It is without argument that all Ultimate gear suppliers operate in one of the world’s most environmentally damaging industries, the textile industry. However, at Lookfly, we believe radical change often originates in small to medium sized businesses and that by adopting fundamental principles and new technologies in sustainable production, it is possible to force positive change in manufacturing practises and safeguard the future of our environment.
We also strongly believe that it is possible make these choices to protect our environment whilst maintaining a profitable business.
From the wind that powers our HQ, the recycled paper in our near paperless office, our Eco friendly courier, to our local facility only 20 miles from Lookfly HQ in Mansfield that manufactures our technical garments, our aim is to ensure that we are doing everything possible to reduce the amount of damage to the environment while making your gear. Even our local fabric mill and dye house has been chosen based their location, energy efficiency policies and ability to recycle water in the manufacturing process.
From the knitting and dying of our fabric, through to garment manufacturing, printing and personalisation, our garments travel less than 48 miles from design to completion.
It is our mission now to turn our customers and our competitors customers onto the products and services that we offer that are being manufactured with the future of our planet in mind.
Our garments are mainly made from Polyester, a popular fabric known for its high level of technical performance in sporting activities. However, polyester also presents one of the most damaging non-natural fibres made by the textile industry, as it is generally made from an unsustainable resource (oil) and requires high temperatures in the dyeing process.
However, as a part of our continued mission to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and operate a sustainable business practise, we are introducing NewLife&trade, not only a technical fabric made with 100% recycled plastic bottles (and other PET) generated by European-based recycling centres, it is milled less than 20 miles from our manufacturing facility in the UK ensuring each jersey has a low carbon footprint in its production cycle.
Our aim to have at least 50% of our technical garments made from 100% recycled polyester by the end of 2011, with 100% of it in use by the end of 2012.
Developments in technology are providing us with more and more ways to change our business practises and protect our planet. As a small business, with no shareholders or outside investors, we have been given a unique and special opportunity to lead by example and show the Ultimate community and other Ultimate gear suppliers how to we can be socially and environmentally responsible, while growing a business in a sustainable manner. We hope that if we can reduce or eliminate harm, and still make a profit other businesses will be eager to follow suit.
Avoiding The Greenwash…
We recognise there is still a lot of work to be done, none of our actions are without consequence and all aspects of our business leave a mark on the environment. There is little point in conferring a competitive advantage by saying you are the environmental choice if you then actually do very little in practise or your choices are ill-informed (a strategy in business known as Greenwash).
Over the next few years, we intend to provide our customers with further transparency about our production cycle, establish the exact carbon footprint of our shirts and introduce practices that can be used to offset our damage.
Check out our Innovation page The Next Generation for our plans for the future at Lookfly!