Sustainability

TOTEME stands for lasting style, quality and purpose. With an edited approach and trans-seasonal aesthetic, the ambition is to make it easier for the TOTEME woman to make conscious choices and build for longevity. It’s about narrowing down the options and curating a streamlined wardrobe that transcends trends.

Totême showroom

Through meticulous craftsmanship and methodic repetition, we refine and tweak the wardrobe over time to reflect the changing needs of the TOTEME woman. Each collection builds upon the next and additions are made to complement, rather than reinvent, the wardrobe. This to curate an edit that is relevant and lasting in appearance, function and quality.

We follow the new developments within sustainability closely to make decisions that work in favor of people, animals and the planet. Minimizing the impact is an ongoing journey with no shortcuts, and the ultimate goal is to grow in a sustainable way.

Read the Sustainability FAQs below to learn more about our ambitions and what steps we have taken so far, or write to us at sustainability@toteme-studio.com.

 


Sustainability FAQ

  • What is TOTEME's approach to sustainability?

Our mission is to curate a streamlined, trans-seasonal wardrobe by building on what’s already there. It’s about narrowing down the offering and perfecting each piece, but also inspiring the TOTEME woman to make conscious choices and build for longevity. Our work begins and ends with the product: defining and developing pieces with an emphasis on quality and durability.

  • Where are TOTEME's pieces produced?

Our ready-to-wear is produced in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Lithuania, Romania and China. Most shoes and bags are made in Italy. There are around 43 suppliers in total. In the financial year 2021/2022, 57% of all pieces were produced in Europe and the remainder in China. Manufacturing countries and factories are chosen based on the product’s fabric or category. Portugal, for example, has a long tradition of working with jersey, with a wide variety of yarn spinners and knitting mills. In China, we produce pieces with complex finishes such as smocking, due to the country’s high technical skills.

Visit Open Supply Hub to see our manufacturing and fabric factories and where they are located.

  • What is TOTEME's approach to fair production?

We work with a small number of carefully selected suppliers to guarantee fair production and quality at every step of the manufacturing chain. 86% of the production is done with ten trusted manufacturers with whom we have worked for four or more years. All partners and suppliers must comply with our Code of Conduct, and the team constantly evaluates their work to keep improving. We are members of Fair Wear Foundation and work closely with them to ensure fair conditions in the full production chain. We also share Fair Wear Foundation’s Code of Labour Practice with all our suppliers. We aim to audit all our suppliers every two to three years at the least.

At TOTEME we promote partnerships of mutual collaboration and open dialogue between equal partners. We believe it is crucial to have an open-sourcing dialogue and share responsible practices to create improved working conditions and ethical business operations. We have initiated living wage projects with three of our suppliers in line with the Fair Wear Foundation’s processes and guidelines.

  • What is TOTEME's approach to transparency?

We work actively to increase transparency throughout the supply chain. Our aim is to reach full traceability for every piece – from raw material to finished product – by 2025. For detailed information, see our full garment supplier list, material supplier list, and the manufacturer/main supplier on product level. You can also visit Open Supply Hub to see our manufacturing facilities by location.

  • What is TOTEME's approach to environmental sustainability?

Our long-term goal is for environmental sustainability to be integrated into every aspect of day-to-day work. Today all our own premises are run on renewable energy. All partners and suppliers meet our quality and environmental standards and are obliged to align with TOTEME’s chemical contract.

TOTEME is a member of the Swedish Textile Initiative for Climate Action (STICA). Its expertise, combined with the joint experience of 40 member companies, helps us inform decisions that work in favor of the climate. See STICA’s latest progress report here. The Swedish Chemicals Group (run by the Research Institutes of Sweden, RISE) supports us with expertise around the latest chemical regulations and updates about future risk materials. We perform a chemical risk analysis on every collection where nominated products and materials are tested at independent laboratories.

