THE AIM'N STORY - PART 3: HELEN, SUSTAINABLE SOURCING AND MANUFACTURING
Hi beautiful people,
My name is Helen and I’m the co-founder of aim’n. In this blog post I would like to share our company values when it comes to sourcing and production. :)
Before we released our first collection of tights 1st of May 2014 I was living in Hong Kong for a year. A few days after me and Tekla started to talk and dream about starting aim’n in November 2013, I took the train to mainland China to visit factories. Without any experience of sourcing or how to deal with suppliers, I found myself sitting with the factory owners trying to understand the industry and how manufacturing works. After a few months of multiple trips to China we had our first collection of tights ready for release. We sold out all 400 pieces within 4,5 hours that we thought would last for months (!!!!).
What an adventure it has been since then and a lot has happened. From 4 pairs of tights we have expanded our product range to over 250 products the last 5,5 years and to meet the demand we are constantly producing. This journey has been amazing so far, me and the whole team have learned so much along the way and are constantly aiming to develop what we do.
At aim’n we value and set our standards high to only work with suppliers that aligns with our values. It’s so important for me personally that our products are made in an ethical way and that we are in control of the full supply chain. As a business we are responsible to do what we can in order to protect our planet and the people living on it. (In our company culture we have a conduct based on international principles for the protection of human rights, working conditions.)
We simply believe in unique designs made with high quality products and materials that last with an ethical supply chain.
The last couple of years I have visited our factories we are using many times, met the owners, the people behind the seams and the beauty of this is that I have made friends during this journey. Below I will share more about these areas.
We believe in quality and make sure to make long lasting, high quality products. All our products are ethically sourced and most of the material comes from a local source close to the factories.
Our custom made Polyester/Spandex mix fabric (both dyes and sublimation) has passed the REACH test which means that they are well below the limit of the legislated chemicals within EU regulations.
When we source new materials and factories, we make sure to get as much insight as possible. We look into how the suppliers are working, visit them as well as ask for relevant certificates.
Most of our products are manufactured in Southern China where the life is in general “better” than in other parts of China. In order to maintain a high standard of working conditions, quality of products and pay we are doing regularly visits to our factories. Our in-house production manager and quality controllers make sure that everything we do is according to our criteria and standard. With a team based in China we feel really comfortable to have that kind of control in everything we do.
Suppliers holds a high standard in general with clean and bright facilities and good working environments. We strive to build close and long lasting relations with two-sided communication and mutual respect.
Our packaging standard is to always optimise space to have cartons fully packed and use as little waste materials as possible
We always consider environmental friendly material as basic foundation for our aim'n products. It's not only good for customers, but also do good to our beautiful earth.
It's win win cooperation between aim'n and suppliers as we apply Swedish standards to our manufacturing partners which help suppliers to re-organize the production line and arise their awareness of top quality, advanced R&D team, complete QC process, better working environment for workers. As aim'n is growing, suppliers also accompany us and grow all along the way. We are really grateful about it.
Today we ship on average 80% with boat and this is something we are working on to increase in order to reduce our carbon footprint. Because we all know that shipping by air is not the best for the environment.
THE AIM’N FUTURE
In order to be more transparent with you guys, we will work on to give you more insight on the manufacturing process, working environment, what materials we are using and why.
Our whole team is working really hard behind the scenes to meet our internal criterias and goals. We can’t wait to show you guys what we have been working on the last couple of months! Stay tuned!