Our coats might be black. But also? They’re green!
Here at Lynx, we’re all about green manufacturing. But what does that actually mean?
According to Goodwin University, green manufacturing is when companies “use fewer natural resources, reduce pollution and waste, recycle and reuse materials, and moderate emissions in their processes.” Sounds pretty good!
To actually put that into practice, though, we need to get into a bit more detail. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has created a Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit, which breaks it down into three phases: inputs, operations and products.
In an article for Insights, Nancy Ordman explains, “These indicators provide a good outline of the effects these components of the manufacturing process have on the environment.”
Of course, manufacturing winter coats isn’t the same thing as manufacturing, say, airplane parts or kitchen cupboards or shoes. Every type of product has a different profile when it comes to reducing environmental impact. We don’t have to worry about rare earth minerals, for instance; our coats do a lot of great things, but they’re not computers.
Anyway, we decided to take a look at each piece and see how it applies to what we do. Check it out!
Inputs: Here’s what goes into our coats.
One of the things we hear a lot about these days is “fast fashion.” That basically means clothing that’s made quickly and of cheap materials, which are often the ones that cause the most environmental damage to produce.
But at Lynx, we believe in slow fashion! And that has a big impact on what we put into our coats. That means, for instance, that the majority of the materials we use for our coats is sustainably manufactured. For instance, our down, which is fully traceable, is a by-product from sources ranging from large-scale abattoirs to independent farmhouses that protect animal welfare.
Another example is our zippers. We use YKK brand zippers in our men’s coats. The company manufactures their zippers in Montreal and is committed to sustainable manufacturing practices. Riri, the Swiss brand of zippers used in our women’s coats, also values sustainability in all their processes.
Operations: Here’s how we make them.
Fast fashion items are generally made in unsafe working conditions, such as sweatshops; and then they’re shipped to us from far away, which means they come with huge greenhouse gas emissions from cargo ships. Because we’re a slow fashion company, we’re ahead of the game on this one.
Manufacturing processes can affect the environment in two ways: through their consumption of energy, water and other resources that aren’t directly part of the product itself, and through the waste generated by those processes.
On the consumption end, the OECD talks about water use and energy use. Among clothing companies, it’s common to outsource manufacturing to other countries to get around having to deal with restrictive environmental laws about these two elements. But at Lynx, we made a conscious decision to keep our manufacturing in Canada precisely so that we’d be subjected to Canada’s stringent regulations. That means we’re spending more on the process, but we can sleep at night knowing we’re taking care of the planet.
Products: Here’s the end result!
Fast fashion items are usually so poorly made that they wear out quickly. At that point, people tend to simply toss them in the trash. Exactly what we DON’T want!
At Lynx, we of course will repair any manufacturing defects you may encounter. But beyond that, we use fabrics and techniques to create a coat intended for long-lasting wear. And if, over the years, your coat suffers some wear and tear, we strongly encourage you to mend it or take it to a tailor for help. Our coats are built to keep you warm for many years!
Could we be doing more?
Yes! Absolutely. Right now, we’re a young company with a very small product line. That means some of our options are limited. But we’re committed to doing our part to keep the planet healthy, so as we grow, we’ll continue to update our practices to keep them in line with our values. We’ll keep you posted along the way!