of partnering with Fair Trade USA to certify their factories. Fisher and her husband take annual trips to visit the factories, the farm where their cotton is grown, and the mill where it is turned into fabric. They are also committed to transparency in their supply chain. Their factories undergo GOTS certification and Fair Trade USA certifications, which require audits at the factories. These audits include a financial audit to ensure that workers are paid a living wage.
Our favorite quote from Synergy Organic Clothing is: “Ethical fashion is about more than just clothing, it is casting a vote for the type of future you want for the world and the people who live on it.”