For TEKLA, function comes before form — we design products that have a meaningful impact on our customers’ everyday lives. This is our mission as a company, but it is of the utmost importance that we do this responsibly, both by making products that last for years, and by working to reduce our impact on the planet wherever possible.
The most important issue for us as a responsible company is longevity. Our business uses valuable natural, man-made and human resources to produce our collections, and we need to honor those resources by making sure that our pieces last for decades.
The suppliers we work with have been chosen precisely for this reason: they are among the best at what they do, and we work with them to develop products that will truly stand the test of time. The same goes for the fabrics and finishes we use — they have been chosen for their high quality, and we are confident that they’ll continue to deliver this quality for years to come. However, just making a durable, high-quality product isn’t enough — we also need to be accountable for our supply chain, so that we can work with our suppliers to reduce the impact of our business wherever possible.
TEKLA is a young company, and like any company, responsibility doesn’t happen overnight — it’s a journey. Our business will always impact the environment in some way, but we cannot consider TEKLA to be a truly responsible company unless we are ceaselessly working to reduce the inevitable negative impacts our business has on the planet.
Here’s a roadmap for the steps we’ll be taking in the coming years. — By the end of 2021, we aim to have all of our primary fabrics (organic cotton, pure new wool and merino wool) traced back to their original source. This will give us much greater accountability and control over our supply chain, so that we can work closer with our suppliers to reduce our businesses’ negative impacts. — By the end of 2020, we aim to have fully measured our company’s annual carbon footprint, and then offset it through a reliable carbon offsetting partner. From 2020 onwards, we will be offsetting our company’s carbon footprint annually.
— By April 1, 2021, we aim to have acquired the Global Organic Textile Standard certificate for TEKLA as a company. While we currently work with GOTS certified suppliers and fabrics, being certified as a company will provide our customers with certainty that TEKLA is fully aligned with GOTS’ high standards across the board.
We develop and produce our collections with suppliers in the European Union who not only share our mission to produce best-in-class textiles, but are also committed to producing ethically. We have a small, compact supply chain where many of our products are made in the same facility where their fabrics are woven and dyed. Our manufacturers have been chosen for their expertise, history and commitment to producing the highest quality product. By keeping our manufacturing to the EU, we can regularly visit our suppliers to ensure that they’re meeting our high quality standards while avoiding the environmental impact of shipping products across continents as they’re produced. We also feel safe in the knowledge that european suppliers must conform to EU regulation on workers’ rights.
For TEKLA, the first step of designing a long-lasting product is choosing the best materials available. We then spend months with our partners developing them so that they have the right feel and quality for our high standards, and ensuring that they’ll continue to do so for years to come. We encourage our customers to treat our fabrics with proper care and consideration, to maximize their quality and longevity. See our page for more information on how to make your TEKLA products last as long as we designed them to.
— Organic Cotton Our Bathrobes, Towels, Bedding and Sleepwear are made with organic cotton, which carries the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certifications. The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification ensures that no chemicals harmful to humans are present in the finished product. It’s important to us that our cotton pieces are consistently available to our customers again and again, with no irregularities in color or finish. Because of this, we have avoided using natural dyes in our cotton production. Instead, we use an artificial dying process that ensures that our colors are identical in every batch. — Wool We use both Merino and Pure New Wool fabrics for our blankets, both of which are woven entirely on renewable energy at an expert factory in Lithuania, which is also where the fabric is dyed, and washed, before it’s processed into a finished product. By keeping all of these steps in one facility, we can maintain our high levels of quality while avoiding the impact of shipping products across countries and continents to different facilities, a common practice for many brands. Our Pure New Wool fabric is 100% lambswool that’s been sourced in New Zealand. Our Fine Merino pieces are made with a 100% superfine merino sourced in South Africa. Both our Pure New Wool and Merino Wool products carry the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification, ensuring that no chemicals harmful to humans are present in the finished product. Additionally, they both carry the Woolmark certification, which guarantees durability, colorfastness under UV light and in liquids, as well as resilience in machine washing. — Linen We use Linen to manufacture our bedspreads. Linen is a strong, long-lasting fibre made from Flax. While we use linen in our bedspreads because it gives a more tactile, nuanced experience than our cotton bedding, linen production uses much less water and pesticides than cotton, too.
Our Linen products carry the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification, ensuring that no chemicals harmful to humans are present in the finished product. — Down Our Down collection is made in Denmark from the finest 100% goose down, itself a bi-product, and softest fabrics to meet the highest quality and comfort. The collection continues to be a slaughterhouse by-product that, instead of ending its days on the landfill, is used in the pillow duvet industry. The downs and feathers come from European suppliers, which are subject to the strict standards as an EDFA member (European Down and Feather Association). The shells are made of 100% Batiste cotton, tightly woven and finished to be down and feather proof.
With a right duvet that insulates well, you can turn down the temperature in the bedroom at night, saving energy. Down and feather remain the most responsible solution for the environment of all filler material. That applies to both natural and synthetic fillings. Together with the cotton shell, the entire duvet breaks down quickly. In principle, you can leave your natural fill duvet in nature, and it will eventually break down 100%.
The collection qualifies for the strict Oeko-Tex Class 1 certification, guaranteeing that no harmful chemicals are used during the production. Moreover, the EDFA controls a number of industry certifications, such as NOMITE and Downafresh® greenline.
Together with the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® Class I, these certifications are difficult to do without for a serious stakeholder in the market for natural-fill duvets and pillows. The collection develops into lightweight products that are allergy-friendly and durable.
In addition to all above, our down manufacturer is a member of amfori BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative). Amfori BSCI is the European system for monitoring and controlling the ethics and social responsibility of the company, and is a European collaboration for the improvement of the social environment and the reduction of environmental impact.
— Polybags Polybags are a difficult issue across many consumer industries — we know that plastic is currently a huge problem for the environment, but at the same time we need strong, resilient packaging to ensure that our products aren’t damaged in transit to our customers and wholesale partners. We have experimented before with packaging our goods in cotton dust bags, but found that they were often thrown away — a waste of the energy and raw materials used to produce them. Instead, we use biodegradable poly bags produced from sugarcane extract, a natural by-product of the sugar industry. It’s important to dispose of the bags in line with our instructions, as they’re only biodegradable when handled correctly. — Cartboard Boxes To package and protect our bedding and blankets we use cardboard boxes manufactured using ESKA recycled paper. ESKA uses only recycled cardboard paper, made of FSC or PEFC certified fibres, and we work with a manufacturer that runs on a zero-waste process, where paper that cannot be recycled is then used to supply energy for powering the facility. The boxes are designed to be useful and aesthetically pleasing in themselves, so that they can be used long after they’ve been delivered to our customers.
— Labels When it comes to the labeling of our products, our first concern has been how they hold up to repeated washing, and how they feel on the skin. We have not yet considered the impact of the processes that go into their manufacturing. The brand and size labels in our bedding and sleepwear products are made from conventional, non-organic cotton in Portugal. The brand labels and size labels in our towels and bathrobes are made from conventional, non-organic cotton in Portugal, by two separate suppliers, one who provides the cotton canvas and another who embroiders them.
Within the framework of our strategy of responsible development, all our overstock/samples are being donated to support local NGO’s. Overview of local organizations, we have donated in the recent past follows; — Kvindehjemmet, Denmark’s largest women’s shelter, which offers help and protection to women and children who have been victims of violence or received threats of violence from people close to them. — Kræftværket, a cancer society centre that treats young people between 15 and 29, who are undergoing treatment for cancer at Rigshospitalet and Herlev Hospital in Denmark.