Sustainable Swimwear Brand

Lilja the Label Sandy Top

Sustainability

 

We are passionate about doing the right thing and taking care of our valuable resources. As a fashion brand we acknowledge our responsibility in this matter and as a commercial operator we can never be fully perfect, but we are trying our best to minimise our impact daily. We are aiming to be as environmentally conscious and transparent as possible so that the next generations, too, can enjoy everything this gorgeous planet has to offer.

On this page, we’ll tell you more about our sustainability practices, ranging from introducing our fabrics and raw materials, the packaging materials we use, our logistic structure to warehousing and shipping and everything in between.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact – we are aiming to be completely transparent and are happy to answer any questions you may have. We love having conversations with you and are always open for feedback.

 

“There is a great need for the introduction of new values in our society, where bigger is not necessarily better, where slower can be faster, and where less can be more.”

– G. Nelson

Fabrics

 

We are aware of the environmental impact of the clothing industry and our responsibility in this matter, and are are aiming to be as environmentally conscious and transparent as possible. For utmost clarity and transparency, you can find the breakdown of each fabric used to manufacture a certain Lilja the Label product on the product page. We have also introduced the main resources, ECONYL® and REPREVE® below.

ECONYL® regenerated nylon

 

ECONYL® regenerated nylon may be the first regenerated fiber for swimwear and activewear fabric that comes to mind, and for a great reason! ECONYL® nylon is a regenerated nylon yarn made by an Italian company called Aquafil. The swimwear and activewear fabrics utilising ECONYL® yarn are manufactured exclusively by Italian Carvico and consist of 78% regenerated nylon  and 22% elastane coming in different thicknesses suitable for both swimwear and activewear. ECONYL® regenerated nylon has been made utilising pre-consumer and post-consumer waste such as fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring and industrial plastic. For each 10 000 tons of the raw material collected, they are able to save 70 000 barrels of crude oil and 65 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions from entering our atmosphere.

All Carvico fabrics utilising ECONYL® regenerated nylon have the OEKO-TEX® 100-standard ensuring they have been tested for harmful substances and are safe to be used and worn.

If you’d like to read even more about this sustainable fabric, you can browse the fabric manufacturer’s website or the ECONYL® website.

REPREVE®

 

REPREVE® is the world’s leading recycled fiber made from recycled plastic bottles regenerated into a high quality nylon yarn. As billions of plastic bottles worldwide end up on landfills, REPREVE® is combatting an enormous problem and giving these valuable resources a new life. The company behind REPREVE®, Unifi, has already recycled more than 25 billion plastic bottles and rescued them from ending up on landfills and turning into a waste. At the same time, they have avoided 646 million kgs of CO2 emissions from entering into our atmosphere. Compared to making what’s called virgin fiber, making REPREVE® offsets using new petroleum, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and conserving water and energy in the process.

We use REPREVE® as our print fabric due to the great qualities this fabric has for printing: it’s high-quality and keeps it’s shape and colour well yet being super soft and stretchy for the best fit. Our amazing factory prints our pattern designs into a solid white version of this fabric to gain the best print quality and contrast and we couldn’t be happier!

You can read more of the fabric on the fabric manufacturer’s website (click for link).

Lilja the Label swimwear factory

Our factory

 

Our products are ethically handmade in handpicked factories we have personally visited. A safe and ethical working environment for everyone that is a part of our product chain in any way is close to our hearts here at Lilja. Therefore it is important for us that our products represent this.

Our main swimwear and activewear factory is located on the gorgeous paradise island of Bali in Indonesia. This factory has been manufacturing all our swimwear and activewear from 2018 onwards. The factory is ran by a young local couple employing a total of 36 people: four in the office alongside the owners, two specialising in fabric cutting, 26 in manufacturing, three in quality control carefully checking the pieces before they make their way to us and to you and one in graphic design. The team has been able to grow significantly within the past three years we have been with them we could not be happier to be growing together with this amazing family business.

We absolutely love our factory and are so lucky to have a business relationship we can trust with our whole hearts. We have decided on this factory and our other manufacturing partners, such as fabric retailers, manufacturers of packaging materials etc. after extensive research of the factories, their working conditions, fair wages and holidays.

Working with small businesses (just like us!) enables us to build more personal relationships with our manufacturing staff and to support these young, ambitious entrepreneurs working for their dreams. We have been privileged to personally the factory and are trying to do so yearly. w

We want to keep our items unique and therefore only manufacture limited quantities. Also, Lilja the Label is not a fast fashion brand. Therefore we don’t want to manufacture an excessive amount of stock that would end up discounted or left unsold. So let’s keep the quantities small, every single item loved and the environment healthy!

