Environmental and Sustainability Philosophy
Environmental and Sustainability Philosophy
Sustainability is one of Natural Winner's fundamental values, one of the reasons we exist. Therefore, it is especially important for us to be open about what we do and how we think, and at the same time be humble that there is lots of potential for improvement. We will always strive towards prioritizing the environment where there is a choice.
Sustainability is a very complex concept and everything we humans do has an environmental impact, and mostly a wear and tear on the earth's resources. Our intention within Natural Winner is the following:
- Materials: We have chosen to work with natural material choices to at least 98%. What they have in common is that they are biodegradable.
Wool: Is a waste material that is very rarely used today. We find it very strange that wool has many outstanding properties, for example insulating, antibacterial, dirt-repellent, water-repellent, moisture-absorbing without cooling, self-cleaning, etc. In addition, processing wool requires less chemicals and water volume than other textiles in preparation AND it rarely needs to be washed because it is very self-cleaning (which saves water consumption even during the use phase). Our wool is mainly produced in Sweden or at smaller facilities within the EU. Healthy and good animal husbandry is important to us. Of course, we choose ECO when there is an option. As we manufacture in 100% wool (without admixture of polyester), both fabric and fillings/paddings are easier to recycle. Cotton: Unbleached cotton is used in our rope products. It is also used where there is no equivalent in other materials, eg ribbons or straps in certain dimensions. Although cotton is a natural material, it requires a lot of water and chemicals during production, which means that we prefer wool for the functions that go. Pure cotton can be recycled, and like all our natural materials is biodegradable.
Hemp: A strong and natural material that we use instead of polyester for thicker straps and halters where wear resistance/strength is extra important. We also mix hemp in some reinforcement materials to increase the lifespan of the product.
Leather: Leather is a natural waste material, and we choose the real thing over the oil-based copy. Our leather is vegetable tanned and dyed to reduce chemical handling during preparation. It makes a big difference to both nature and the factory workers who handle the product. Well-maintained leather lasts for many, many years and is also therefore a good and durable choice.
Viscose: A natural material extracted from the cellulose of trees. A way to make use of residual products, but which also requires chemicals to break down and transform. We allow a few percent of viscose to be mixed in e.g. piping tape.
Polyester: Unfortunately, we have not found smart, durable solutions for certain manufacturing details, including sewing thread and Velcro. We therefore use polyester thread in all our sewing. We do not allow any mixing of polyester in fabrics or padding, as we want to avoid oil-based materials that can leak microplastics, and that require extensive chemical handling.
- Microplastics: We do NOT want to contribute to microplastics getting out and spreading in nature, therefore we neither manufacture nor purchase products (other than Velcro and sewing thread) that are made from oil-based materials - however cheap it may be.
Shipping: We do what we can to minimize CO2 emissions in connection with shipping, and neutralize what goes.We therefore choose to charge a fee for all shipping to customers to demonstrate that it costs to send goods In return, we plant a tree for each order to compensate. Our hope is that together we take joint responsibility for the environmental wear and tear caused by all shipping.
- Logistics: We purchase most of our products within the EU to minimize long and unnecessary shipping routes. We also choose the transport options that involve the least amount of wear and tear where there is a choice to do so.
- Packaging: We choose to send our products in recycled paper packaging, and with paper tape to minimize plastic.
- Manufacturing: We locate most of our manufacturing within the EU to ensure short delivery routes between raw material, manufacturing and consumer, good working conditions (minimal risk of child labour, slave-like working conditions, anti-corruption, etc.) , modern machines and premises. Not least, our products maintain a consistent and high quality that minimizes the risk of discards.
- Purchasing: We carefully select the partners we want to work with. Our values weigh more heavily than quick deals, we don't believe that nature can withstand being stressed, but should be handled with thought. We think the same way when it comes to our products. However, our optimal choice is not always available, and we are forced to compromise. Still. We will therefore be open and honest about the origin of our products so that you as a customer always know what you are buying. And at the same time, we work hard to improve in all areas.
- Office: We act digitally as far as possible in terms of invoices, packing slips, marketing, etc. In cases where necessary, we use recycled products and consumables with an environmental label. This also applies to product and shipping packaging. Of course we sort waste and choose ECO coffee too, all efforts count.
Recycling and lifespan: Since we care about both longevity and recycling, we primarily encourage reselling a product that you no longer use to someone else. Circular economy is better for the environment and our products wear with style and patina. We advocate reuse before recycling, and recycling before deposit.
- Repair and re-sew: Repair the product if it breaks in any detail, it extends the service life and reduces environmental wear and tear. Or why not re-sewn parts of it into something else useful? Maybe a leg pad, a seat mat, or sleeping place for the dog... Use your imagination. Our leather products can be handed in to a saddler to be repaired if necessary, so they last a few more years.
- Recycling of wool/cotton: Our wool and wool fabrics can be recycled as they are made from 100% wool. The same applies to the cotton products. Hand it in to your recycling station and let the product turn into new useful material. Should it end up in nature for some reason (which we do not recommend), it is biodegradable.
- Packaging: Sort and recycle the packaging that comes from us. In this way, we are helped to reduce the amount of new raw material.
- Plant trees: We believe in giving back to nature and therefore try to offset CO2 emissions by planting a tree in collaboration with VI- forest for each customer order.
“Trees fight both poverty and climate change.Vi-skogen works with tree planting in East Africa, where they also train local farmers' organizations in sustainable agriculture and agroforestry, gender equality and entrepreneurship. Agroforestry is about letting trees grow and interact with crops and livestock. It gives women and men living in poverty the opportunity to cope with the effects of the climate crisis. They increase their resilience and can thus themselves improve their living conditions, immediately and in the long term. At the same time, carbon dioxide is sequestered and the climate is improved." /VI-skogen (viskogen.se)
Do you want to know more about our sustainability work, or want to give feedback? Contact us HERE