As an ethical fashion business company, we also feel it's essential, to be honest, and open with you about the details behind our clothes.
Are located just outside of Toronto; this is where our clothing is cut and sewn. We work with two factory partners; they are not employed directly, though we see them both as an extension of our brand. They are both located about 30 km away from where we work – which allows us to pop in at a moment's notice. This close distance also helps to keep our carbon footprint incredibly low. We feel it's necessary to ensure the people who make our clothes are treated as well as the people who wear them. So we make regular visits to both factories. We know the workers are treated well and paid a fair wage as per Ontario employment standards.
FINER DETAILS: Our factories are our business partners; they are an extension of Franc and are not owned or operated by us. Our main factory is small and employs 25 full-time workers, and the secondary factory we work with employees around 60 people. Employees have flex working hours; some new hires start at Ontario minimum wage (which is currently $14/hr) until they gain experience and skills. Workers with experience are paid higher than the minimum, as creating clothing is increasingly rare and valued.
OUR FABRICAll our fabrics are knit and dyed (using Bluesign® certificated dyes non-toxic, low-impact, environmentally-friendly dyes) also in Toronto, Canada. Up until the end of Summer 2021, our was a TENCEL™ Cotton Blend.
Starting Fall 2021, all new styles and colours have been made using our new TENCEL™ and GOTS certified Organic Cotton fabric Blend. The yarns we order are then knit custom for us by our Canadian knitter. The yarns for our fabric have been spun exclusively for us by a certified (and rigorously vetted) TENCEL™ yarn supplier in Turkey, where our GOTS certified Organic Cotton is grown and harvested. Unfortunately, Canada does not have the current capabilities to spin fibres into yarns.
FINER DETAILS: The fibre content that makes up our yarn comes from different locations: TENCEL™ comes from Austria, Cotton from the United States, and GOTS Organic Cotton from Kahramanmaras Turkey. The dyes that are used for fabrics are all Bluesign® certificated dyes. So when you wear clothes made with Bluesign®-approved fabric or dyes, you know that fabric was created with the highest environmental standards for textiles. As well, the dye house that finishes and dyes our custom fabrics works directly with Index Energy. Index Energy supplies them with renewable energy to run the facility; they, in turn, use any filtered waste from dye production to create more renewable energy; they work in a cyclical system keeping the carbon footprint as low as possible.
We are plastic-free! Our sturdy shipping bags are 100% compostable, plus they are reusable. All our marketing materials (including hangtags) are printed on 100% recycled or FSC-certified paper. And if we do ship or store items in clear sleeves, those are also 100% consumer compostable and reusable with a zipper top. We are 100% plastic-free. We try our best to ensure you have the lowest amount of things to dispose of to keep your carbon footprint as low as possible.
SUPPORTING WOMEN BEYOND
All of our seconds, samples and overstock (items that we cannot sell) are donated to the YWCA Toronto. Firstly we try to keep our samples and overstock items to a minimum, but when that is not possible, we choose to give these new or like-new items to women in need instead of hosting multiple sample sales a year. The YWCA helps women and girls flee violence, secure housing, find jobs, establish their voices, enhance skills and develop confidence.
Read about the YWCA.
OFFSETTING SHIPPING EMISSONS
Our total emissions generated by shipping orders to you are calculated every month, and that number becomes our monthly offset cost. This cost neutralizes our shipping emissions, protects forests in the Amazon rainforest, and contributes to certified projects complying with best-in-class carbon offset protocols and standards.
Currently, our offset initiative funds: the Jarí Para REDD+ Avoided Unplanned Deforestation project in the Amazon Rainforest, a Verified Carbon Standard project certified by Pachama.
Learn more about Pachama.
Traditionally, fashion industry brands mark up their products 5X - 10X of the actual cost to sell to boutiques and retailers. Often those clothes begin from a place of incredibly low-cost goods due to low wages and unethical working conditions. Since making our clothes is more expensive than most traditional brands, our fabric is sustainable, and our pattern makers, cutters, knitter, and sewers are all paid fair wages based on Ontario employment standards. We price our clothes differently and only mark up our products 2X - 3X, and we only sell directly to you and try our best to keep our prices as fair as possible. Our clothes are crafted ethically with quality and care but sold exclusively online in our shop; we do not wholesale.
Franc is a small business established in 2017, 100% owned and operated by Brandy Mercredi. We currently have two employees, and Brandy is the owner/founder/only executive team member. Since Franc is small, all profits still go into growing the brand, so the trusted skills of experts (partners, consultants, and freelancers) add to the quality of the brand, garments and they are part of what we consider the growing Franc team.
Did we miss anything? We have several blog posts where we answer even more questions about behind the scenes and more indepth into each topic. And we also have a series of Ask Us Anything Posts where we answer all the Q's.