Shipping & Logistics

 

We use an external logistics provider for all our warehousing, packing and shipments. This way we don’t need to rent and maintain our own warehouse and can save a lot of environmental impact – we don’t have to maintain our own heating, water, electricity, etc, etc, etc… Our logistics partner provides the same service to multiple online stores and therefore the environmental costs are divided by many more packages than we’d ever be able to. Our logistics provider also has access to a huge amount of different packaging materials and shipping options and therefore is a huge help for us in this.

We offer different shipping courier option for you to choose the one that suits you best. Our standard shipping options (Posti and GLS) cater European countries by road. While your package may take a bit longer to arrive, it won’t accumulate as many CO2 emissions than Express options that travel mostly by plane. However, we understand that it isn’t always possible to wait or that you may prefer an Express option for any other reason, and that’s ok!

We are aware that our factory is located quite far away from where our warehousing and operations happen. Therefore we are doing our best to be conscious about our factory orders: we ask our lovely factory personnel to pack the shipments coming our way as efficiently and environmentally friendly as possible and waiting under we have enough products per shipment before they make their way to us.

Product packaging

 

We ship our products to you in flat cardboard boxes and use paper tape to seal the package. The entire shipping package is fully recyclable and plastic-free. If you need to return any items, we always encourage using the original package. If you don’t need to use the package, we are encouraging you to recycle it with cardboard waste.

The packaging for individual products is a Bali-made biodegradable and bio-based bag from a company called Avani. Avani offers a substitute for plastic packaging and has similar protective qualities, albeit being slightly thinner. These pouches are made locally from cassava root and are entirely biodegradable and compostable.

Alongside the products you’ve ordered, you’ll also find a little A5 thank-you card from us in your package. We have included some information about us, our greetings and our return information on this card. On top of this, we don’t add a separate return form as our return form can be found digitally here. This way we can minimise the amount of paper and other materials inside your package. Please note that some destination countries require adding a customs invoice inside the packaging – in these cases we will of course include a printed customs invoice and can’t avoid it. Please recycle it accordingly! 🙂

The hang tags of our products are made from printed paper and can be recycled, just remove the safety pin and reuse it or recycle it separately from the paper tag.

We will also always try to recycle all packaging materials that come our way from our factory or from our suppliers. If a certain resource cannot be reused, it will be recycled.

Textile wet processing

 

Wet processing, simplified, includes everything that adds a liquid on the textile to attain certain qualities on the finished product. These liquids include water, dyes, chemicals, softeners used to improve textiles in terms of looks or qualities. The fashion industry has to step forward and change its practices in order to guarantee a sustainable product chain, not only in which fabrics are used but also in which way they are handled in different parts of the production chain.

The wet processes our fabrics and products go through are fabric dyeing and printing. We don’t for example bleach or fade (think of jeans), add protective layers (think of technical outerwear or shoes) or pre-wash our items. This makes our wet processes fairly simple and we can pay all our attention in this matter to the sustainability of the dyeing processes and the dyes used.

All the solid coloured fabrics used for our swimwear and activewear collections are sourced from the Italian manufacturer Carvico, which uses the ECONYL® regenerated nylon. The solid coloured fabrics are dyed at the fabric manufacturer’s premises in Italy, and we don’t alter them later during any phase of the production chain in Bali or here in Finland. We chose to work with Carvico as they have signed a declaration against using harmful chemicals and have been audited by third parties. The dyes used have Oeko-Tex standards ensuring that the fabrics are free from harmful chemicals.

All the prints you see in our collections are printed at our factory in Bali. This is done using digital printing, which you can think of similar to a large printer – it sprays tiny droplets of dye or ink onto the fabric, which is inserted into the printer as a roll of blank fabric. One of the biggest advantages of digital printing is the reduction in waste compared to some other printing technologies, as you can print as little or as much fabric as you need. The digital printing ink also does not have to be washed with water afterwards. However the con is that natural dyes do not stick with the digital printing method and chemical dyes need to be used. We are hoping to see a shift in this in the future and are hoping to find natural colourants suitable for dyeing PA fabrics!

Lilja the Label Sandy Top

Final words

 

Our system isn’t perfect and probably no system can ever be fully perfect, but what matters the most is making informed decisions and being transparent. We are striving to constantly improve and are more than happy to receive any feedback, ideas or questions about our practices. You can get in contact by email or via our social media channels, we’d love to have a chat! You can also challenge us for a new sustainability goal if you come up with one. Let’s be in touch!