ColieCo proudly operates on an eco-centric basis. This means that care for the environment is at the heart of our business decisionmaking and ingrained in our business model.
Materials and sourcing
We use a range of sustainable materials in the production of our garments. Each of the fabrics we choose when designing our collections is selected based on its environmental credentials as well as its quality.
And we pledge that every single fabric used to create every single ColieCo product will meet one of the following criteria:
The fabric is made from an inherently sustainable and sustainably processed natural fibre
These include the fabric made from TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres used in our TENCEL™ Intimate collection and the silk alternative fabric made from organically-grown and closed-loop processed bamboo found in our Bamboo collection
The fabric is made primarily from recycled materials
These include the recycled polyester fabric used in our RPET recycled collection, which is made primarily from reconstituted plastic drinks bottles
The fabric is reclaimed from fashion industry deadstock, line-ends or off-cuts otherwise destined for landfill
These include all of the mesh fabrics used in our Mesh collection (and elsewhere in the ColieCo range), all of the printed scuba jersey fabrics used in our Reclaimed prints collection, and all of the lycra fabrics used in our Swimwear collection
We work with local manufacturers and suppliers to limit the transit of materials from source to the point of production, and 90% of our virgin and recycled fabrics are now manufactured within Europe, including all of our TENCEL™ Lyocell and our RPET recycled polyester.
All of our elastics are manufactured in Europe by suppliers carrying OEKO-TEX STeP certification for sustainable textile production. And where we commission printed fabric, the work is undertaken via an eco-friendly, zero-waste process of sublimation printing by a trusted partner here in Portugal.
Developments in textile science and manufacturing see the emergence of new fabrics and more sustainable production processes each year, and whenever we use virgin natural fibre and recycled fabrics, we will continue to work to find best-in-class options for our collection.
This means sourcing fabrics which are created from sustainable and sustainably-processed fibres, through low carbon and low water use processes, without the use of hazardous chemicals, and in closed loop systems which protect local ecosystems.
And you can read about all of the criteria we consider when we're assessing fabric options for the ColieCo collection and their manufacturers in our Code of Ethics and Conduct.
Our production processes are designed and continually improved to minimise waste and minimise energy consumption.
Each and every one of our garments is made to order, ensuring that we are left with zero unusable, unsold, or end-of-line surplus stock.
Our cutting process is also optimised to ensure we waste as little fabric as possible. Rather than bulk cutting - a process responsible for much of the supply-chain textile waste produced by the fashion industry - we manually cut each pattern piece and retain offcuts for reuse, meaning that we get best use from even the smallest pieces of fabric.
Across the fashion industry, 35% of all materials used in the supply chain end up as waste before a garment or product reaches the consumer. Through our made-to-order model, and intelligent garment design and cutting processes, we are able to reduce that figure to less than 10%. And all remaining, unavoidable fabric waste is separated for textile recycling, meaning that we send nothing to landfill.
Our purpose built studio, where all ColieCo garments are manufactured, is naturally and LED lit, is naturally air-conditioned, and, like our office, is powered by 100% renewable energy.
Water use and quality
Water usage in the textiles and fashion industry is a critical issue: fashion is now the world's second most water-intensive industry, during an age in which freshwater scarcity and quality are growing ecological and human concerns.
Our fabric sourcing is focused on identifying fibres and textile manufacturing and dyeing/printing processes which do not require intensive water use. It is for this reason that we no longer use any virgin cotton fabrics anywhere in any of our collections.
We also require that wherever we use virgin natural fibre and recycled fabrics, these textiles are manufactured in water-closed-loop processes or that water used during manufacture is treated and tested under monitored and certified processes prior to discharge.
Both our garment production studio and office use low-flow water saving solutions.
Did you know that every time you wash your clothes, they shed tens of thousands of microfibres? These microfibres break off clothing during wash cycles, entering washing machine waste water before joining rivers and oceans, contributing to the pollution of marine environments.
Microfibres shed by clothing made from synthetic materials like polyester and nylon are of particular concern, because they contain plastic. Although the ColieCo collection is 100% free from virgin synthetic fabrics, our recycled and reclaimed fabrics contain synthetic materials.
Our GUPPYFRIEND washing bags not only reduce the amount of fibres which break away from synthetic clothing, they also collect those fibres which do break away, so that after washing they can be easily removed and disposed of conscientiously.
Packaging and shipping
We exclusively use recycled paper and card across all of our supplies, and ship orders in lightweight, reusable, recycled-and-recyclable packaging. All of our packaging is proudly 100% plastic free.
ColieCo works with Carbonfund.org to offset all of our shipping-related emissions, leaving the delivery of your order carbon-neutral. Carbonfund help us calculate these emissions, which we offset by funding their reforestation and forest preservation programme. All of the projects supported by Carbonfund are subject to their Quality Assurance Protocol and subject to third party certification standards, including Gold Standard and Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standard.
All ColieCo orders are shipped directly from the ColieCo studio, further limiting their transport footprint.
We want all of our customers to get the best possible use out of their ColieCo garments. We'll only ever produce garments from high quality textiles, and with high quality craftsmanship to give them the longest possible lifespan.
We also offer garment customisation, a free alteration service for all garments to help customers get the fit they need, and a free repair service to help customers get the very best and longest use out of their lingerie and swimwear.
Beyond the wider environmental impact, the fashion and textiles industry is a source of a great deal of immediate and unnecessary animal suffering.
At ColieCo, we are 100% committed to ensuring that we do not contribute to unnecessary animal suffering of any kind. For this reason, we do not use any animal-derived fabrics, glues, waxes or other components anywhere in our collection, and we never will.
Code of Ethics and Conduct
Our Code of Ethics and Conduct outlines ColieCo’s values and ethical principles, and sets standards which all of those working for and on behalf of ColieCo will follow, including standards for environmental responsibility.