Responsibility at Tekla
Tekla recognises its responsibility as a brand to mitigate its impact. We design for longevity and produce responsibly, aspiring to move beyond just compliance with social and environmental requirements.
There is little accountability within the textile industry, in part because of the opaqueness of . We recognise that to make meaningful change throughout, we need a clearer understanding of what ours looks like. We’ve worked with many of our since launching in 2017 and visit them regularly. We’re proud of these relationships, but know that full visibility through the remaining tiers is the only way to ensure the high standards we’ve come to trust in them are met at every stage. Tracing our supply chain doesn’t make us more or less sustainable, but it is an important step toward finding where our biggest impacts lie and understanding how to mitigate them.
Tier 1 – Cutting and sewing
We know all our , all of whom are based in Europe, specifically Portugal, Denmark and Lithuania.
The vast majority are located in Portugal, where our suppliers produce all our organic cotton sleepwear, bath products, bedding products, kitchen products and our new blankets. Our down collection of duvets and pillows is produced in Denmark and our old blankets are produced in Lithuania.
We visit all our tier 1 suppliers twice a year.
Tier 2 – Weaving and finishing
We know almost all our , all of whom are based in Europe, specifically Portugal, Denmark and Lithuania.
This accounts for all sleepwear, bath products, our blankets, and the down filling in our duvets and pillows.
The tier 2 suppliers we do not know are responsible for weaving the organic cotton and linen fabrics used in our bedding products. However, we do know this is done in Portugal, China and Indonesia, and that the organic cotton weaving facilities are certified to social and environmental standards. We do not know the weaver of the conventional cotton used for our down duvet and pillow outers. However, we know they are based in Pakistan.
We visit our known tier 2 suppliers twice a year. This accounts for 78% of all tier 2 suppliers.
Tier 3 – Spinning yarn
We know over half of all our , almost all of whom are based in Europe, specifically Portugal.
This accounts for the yarn spinning of all organic cotton used in our sleepwear and bath products. The other suppliers we know are the processors of the down used in our duvets and pillows, who are located in Poland, Spain and Hungary.
The tier 3 suppliers we do not know are responsible for spinning the organic cotton yarn and linen used in our bedding, however, we do know that this is done in Tunisia, China and Indonesia and that the organic cotton weaving facilities are certified to social and environmental standards. We do not know the supplier that spins the conventional cotton used for our down pillows and duvets, although we know they are located in Pakistan. We do not know the supplier that spins the wool, mohair, recycled cashmere and merino used in our blankets, but we do know that this is done in Lithuania, except for mohair, which is spun in Italy.
We visit our known tier 3 suppliers a minimum of once a year, except for the European processors of the down used in our duvets and pillows who we haven’t visited yet. This accounts for 53% of all tier 3 suppliers.
Tier 4 – Cultivating raw fibre
Of our , we know 11% – the Danish supplier of the down used to fill our duvets and pillows.
We do not know the rest of our tier 4 suppliers of raw materials, but we do know the country of origin for all main fibres used in our products. The linen used in our bedding and kitchenware is French flax, grown in France or Belgium. The organic cotton used in our bedding is grown in India, sleepwear in Turkey and bath products in Tanzania. The conventional cotton used for our duvet and pillow outers is grown in the US. The wool used in our blankets comes from New Zealand, Norway or Argentina; our merino comes from New Zealand, Australia or Argentina; our cashmere is recycled and our mohair comes from Turkey.
We traced all our products and their main materials back to tier 4, country of origin.
We confirmed that our is fairly compact, with the majority of production based in Europe – many of our in Portugal, Lithuania and Denmark have facilities and expertise that cover and sometimes .
Our compact supply chain and close relationships with our tier 1 suppliers are partly why we were able to trace main materials back to their country of origin, something we’re especially proud of as supply chains are notoriously opaque.
Natural fibres like cotton are collected from different farms (tier 4) before being sold to a yarn producer (tier 3), who sorts the fibre by quality before spinning, making it difficult to trace the fibre’s origin. Other factors, like a low crop yield or quality resulting in a supplier buying from a different farm from season to season, also affect the visibility of this chain. This is why certification is crucial for us as it will help ensure high standards in the absence of visibility.
We identified some gaps in our knowledge, specifically tier 2 (bedding) and 3 (bedding, blankets and kitchen) suppliers, which, due to the complex nature of supply chains, have production stages completed in different facilities outside of Europe. We have set a goal to know these suppliers by name by the end of 2023, as this is an important first step toward ensuring our values are verified at every stage of our supply chain.
– To know all our tier 2 and 3 suppliers by name, as well as their location, by the end of 2023.
– To have verified assurance of high environmental and social standards at every stage of the supply chain by 2025.