Margu is committed to minimizing the negative impact the fashion industry has on our planet. We believe in slow fashion, buying fewer and better, sourcing materials with respect for the earth, transparent supply chains, and valuing the people involved at every stage of the production process. Like any business truly committed to the environment would admit, we're not 100% sustainable in every single thing we do, but we keep sustainability in mind with every decision we make and are always looking for new ways to lessen our impact.
Our fabrics are ethically and sustainably sourced from all around the world. We exclusively use natural fibers, such as cotton, linen, silk, and hemp, which require fewer resources to produce, create less pollution, and decompose back into the earth muck more quickly than synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon. Many of our fabrics are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified, such as our Eggplant Denim fabric from our FW17 collection. We're always looking to source as much GOTS fabric as possible, but oftentimes we forgo organic certification to expand our sourcing options to smaller suppliers (it can be tough for small suppliers to get organic certification, even if their stuff is organic) and certain fabric choices (our silk is not organic since there's technically no such thing as certified organic silk).
Each season, we include at least one handloom fabric in the collection: spun and woven by hand in India, handloom fabrics utilize an age-old process that preserves traditional crafts, creates well-paying jobs in rural areas, and uses no electricity — and that's not to mention just how unique and beautiful the fabrics themselves are.
We use a combination of factory-dyed and hand-dyed fabrics in each collection, going with factory-dyed when we need a simple color like black and choosing to hand-dye fabric ourselves when there's a specific color we are after. Our linen, cotton, hemp, and Tencel fabrics are dyed using fiber-reactive dyes, which are designated as "low impact" due to their non-toxic ingredients and small water requirements. Our silks and wools are dyed using acid dyes, and our custom prints are printed responsibly in the US.
Thoughtfully Sourced Notions
It's the little things that make our clothing special, and that's why we don't skimp on the quality of our notions. We disclose every notion that goes into our garments on our product pages (thread, zippers, buttons, labels, interfacing, etc.), even though we don't technically have to.
Did you know that basically all clothing — even a lot of stuff made of organic cotton — is sewn with polyester thread? Polyester thread is durable and inexpensive, but as it is a petroleum product, it is resource-intensive, polluting, and not biodegradable. Even though they're a bit pricier, we use only 100% natural threads in our garments, sourcing organic when available. It's good to know that your organic cotton dress is actually completely made of organic cotton, right?
We use only vintage buttons in our garments, not only because it conserves resources but also because buttons made a long time ago are things of wonder: high quality, slightly imperfect, and full of history. Some of our buttons are plastic, others are made of glass or shells, but all of them are vintage, either recycled off of old garments or found as surplus from old US factories that closed years ago.
Our garment tags are made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton twill, and we use only durable, high-quality zippers (some of which are organic cotton, others of which are nylon) that are sure to last many wears.
One of the sad realities of online shopping is that, while highly convenient, it produces a lot of waste. While we can't get your clothing to you with zero impact on the environment (not yet, at least!), we're trying our best to create as little waste as possible.
All our shipments are mailed in 100% recycled and recyclable cardboard boxes or poly mailers and are packed with 100% recycled and recyclable tissue paper. Our goal is to use as few materials as possible — e.g., by not printing packing slips or individually bagging each item — while still creating a fun unboxing experience. (PS: If you want a package with absolutely nothing inside except your clothes, just let us know before or right after you check out!)
Made to Last
A garment produced sustainably isn't really sustainable if it falls apart after three wears. Our goal at Margu is to create garments of heirloom quality, the kind of clothing you might someday pass down to your children if you so chose. Each of our garments is made to last; with proper care and occasional mending, your Margu should last basically forever.