Sustainability is at the core of everything we do at Team Timbuktu. We think of our impact within three main areas: fabrics, factories and packaging, as to where we can create the most change and reduce impact.
By using fabrics that are made from recycled plastic bottles to create our collections, not only are we saving plastics from oceans and landfill, we're also using less energy and water compared to creating conventional synthetic fabrics.
We're simply changing the raw material, instead of using oil to create polyester (like conventional poly), we're using a waste that we have excess of. After sorting, sterilising, melting and crafting a new material, we're creating one that is not only more sustainable, but one that is also breathable, sweat wicking and durable.
What does recycled fabric feels like?
It's not sweaty, not stiff or crunchy and to put plainly is nothing like what you'd expect. It's soft, silky and breathable. It's comfortable and durable and simply looks and feels just like regular fabric.
How much is recycled?
Our Waterproof Jacket fabric is 100% recycled and our Activewear fabric is 75% recycled, with the other 25% being elastane (needed for the stretch component).
We only work with makers who we've personally met and are so proud to work with the talented makers who make Team Timbuktu.
Our organic cotton mill and manufacturer is located in Tiruppur, India and is outstanding for their policies for their employees, in addition to free training programs if they wish to upskill and lunch provided every day.
Our activewear manufacturer is in Xiamen, China and is a small factory with strict (and fair) working conditions to ensure there is no underage labour, wages are above minimum and leave is paid.
Our Waterproof Jacket fabric is made in Taiwan and our garment manufacturer is based in Xiamen, China. They're a larger factory and follow the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), meaning they're audited by a third party to ensure they comply to local laws and we receive a detailed report with information about their compliance and working conditions.
We visit our garment manufacturers every year (in addition to skype-ing them every other week) to check in and ensure we're supporting happy, healthy and safe workplaces.
We sweat the small stuff here. Not only are we using fabrics that are made more sustainably, we've eliminated the majority of single use plastics within our supply chain. It's standard practice for every garment sent from a factory to be individually packaged in single use plastic, and then sent from the warehouse out to you wrapped in more plastic.
Instead we use home compostable garment and mailing bags. We've eliminated the majority of our single use plastics (each year we use a handful of plastic bags, as opposed to the thousands that would be standard for a business our size) and use epic bags that are made from corn starch and are biodegradable in your very own home compost. Neat huh?
We always use recycled paper wherever possible, such as with our thank you cards. Less energy to produce, no new trees chopped down. Win-win.