Sustainability at Miik
For us, sustainability isn't just about using ethical processes or sustainably sourced fabrics. It’s built into the entire lifecycle of every garment we produce.
We believe sustainability is an ongoing process. Textiles, production methods, and the fashion industry as a whole are evolving and we’re excited to be part of the slow fashion movement. We’re not perfect (nobody is!) but we’re always learning, improving, and making changes so that every day we can be better than before.
Here are some of the ways we strive for sustainability at Miik.
We custom mill our fabrics locally, from sustainable sources like bamboo and beech trees. When choosing fibres, we look for high quality and low environmental impact. We are aligned with the CanopyStyle initiative, whose goal is to eliminate fibre sourcing from the trees of ancient and endangered forests. We’re always on the lookout for new ways to create better, more sustainable fabrics. We knit, mill and dye our fabrics in Canada. Unlike many of the countries where most fashion brands source their textiles, Canada―and Ontario in particular―implemented stringent rules and regulations in the textile industry many years ago. Additionally, our fabrics use non-toxic dyes and chemicals, and our manufactures have implemented water recycling. 95% of our production materials are recovered to reduce energy use and minimize waste.
Our contractors use environmentally-responsible processes for turning the natural fibres into yarn and for dying our fabrics. All our fabrics are Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified, meaning they're safer for you and for our planet. Our LENZING™ modal fibres have been certified as compostable and biodegradable under industrial, home, soil and marine conditions, and can fully revert back to nature. To read more about the fabrics we use, click here.
Every time you make a purchase on our website, you have the opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint by adding a donation to Carbon Checkout. For every dollar contributed, Carbon Checkout offsets 245 pounds of global greenhouse gas emissions that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere.
It's more expensive to manufacture in Canada, but the alternative doesn't fit with our core values. Miik clothes are proudly made in Canada—from custom milling and dying our fabrics to cutting and sewing our garments. We do most of this within 50 km of our Toronto office.
Milling and dying fabrics in Canada has become increasingly difficult and costly, as most companies have moved their manufacturing overseas. Using eco-friendly fabrics from sustainably sourced fibres is also significantly more expensive than using synthetic textiles. However, we are committed to being a truly Canadian brand as producing locally allows us to:
- oversee all stages of production
- ensure safe and fair working conditions
- ensure an ethical manufacturing process at every phase
- ensure the highest quality garments
- instantly react to demand when styles sell out
Click here to read more about why Miik is proudly made in Canada.
We hate leftovers! From producing only a carefully calculated number of garments per season to ensuring the tightest fabric yields, we strive to produce as little waste as possible. We use leftover fabric to create samples, small items like scarves, stuffing for cushions, future collections, or we donate to local fashion schools and seamstresses.
Any finished garments that don’t pass our strict quality inspection are sold at a discount in our bi-annual seconds sale. It's very important to us that no garment goes to waste, even those with flaws and imperfections. We also see the seconds sale as an opportunity for those who otherwise don't have the budget for ethical fashion to purchase some of our clothing at a significant discount. Any seconds that are leftover or have major flaws are worn by the Miik team and our friends and family.
Fewer clothes that do more
Versatility is at the core of our design philosophy. The more ways you can wear a single piece of clothing, the fewer you need—and the more you’ll appreciate what you have.
When designing our collections, we ask ourselves:
“How many times would someone realistically wear this in a month?”
“Can this piece be styled in multiple ways?”
“Could we make this piece reversible?”
For us, sustainability has a lot to do with creating clothes that can be styled in many different ways. According to a Wall Street Journal article, the average person only wears 20% of their clothing, 80% of the time. Our goal is to change that statistic. Many of our styles are reversible and all of them can be mixed and matched in many different ways. It’s also important to us that even our most tailored and formal pieces are just as comfortable as our casual loungewear, so you’ll truly love to wear them every day and everywhere.
To kick off 2020 and demonstrate how versatile Miik clothes really are, we hosted a 10x10 challenge. Created by Lee Vosburgh, fashion enthusiast and blogger at Style Bee, the 10x10 challenge is simple: choose 10 items in your closet, create 10 different outfits, and wear them over 10 days. Watch our full video to see how we styled 10 outfits with 8 Miik garments and 2 pairs of shoes! We're all about work-to-weekend, desk-to-date-night, truly versatile style.
Many trends or fads in the clothing industry tend to last only a season before going out of style. Many fast fashion brands release up to 20,000 new products every year. That’s 54 new products every. single. day.
We design clothing with a different philosophy in mind. We create simple yet striking designs that focus on being timeless wardrobe staples: versatile pieces that you can style differently every day, from work to weekend.
Clothing that lasts
The longer you’re able to wear your clothes, the longer they stay out of the landfill. Many fabrics have the tendency to fade, pill or fall apart in a short period of time. At Miik, we use rayon from bamboo and MicroModal not only because they’re sustainable and luxuriously soft, but because they hold rich colours and resist fading, pilling, shrinking, and losing their shape like fabrics from other natural sources.
According to the Recycling Council of Ontario, the average Canadian throws out 81 pounds of textiles annually. Fast fashion is called FAST for a reason. It’s made fast, it’s sold fast, and it falls apart fast! We’re all about owning garments that you’ll be reaching for in your closet for years to come. With long-lasting fabrics and the highest quality construction, Miik clothes are built to last.