OFFSETTING OUR IMPACT AND REDUCING OUR FOOTPRINT
Sustainable apparel is really important to us, especially being based in Stockholm – the first city to be awarded European Green Capital by the EU. We completely understand 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 less than two years 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
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
CLIMATE POSITIVE WORKFORCE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ECOLOGI
Together with Ecologi, each month we offset 1.8 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 Bismar model (2019) highlights 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.
Throughout 2021 and 2022, we are transitioning towards using GRS recycled post-consumer yarns, organic cotton and recycled cotton. We do however acknowledge that this is not a bullet-proof solution. 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, while using recycled yarns is positive for landfills, other KPIs such as carbon reduction is more difficult to measure. Our original range uses a blend of nylon/spandex and polyester/spandex, tencel etc – the quality and function is top notch (which meets our high quality criteria of the model). As mentioned, we are constantly reviewing new options and textile technologies.
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.
OUR PRODUCTION - COMMUNITY FIRST APPROACH
Our production and supplier processes are routinely audited and inspected by SGS (seen as the world's leading testing, inspection and certification company). Our main production is in Southern China and Vietnam, in the same provinces where one of our founder's family is based. Additionally, we have also personally inspected our suppliers on many occasions and were satisfied with the working conditions, supplier quality and capacity (they are also well established and premium manufacturers focusing on exports to Northern America, Australia/NZ and Europe).
We currently use 100% biodegrade-able and compostable mailer bags made of corn starch according to European EN 14046 and EN 13432 standards respectively. Our mailers will begin a process of biodegradation under aerobic conditions within a time frame of 6-12 weeks.
When placed in an appropriate environment or facility, compostable products break plastic polymers down into CO2 all other ingredients into biomass or soil. This ‘appropriate environment’ consists of an ambient temperature between 50-70°C, the correct humidity, pressure, and appropriate numbers and types of microbes.
To compost your Ninepine mailers, and transform it into soil, you can use home or your local government's compost facility.
Our product zip bags are made of 100% recycled plastics and re-usable.
We are working actively to improve on this front.