Our core mission is to show that a 100 % responsible business practice is the only way to do business with integrity.

We believe that the origin of a product, along with its social and environmental impact, is as important as its aesthetic. Transparency and accountability is key to back this up, and we work with the most reputable standards in apparel that define environmental and social compliance criteria across the supply chain.

Numerous sustainability standards have been set forth in recent years to address the major issues of global production and working practices within the fashion industry. Some standards are defined by their strict regulations. Others are focused on eliminating the worst practices to encourage a large portion of an industry to work incrementally towards better practices.

At AIAYU we seek producers who are certified in sustainability. By complying with these standards and certification initiatives, they demonstrate to us their credibility and commitment towards improving their impact on the environment.

All our AIAYU cotton products are GOTS-certified. Our llama, yak and cashmere wool derive from all-natural fibres. For example, the llama fibre is naturally organic, since the llamas feed directly from grass that is not exposed to synthetic hormones or pesticides.

We make it a priority to partner with manufacturers who commit to the highest standards. That’s why our partners are either SA8000 or WRAP-certified to ensure ethical manufacturing in terms of working conditions. From our perspective, the SA8000, WRAP and GOTS certifications not only set high standards for the industry worldwide. Their positive impact has shown tangible social, environmental and economic results.

KEY CERTIFICATIONS

GOTS is a standard that covers the entire supply chain, from fiber to finished product. It is based upon respect for people and planet. GOTS-certified cotton guarantees that the raw material is grown organically, and that the production is processed organically and socially responsibly. All AIAYU cotton products are 100% organic, and fully GOTS-certified.

SA8000 is a certification standard that encourages organizations to develop, maintain, and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace. This is very central to the ethics of AIAYU and ensures that the artisans’ working conditions live up to our own ethical standards. AIAYU cotton products are manufactured in an SA8000 compliant factory.

WRAP is a certification program with 12 principles that is mainly focused on the apparel and footwear industry. The objective is to monitor and certify compliance with the principles to ensure that manufactured products are produced under lawful, humane and ethical conditions. AIAYU’s production facility in Bolivia is WRAP-certified.

AIAYU is a member of the Global Compact, which is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative that provides companies with a framework of principles to incorporate. AIAYU communicates on an annual basis about progress in implementing the principles, which is available to the public and is our visible expression of commitment to sustainability.

ZERO WASTE

The textile industry is known for its abundant use of materials and subsequent waste. Typically, the process of making textiles and garments leads to leftover cuttings from production. Fabrics in a slightly wrong colour, or clothing from a cancelled order. The amount of waste can be immense.

At AIAYU, we do not view waste as a problem – we see it as an opportunity. To recycle, use and re-use fabric to create something new.

In India, we have made a zero waste programme for all our cotton products. Here we strive to take all our leftover fabric and cuttings from the production and use them to not only make small items like our tote bags and hang tags, but also larger designs like our Raw Quilts and Raw Rugs.

All our zero waste products are unique and made in limited editions.

What’s more, we use the profits from our zero waste production to donate to a local school in Agra, India for challenged children. It’s called TEARS – Train, Educate and Rehabilitate Socially.

Given our focus on producing all our products where they originate from, we go to great lengths to support the local communities. They contribute so much to our designs with their handcraft and artisan expertise. Likewise, we implement programmes that contribute to their own quality of life, wellbeing and community.

In fact, our AIAYU cotton line was created with this in mind.

PACKAGING AND TRANSPORT

Transport:

At AIAYU, we have a simple and 100 % transparent supply chain. We always source and produce our pieces locally, making transportation during the production process a non-issue. This includes everything from hang tags to trimmings (buttons, zippers, etc.), reducing the environmental impact during this stage significantly.

At the moment, most transport from Bolivia happens by sea. This means that the production takes up to a month and a half to reach us. Needless to say, this practice is extremely time consuming, but it is still the best alternative to flying. At this point, we have not yet reached a 100 % sustainable transport method, and the right balance is difficult to achieve, but we strive to reach a reasonable, sustainable level soon, where sea fare is our primary method of transportation.

The main issue to consider is the infrastructure in Bolivia: the coast line is far from our production, which takes place high up in the country, close to La Paz. With transport by trucks on small and sometimes impassable roads that lead out to the coast, the benefits are far outweighed by the hassle and costs, and we therefore cannot rely on this every time we ship a small sample from Bolivia to Denmark. A sustainable solution is in the works, and we cannot wait to introduce it.

Transport from India to Denmark is a much more straightforward affair, since the coast line is reachable and the infrastructure much more developed. We are therefore proud to say that a predominant part of all our transport from India happens via sea fare, helping to reduce the environmental impact significantly.

Packaging:

We use bio-degradable bags for all our packaging – both in the production and for our webshop and flagship store. This means that each bag is dissolvable and will be gone within 90 days.

We try to minimize all excessive wrapping. Instead, we encourage clever wrapping, asking our customers to actively choose this luxury instead of making it complimentary.

All tote bags are made from scraps and leftover fabric pieces, as a valuable part of our ‘Zero Waste’ initiative.

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