We always strive to be as transparent as we can. We’ve been asked about where our product is manufactured. It’s a fair question.
When I started this company I wanted to make sure that, as a company, our values reflect as much as we can in everything we do. I started this company to make an impact on our environment. Coming from a fashion retail background I know clothing is one of the biggest contributors to landfills. I personally had drawers full of undies that barely wore but felt too guilty to throw them out. So, at the early stages of creating CaroQuilla’s undies, the first thing I considered was the material. Truthfully that was something that wasn't too difficult. I had worn bamboo before and had fallen in love with the softness of the material. As soon as I read all the benefits and how environmentally bamboo is, it was a “no brainer”.
But, wait a minute, where does our bamboo Material come from? Where do the garments get made? More fair questions!
Once we had the designs, (and that was a long and careful process on its own!) we started our research for manufactures. Our vision was to create luxurious, seamless, comfortable basics made out of bamboo. This wasn't easy. There were a few manufacturers in North America, but the price was significantly higher which meant it would be really expensive for our customers. And regrettably, based on our research the quality was not any better. In some cases, less. Working with bamboo and being seamless requires specialized equipment. Not widely used on this side of the globe. Then there is the reality that Bamboo most grows in warmer climates which means that the material is transported no matter what. Transporting as raw material or finished goods, transportation is part of the equation.
So our research continued overseas. One thing we made sure of was that we looked for manufacturing close to where bamboo grows to help reduce the footprints of transportation of our material. We’re proud that our product is currently manufactured in Zhejiang province of China, where it is famous for its abundant bamboo resources. Also on our “MUST” list was a manufacturing company that was certified as having ethical practices.
Our material is OEKO-TEX certified, which means it puts in place practices to reduce any chance of environmental contamination.
And if all these criteria didn’t make this a complete “needle in a haystack” exercise, then there was the real and significant challenge of finding a manufacturer that, on top of having all the ethical and environmental practices in place, but was also willing and to work with a new startup like us. Willing to start a relationship with low quantities. As a small company, because of finances, infrastructure, and (wo)manpower, we were not able and still can't produce massive amounts of quantities like more established companies can.
But, we never gave in and ultimately we did find an amazing partner who currently makes our product. While the journey wasn’t silky smooth (but our undies are! 😍), we are so grateful that we've been able to produce what I believe are the world's best underwear. Basics that don't go out of style, and you can wear all day long and fit your lifestyle.
Offering undies made from bamboo, a material that will break down in the landfill in only a few months was the start to offering sustainable. (Scary fact: Nylon and other synthetic fibers can take as much as 40 years to degrade!😳) But we didn't stop there, we also ensured that our shipping material is also contributing to a better planet too. And we have ensured that our practices just don't stop there. Our packaging has been focused for us to ensure our undies are wrapped in a clear cellulose material that is biodegradable. Using recycled paper everywhere we can. And our shipping bags are 100% compostable.
As a very new small business we understand we don’t have everything figured out but we are continually learning and on a mission to offer products that are not just good for your body but also good for our planet.
If you have any feedback or questions, we love to hear from you. Again thank you for supporting us and sharing this beautiful journey with us.