Here at Carmico, we pride ourselves on our efforts to be mindfully made, from our products to how our employees and 3rd party workers are treated, it's our top priority to make everyone involved as happy and comfortable as possible.
This page will give you the run-down on our ethics and sustainability efforts, along with our plans to become even better as the business grows!
The first step in being mindfully made is making sure our work doesn't impact the environment negatively. Our apparel goods are mostly 100% cotton unless otherwise stated, and we are moving away from animal-based materials like Wool in favor of plant-based fibers! Our wool materials are all curated ethically in New Zealand.
In regards to sustainability, we use compostable (and re-usable) mailers made from food waste gathered during the processing of corn, made by our friends at TishWish
! Our tissue paper is from noissue
where they use soy-based ink for an environment friendly, bio-degradable product. Carmico almost exclusively uses natural products and everything in your order should bio-degrade including all of the packaging. Unfortunately, the only exception to that is the cellophane package that each item comes in. We have requested to have our products shipped without the plastic but due to health and safety regulations (especially during COVID) that is not possible.
As for bigger orders, we use fully recyclable cardboard boxes and soy-based ink printed, recyclable paper tape, also by noissue
! This helps us ensure that our packages are as low-impact as possible.
Our team members are all paid living wages, with a workplace environment that is both safe and comfortable. We're so lucky to be able to have our wonderful studio here in Kitchener, Ontario, and we've decked out every station and desk area with proper standing mats and ergonomic chairs to ensure the health and comfort of our employees.
The materials and final products for our hats, sweaters, and shirts are all manufactured in China. We have done our best in our search for ethical sourcing to ensure fair treatment of the workers (we do not and would not ever use sweatshops). The companies we use send us pictures of working conditions, progress updates, and other evidence that makes us confident that they are not mistreating their workers. They are also certified by Alibaba which is a strong indicator that they are doing things right. There are significant repercussions for abusing that certificate and the policies related to achieving it.
We have been looking for alternatives to Asian manufacturers but there really aren’t many options. Almost all fabric is milled overseas, even if the garment construction is done elsewhere (a lot of companies will get the minimum amount, about 10%, of manufacturing done from a national company to get the made in [?] stamp). The manufacturer we will be moving to in the future is in Bangladesh but facilitated through a Canadian company. We discussed Canadian manufacturing options but we would still have to ship materials from foreign countries; the extra shipping would be a tick off the sustainability checklist. Maybe some day we’ll be big enough to start our own, home-grown manufacturing business that does it all in Canada... Some day. 🤞
To summarize, to the best of our knowledge the companies we use treat their workers fairly and pay them living wages. We have made conscious decisions to reduce our carbon footprint and waste where possible.
We’re always looking for more sustainable and ethical ways to run our business so if you have any suggestions for us we’d be happy to hear them!