The Green Stitch: the first sustainable Van Gils collection

No stitch, no story. As an innovative fashion brand, we have been thinking about sustainability too. It’s a hot topic, customers are looking for fast fashion alternatives. Our tailor-made collections are anything but fast fashion. We’re very picky when it comes to fabrics and materials, only the best quality measures our standards. Still, we wanted to take our responsibility, which is why we launched The Green Stitch. A separate collection, produced in the most ‘green’ way.

Focus on sustainable fabrics and materials
The collection focuses on sustainable fabrics: jackets are made of recycled wool, shirts from organic cotton, all without losing its comfort. About 10 jackets, 6 coats, eco-denim jeans and a variety of shirts and t-shirts will be released soon to show our customers the innovative and sustainable character of our company.

Sustainability goes further than one collection
While producing this dedicated Green Stitch collection, we concluded Van Gils already implements many sustainable processes in the entire production. Approximately 70 per cent of the production is located in Europe and we chose slow transportations. This means we prefer to transport by ferry or truck. European regulations are quite strict. For example, REACH, which stands for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. REACH applies to all chemical substances, both those needed for industrial processes and those we use in our everyday lives, in paints, cleaning products, clothes, furniture and electrical appliances. All our manufacturers have to take these guidelines into consideration.

Another certification we implement is GOTS: the Global Organic Textile Standard. It is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. This way we can guarantee the fabrics we use are organic and ecological and we can contribute to more transparency in the fashion industry when we use organic wool, cotton or recycled polyester.

Social impact
At Van Gils, we believe sustainability isn’t only important for the environment. Also, the working conditions for workers could be improved. Therefore about 75% of our products are approved by the Business Social Compliance Initiative, an organisation that vouches for better circumstances for workers participating in production processes. Furthermore, our partners and resellers have to have an SA8000 certification: an internationally accepted certificate for socially responsible organisations. De Bijenkorf is one of our resellers actively working on sustainability within their company and very clear targets they aim for. Companies that size make an impact, we have to unite forces in the industry. Our Green Stitch collection is a baby step in the right direction and a logical strategic step for us. We love our heritage and what we’ve created for more than seventy years, and we love to continue our stitches and our story for future generations!

Sustainable design challenges
Developing The Green Stitch collection happened like any other collection regarding its design. Fabrics can be limiting, specific materials or colors can be scarce. Though that suits Van Gils, as we don’t want to be a mass production fashion house. We can call ourselves the best tailors in The Netherlands since 1948, we have to keep up to that. Besides quality, the wearing comfort of our items is key.

 

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