Echo Verde is committed to corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship. We pledge to manage our business practices in an ethical and transparent manner which will produce a positive impact on society and the planet.
Ethical sourcing – what you should know! :
We currently produce in Vancouver, Canada, Central America and China.There is still wide-spread opinion that sourcing and manufacturing clothing in Asia-and more specifically in China is a desire for cheap labor and that the conditions under which people work is not good. The truth, though, is much more complicated and nuanced. Our Chinese manufacturers have become experts in working with organic and eco textiles and they produce some of the highest quality goods at competitive prices. All of our factories are reviewed for workers’ conditions and all must show proof of third party monitoring of social and environmental conditions. We have formed relationships with these factories and their owners and many of the people that work there are now our friends! Our workers are not involved with politics. We believe they have a right to work and make a living and their birthplace should not impact that right.Our factories have listened to us over the years and instituted changes which have bettered the living and working conditions of their staff. Garment worker is considered a skilled trade and they earn a middle-class income and are treated well. If they were not happy at one factory they would leave for another – skilled garment workers are hard to find and factories work hard to hold on to them by providing health care, good working conditions, fair pay, overtime and hours, good healthy food. Most of the factories have outside areas workers can enjoy that are gardens – one has a meditation area for walking and meditating. Two of our factories have adopted stray dogs from the area as pets.Many of the workers support their families and send their children to school based on the money they earn cutting/sewing and finishing our goods. The factories we work with are all family owned, small operations that employ workers from the surrounding areas. This means we are able to support families staying together.There are many sweatshops all over the world including specifically in New York and LA. It is important to us that we can personally monitor conditions and we have a partner that respects and listens to our requests for change. We visit our factories twice per year to oversee conditions and make sure our product is being manufactured ethically. While most larger big box companies have moved to less developed countries, we have stayed with our partners in China as their wages increased 7 fold and their conditions became the same or similar to North American standards.
Jane Nemis (owner) working at one of our small factories.
Another reason that we manufacture in Asia is because all of the eco textiles originate from Asia, and one of our goals is to have our production facilities as close as possible to where our fabric, hardware and fixtures originate, this has been proven to reduce the environmental impact of shipping. Did you know that all the cotton grown in the US is exported to either India or China for milling before returning? So almost any item of clothing made with regular or organic cotton has actually been made offshore in some step of the process.
Off-shore production, if approached with honesty and transparency, and monitored, benefits the people and countries where the work is done.
They are honest, hard-working, and family oriented and doing the best that they can to make a living. They depend on us for this. When we visit the factories, the ladies laugh and joke with us and teach us new words in mandarin. They are free to come and go to the bathrooms, they have tea and water available at all times and they are free to stop work and share a chat with their friends. The food they are served is the same as we eat when there and they have access to fresh fruit and vegetables. Both our knit factories have adopted stray dogs from the local area and care for them like family pets.