Sustainability is a core value for MARTAN. We are aware of how devastating the impact of the fashion industry currently is on people and the planet. It is our mission to bring a transparent and circular approach to every part of our value chain.
To protect our mission we have embedded stakeholder governance in our legal framework. This ensures that we will always be required to consider the interest of all of our stakeholders — customers, workers, suppliers, communities, investors, and the environment — in our decision making.
We are guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG). We navigate through the industry, based on clearly defined principles and future objectives, that allows us to wisely evaluate every opportunity and task presented to us. As a tool to achieve our ambitions we use third party certifications that set strict criteria throughout the entire lifecycle of a product, on a social and environmental level. It is our goal to be certified by B Corporation in the coming year.
A circular economy for fashion creates better products and services for customers, contributes to a resilient and thriving fashion industry, and regenerates the environment. It prioritizes the rights and equity of everyone involved in the fashion industry, and will create new opportunities for growth that are distributed, diverse, and inclusive.
Our goal is to design circular products that are:
- made from safe and upcycled or recycled materials
- made to be made again
- used more
Moreover we like to contribute to sustainability by:
- producing in a way that minimizes CO2 emissions
- manufacturing in fair and ethical working conditions
- while regenerating the environment
We will be held accountable by
- yearly publishing our goals and results
- including representatives of stakeholders in our Board of Directors
- audits from third party certificators (B Corporation hopefully within the next year).
Below you will find our approach for these goals.
Recycled or upcycled materials
The majority of our collection is produced with upcycled fabrics (60%). We work together with several luxury hotels in Europe that supply us with their waste fabrics (bed linen, table linen and terry towels) and upcycle this to different styles. These fabrics are discarded because of small signs of wear and tear, but are still in perfect shape to be transformed into a garment. We use dyeing, patching and screen printing techniques to cover holes and stains, so we can ensure minimal waste when cutting the fabrics.
The rest of the collection is made from recycled or deadstock fabrics from the fashion industry (40%). We recognise that using deadstock fabrics contributes to the market and demand for it and reduces the incentive for manufacturers to keep fabric surplus to a minimum.
Our buttons are made of natural resources, namely mother of pearl (currently produced in China, but we are sourcing alternatives within Europe). The yarn used to stitch is 100% cotton (produced in China) and our labels are made of recycled polyester (produced in Poland).
For our packaging we use recycled kraft paper bags and hang tags made of recycled paper from Europe.
Made to be made again
We strive towards using materials and components that are easily recyclable and using labeling that clearly indicates the components to sorting companies. However, we prefer to focus on increasing the longevity of the use cycle of a garment as recycling is energy intensive.
A garment is on average only worn seven times. By increasing the use part of the cycle and getting more use out of a single garment we can drastically minimize the impact per piece of clothing. It is therefore our goal to design with longevity and versatility in mind. We ask ourselves “will our grandchildren still be able to wear it”? Our aim is to create collectors items that will be passed down for years to come and that can withstand wear and tear. With regards to versatility, we like to design pieces that can be worn to different types of occasions or in different manners.
We are also enthused by circular business models such as resale and rental. Our garment labels advise our customers to consider selling their piece on Vestiaire Collective or Zalando Zircle. Moreover, we will make most of our items available for rent through third party rental platforms.
Minimizing CO2 emissions
In order to know where to minimize CO2 emissions, it is vital to conduct a lifecycle analysis (LCA) of a product. Within the next two years we want to have all our products analyzed and we would like to publish the results in a transparent manner on our webshop.
Fair and ethical working conditions
We are currently producing most of our items made-to-order in Amsterdam. The rest of our items are produced at two family owned ateliers near Bucharest, Romania. We have chosen to produce within Europe in order to regularly visit our manufacturers to ensure that procedures and policies comply with our values and the UN SDG targets. They are currently not yet certified by third party companies, but they have signed our Suppliers Code of Conduct.
Regenerating the environment
In order to limit the disastrous effects of global warming we need to stay below a temperature rise of 2 degrees. One way to do this is by removing the excess carbon from our atmosphere (IPCC report). A simple nature-based solution exists: planting trees. We work together with WeForest and Regreener to plant a tree with every order placed on our website.
These are all ambitious plans for a small company, but we believe that we can manage these expectations and have sustainability and circularity ingrained in our business model without compromising on fashion credibility. We will yearly compare the results of our efforts to our goals and publish these results to our stakeholders.
Moreover, we would like to include representatives of our different stakeholders in a Board of Directors and want to be a certified B Corporation so we will have external accountability for our practices.