TOTEME is committed to operate in an environmentally sustainable manner to protect consumers, workers and the environment. We follow requirements for chemical management in line with current national and EU legislation, including the REACH legislation and voluntary eco-labeling schemes. These requirements reflect an awareness of how chemicals affect human health and the environment as well as consumers’ increasing quality demands. 

  • What is TOTEME's strategy around materials?

We work actively to make better material choices for every collection. Our aim is to source 100% preferred materials by 2025. To reach this goal, we have developed an internal fiber tool that our Design and Product teams use to understand the impact of each fiber and choose collection materials. It’s based on insights from industry standards and Textile Exchange, a global nonprofit that promotes the positive acceleration of preferred fibers in the global textile industry. See TOTEME's fiber tool.

Today, 71% (measured in weight) of our fibers are from categories 1 or 2 in our fiber tool. Our current goal is for 80% of our fibers to be category 1 or 2 by 2023.

Some preferred materials used in our current collections are:

  • Organic cotton produced without the use of synthetic chemicals or genetically modified organisms.
  • Recycled polyester and polyamide sourced from plastic waste.
  • Recycled cashmere sourced from post-consumer yarn.
  • Viscose sourced from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and produced in facilities that rank highly according to Canopy's Hot Button.
  • European-sourced flax, a natural fiber that requires little pesticides and preserves the local soil and water resources.

The following is a breakdown of the preferred fibers we used in our latest collection, Pre Spring 2023:

  • 93% of all cotton is organic. 
  • 76% of all polyester comes from recycled fibers. 
  • 97% of all polyamides are from recycled sources. 
  • 78% of all wool comes from organic and recycled sources, is certified by the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), and can be traced back to farm level.

All our paper packaging and wood-based cellulosic fibers are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. 

  • What is TOTEME's approach to animal materials and welfare?

Animal materials are beautiful and durable, and they play an important role in our collections. For example, wool (including sheep wool, merino wool, mohair, cashmere, and alpaca) is the fiber we use the most.

We demand that animals are treated correctly along our whole supply chain – all suppliers comply with quality and animal compliance agreements. We banned the use of mulesing and live plucking, and all hides we use are a byproduct of the food industry, never from animals raised only for their fur. The down we use in our jackets is recycled or from certified animal husbandry sources.

We do not use materials originating from endangered species. To ensure this we follow the Fur Free Retailers’ guidelines, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s list of endangered species.

  • What are TOTEME's certifications and memberships?

We believe in collaborations between industry and expert organizations and work closely with selected partners to do better across the supply chain.

TOTEME is currently a member of the following organizations:

  • Leather Working Group, which promotes better environmental practices in leather manufacturing.
  • Fair Wear Foundation, which champions fair working conditions along the production chain.
  • Swedish Chemicals Group (run by the Research Institutes of Sweden, RISE), which offers expertise around the latest chemical regulations and updates about future risk materials.
  • Swedish Textile Initiative for Climate Action (STICA), which helps us make decisions that work in favor of the climate by keeping greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 1.5°C global warming pathway.
  • Textile Exchange, which offers insights on preferred fibers in the global textiles industry to better understand the impact of each fiber and inform our material choices.

    TOTEME currently holds the following certifications:

    • Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), a voluntary standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and the land they graze on.
    • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international, non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization that promotes the responsible management of the world's forests.
    • TOTEME is certified to the Organic Content Standard (OCS), which certifies organically grown material from the source to final product.
    • TOTEME is certified to the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS), which certifies recycled material from source to final product.
      • How do I best care for my TOTEME pieces?

      With the right attention and care, your pieces can last for many years. Find tips on storing, stain removal, washing and drying in the care guide.

      • What should I do with TOTEME pieces I no longer use?

      Pieces that you no longer use can be sold on to someone else through your favorite fashion resale app.

      • What is TOTEME's approach to inclusivity?

      We believe in inclusivity and strive to create a sense of belonging in the workplace. Our ambition is to represent TOTEME’s global community and the world’s diversity at large. We stand against any form of discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability, and religion, and are actively working to become a more inclusive workplace.