DURABILITY, QUALITY AND CREATING PRODUCTS WITH RELATIONSHIPS – THAT’S THE MISSION OF AIAYU
MARIA HØGH HEILMANN, FOUNDER OF AIAYU
MADE TO LAST
The best thing we can do for the planet is buy less and use what we have for longer. So when you choose to invest in something from Aiayu, we promise to provide a timeless product that is truly “made to last”. To that end, we minimize the introduction of new designs into our collections, instead re-releasing many tried and true customer favourites that we know have withstood the test of time.
Some of our designs have been a part of the collection since the company was founded 15 years ago, proving our commitment to timeless design.
The story of Aiayu is a story about falling in love with nature’s best materials. All our materials are carefully selected not only for their beauty, durability, and quality, but also for the sustainability of their genesis and disposal.
We are a natural materials company, which means we commit to using synthetic materials sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. We deeply hold that items made from high-quality natural materials are the embodiment of the ‘made to last’ ideology. Even as tastes, bodies, or situations change, a properly cared for natural material item can be passed on to be given a second or even third life.
It takes many years of effort, research, and travel to source the special materials we work with. And once found, it often takes a long time to develop them into the Aiayu products you know and love. It’s labor intensive and slow, but we truly believe this results in the highest quality, most beautiful, and responsibly made products.
RESPONSIBLE CRAFT-FOCUSED PRODUCTION
As a ‘materials first’ company, we choose our suppliers based on their unparalleled expertise, craftsmanship, and rich traditional history with a material. But we also see our suppliers as long-term partners, collaborators, and fellow material enthusiasts with whom we share a vision of treating people and the planet with respect.
After being in this business for 15 years, we understand that no certification can replace these long-term relationships. However, certifications are very central to the ethics of Aiayu as they ensure that the working conditions and environmental practices of our suppliers live up to our own ethical standards. We currently have the SA8000, WRAP, and GOTS certifications and are a signatory of the UN Global Compact.
The textile industry is known for its excessive waste – disposing of millions of tonnes of textile cuttings and scraps each year. Given the exhaustive amount of resources it takes to create textiles, this is unacceptable.
To do our part to combat waste, we have set up a zero-waste program in our cotton production facilities in India. By doing this, we hope to model how a waste ‘problem’ can become an opportunity to upcycle.
We use biodegradable poly-bags for our packaging during shipment and processing. This means that each bag is dissolvable and will be gone within 90 days when disposed of. We also try to minimize all excessive wrapping once our products reach our customers.
All orders are shipped to customers in non-virgin plastic from recycled water bottles. Additionally, to reduce unwanted packaging, we ask our customers to actively choose gift wrapping during their shopping experience instead of making it automatic. If chosen, customers receive their items wrapped in an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified box and a cotton ribbon from our Zero Waste initiative in India.