It’s never just a shirt. It’s raw materials from around the world and the labour of many people. All of it on—and from—a planet that sustains us. We are all connected. That’s why traditional sourcing models do not work and the current model of clothing production has to be changed. At I.D.E.A. Studios, we believe in socially conscious product development. As a vegan clothing company we believe in making choices beyond ourselves and making sure that our ethics driven model of clothing production removes both the human and non-human exploitation that is commonly associated with the fashion industry. We see the real value and real stories in every spool and every stitch.
We are on a mission to end animal suffering and produce fashionable clothing at the same time.
We only make clothing that is designed well. It has purpose. It spreads awareness. Our clothing is ethical for the health of our planet and for all those who call it home.
It’s not the easy route to take, but it is the right one. Here’s how we do it.
Higher Quality Sustainable Materials. Lower Markup. Fair Price.
We believe in making ethical, sustainable streetwear that doesn’t cost the earth or harm the animals who live here alongside us. Our ethos is to build high-quality sustainable products at fair prices. The truth is, we have become accustomed to buying cheap clothes, but a low price on the label means a high price is being paid somewhere else. The supply chain for most of our clothing is fraught with cost cutting, exploitation and a purely profit-driven motive. It is for these reasons that we have become used to the prices we pay for clothing.
At I.D.E.A. we produce clothing that is competitively priced against other fashion labels in the streetwear space but is fundamentally worth more. Clothing that comes with a lower cost to the planet and respect to those who work within the supply chain. We achieve this by using lower markups than conventional clothing brands, meaning that even though our garments cost more to produce, we can still sell them for a fair price.
How We Source, Manufacture, and our Domestic Production Approach
We only work with manufacturers who share our values. They need to operate with a culture of respect and align with our ethics driven motivation. When sourcing, we choose sustainable materials such as organic and/or recycled fibres. We work with manufacturers who are audited to ensure the working conditions at their facilities are hospitable, ethical and conducive to a positive working environment.
We also choose to work with domestic manufacturers who are in close proximity to our design and fulfilment studios in Western Canada. We believe in supporting the local economy, the ethics of fair labour, and providing safe working conditions. 75% of our launch collection was manufactured in Canada. This means the knitting, dyeing, cutting, sewing, decoration (printing, embroidery), and label production was all done locally. All these production processes also help to minimize transport time and carbon emissions for each shipment. Our Canadian manufacturers use state of the art knitting machines to reduce energy consumption. Their dying and finishing process use the highest quality, cruelty free non-toxic dye material and auxiliaries. Their waste water system is the most advanced in the industry, exceeding Canadian Environmental standards for effluent discharge.
The other 25% of our launch collection was manufactured ethically in Nicaragua and Bangladesh by manufacturers that align with our values. These facilities are independently audited and have been granted certifications including Better Work and WRAP (the world's largest independent certification program focused on the apparel, footwear, and sewn products sectors).
At these factories, workers are protected from forced labour, indentured labour, slave labour, and bonded labour. Workers are allowed to take part in worker’s committees and have freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, such as joining or forming trade unions. There is no child labour and working hours must be defined by contracts, with any and all overtime being on a voluntary basis and involving a premium rate of pay.
The factories are workplaces where harassment is not tolerated, including physical or verbal abuse, mental coercion or other forms of intimidation, and are free from discrimination on the basis of race, gender, pregnancy, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, religious belief, physical or mental disability, medical condition or any other classification protected under applicable law.
By working with factories in both Canada as well as in Central America and Asia, we are able to support the economy and job sectors in several different regions at once. Furthermore, by working with factories in areas of the world that can be associated with poor working conditions, we are able to support the creation of ethical garment jobs in these areas and be a part of the incentivisation and demand for increasing the working standards and conditions in these regions.
By diversifying the locations in our supply chains, we also benefit from decades of manufacturing expertise from these textile focused regions and offer a wider arrangement of fabrics and products to our customers.
Each manufacturer goes through their unique certification and standards process. Below we have listed some of standards worth highlighting:
OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 - The dyeing industry affects the environment. Those who minimize the environmental impact— while ensuring the garments are safe for consumers and those who make and sell them—receive this certification.
GOTS verifies quality cotton grown without the use of herbicides or pesticides.
GRS verifies the presence and amount of recycled material in fabrics and tracks the flow of raw materials from its source to the final product. It is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices and chemical restrictions. The polyester used in our heavyweight fleece is made of 100% recycled fibers.
WRAP's goal is to ensure that production facilities operate in a safe, responsible, and ethical way. Through their 12 Principles, they promote lawful, humane manufacturing in facilities throughout the world via their Certification and Training programs. What sets them apart from other similar social compliance programs is that they focus on the ground level of a supply chain. WRAP only certifies individual facilities, not brands or ownership groups, which means that each WRAP- certified facility has undergone a thorough inspection by a WRAP auditor and is subject to unannounced follow-up inspections.
Better Work is part of the United Nation’s International Labour Organization and is a comprehensive programme bringing together all levels of the garment industry to improve working conditions and respect of labour rights for workers. As well as working directly with factories, Better Work collaborates with governments to improve labour laws and advises workers unions.
Better Work’s vision is a global garment industry that lifts millions of people out of poverty by providing decent work, whilst empowering women and promoting inclusive economic growth.
Our Fabrics & Care Guide
Good ideas last longer. That’s why I.D.E.A. Studios only use sustainable and ethical fabrics. Everyone should be able to buy less and demand more from their favourite brands. If you care for your garments—and extend their life by as little as nine months—you can reduce their carbon footprint by around 20 to 30 percent (Source: BBC, By Christine Ro, March 10th, 2020 - link here).
Removing plastic from our supply chain and packaging.
Single-use plastics are a tremendous source of environmental destruction. That’s why we’re committed to eliminating them, and all other plastics, from our supply chain. Whenever possible, the packaging we use—including shipping boxes, garments bags, and care cards—are all paper derived from recycled contents locally sourced in Canada.