We make basics ethically in Canada, for people who are fed up with fast fashion. As a 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 by us 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 moments 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 partners in business, they are an extension of Franc but not owned or operated by us. Our main factory is small and employs 14-16 full-time workers, and the secondary factory we work with employees around 80 people. All employees have flex working hours, some new hires start out at Ontario minimum wage (which is currently $14/hr) until they gain experience and skills. Most workers are paid higher than the minimum. Some are paid by commission and others are paid by piecemeal (by garment or section) - payment type varies by skill and employee preference.
All our fabrics are knit and dyed (using OEKO-TEX non-toxic, low-impact, environmentally-friendly dyes) also in Toronto, Canada. Currently, our styles are made in an OEKO-TEX standard 100 certified TENCEL™ Cotton Blend. The yarns we order for our Canadian made fabric have been spun exclusively for us by a certified (and rigorously vetted) TENCEL™ yarn supplier in Korea. Canada, unfortunately, does not have the current capabilities to spin fibres into yarns.
FINER DETAILS: The fiber content that makes up our yarn comes from different locations: TENCEL™ comes from Austria, and our Cotton from the United States. The dyes that are used for our clothes are all Bluesign® certificated dyes. When you wear clothes that are 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 with directly Index Energy. Index Energy who 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 totally plastic-free! Our sturdy shipping bags are made from 100% compostable materials plus they are reusable. All our marketing materials and hangtags are printed on 100% recycled or FSC-certified paper. And unlike the norm, we never ship or store items in clear plastic sleeves, we are 100% plastic free. We try our best to ensure you have the lowest amount of things to dispose of since you're buying new clothes, not paper and plastic.
SUPPORTING WOMEN BEYOND
All of our seconds, samples and overstock (items that we cannot sell) are donated to Sistering or the YWCA Toronto. Firstly we try to keep our samples and overstock items to a minimum, but when that is not possible, we chose to give these new or like-new items to women in need instead of hosting a sample sale. Sistering is a downtown Toronto shelter for marginalized women, it is an essential step in recovery and safety for many women who need help and do not have another option. And YWCA helps women and girls flee violence, secure housing, find jobs, establish their voices, enhance skills and develop confidence.
OFFSETTING SHIPPING EMISSONS
Every month our total emissions generated by shipping orders to you, are calculated and that number becomes our monthly offset cost. This cost neutralizes our shipping emissions and goes towards protecting forests with Pachama and contributes to certified projects, complying with the best-in-class carbon offset protocols and standards. Currently: funding 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 in the 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 our clothes start from a place that is more expensive than most traditional brands. Due to our fabric being sustainable, and our pattern maker, 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. 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.
Franc is a small business, established in 2017, owned and operated by Brandy herself. Currently Brandy is the owner/founder/only full-time employee/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) is what adds 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.