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Our 5 Hard and Fast Rules of Sustainable and Ethical Fashion

Our 5 Hard and Fast Rules of Sustainable and Ethical Fashion - FRANC

FRANC is built on the fundamentals of designing and producing ethical and sustainable fashion; these fundamentals help to form our values that go beyond the design and production. Depending on who you are talking to or which site you are reading there are many (many) different schools of thought about what is most important about being both ethical and sustainable.
We can't speak for everyone, but for us, at FRANC we have five hard and fast rules, the things we value most that also help keep to us on our path without waver.

#1 We make products that are designed to last, to be worn and loved.

In our opinion, the number 1 rule for sustainability is to simply make sure; your garments spend more time in your closets rotation. The more you love and wear every item in your closet, the longer you keep each piece. The result of this means less in the landfill, less gathering dust at the back of your closet, less time getting dressed in the morning and less to donate (especially since the majority of clothing that gets donated ends up getting thrown in the landfill anyways - but that's another story for another day). Buying products you love and that are made to last is an excellent rule for the environment, but also just great for your peace of mind.

 

#2 Ensure employees at all stages of our business are treated as we would want to be.

It's essential that the people (especially the skilled workers) working to produce our clothing are paid fair wages and have good working conditions. A major reason why we produce our clothing in Canada, as it allows us to pop-in (sometimes) unannounced and visits to the factory we employee often. Having policies in place is truly wonderful, for us the easiest way to ensure that conditions are favourable and local labour laws are met is by simply knowing the people who make our clothes personally and doing regular unscheduled pop-ins.

 

#3 Use fabrics that are kind to the earth in both the creation and deconstruction.

A caveat and a big one for us is, those fabrics must also be ones people want to wear over and over again and are as versatile as possible. We currently have two fabric types we transition between, a bamboo/cotton blend but we are moving towards using mostly Tencel/cotton as our sole blend. Why? Because Tencel or Lyocell (same fabric different name) is a cellulose fibre, manufacturing Tencel requires less energy and water than cotton. And as a naturally derived fibre from eucalyptus trees, Tencel is also biodegradable. It uses a closed loop production process, so the solvents used to turn the wood pulp into a fibre is reused again and again. Lyocell or Tencel mixed with cotton makes for an incredibly soft fabric, that is 50% more absorbent than regular cotton and more resistant to wrinkles than regular cotton. It has all the softness of bamboo, all the crispness of cotton, but all the additional benefits of Tencel.

#4 As little waste as possible and as little plastic as possible.

We aim to be as recyclable, reusable and plastic free in all areas of business, not just in the production of clothing, which means, in the packaging you receive, how we accept our supplies and products from our factory. Currently, all the paper products we use are either FSC (eco-responsible paper) or recycled paper goods. The only plastic we use is in our shipping bags, and those are made from 100% recycled plastic and are also reusable and recyclable.

 

#5 We sell clothing at an ethical and honest price.

Not only should the workers be treated fairly but we feel that pricing should also be fair and honest. We sell direct to you, cutting out the traditional retail markup. Which means you can only buy our basics through our store, but also says you get honestly prices ethical basics as we don't add a sizeable unethical margin.

 

We have many other rules, we take our values and reason for doing business very seriously - plus we are forever open to growing and getting better. These happen to be the all-encompassing (and not super dry and boring) 5. When it comes to being ethical and sustainable in your own life what are your top rules?

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