The OCEAN TEE ethos is to share new ideas. By being entirely transparent about everything we do, we hope other businesses will take notice and follow our lead. We also want our customers to feel confident that they are making a purchase that will have the smallest impact possible on the planet. We love our Mako polo, but this step into fashion is not just about a polo shirt!
Behind every great polo is an even better manufacturing facility! I cannot tell you how impressed I was when I visited Utenos for the first time. Lithuania is a beautiful country and the factory itself was incredible. The attention to detail and passion for what they call Organic Innovation is so inspiring and proves that businesses that are moving with the times will flourish. This is a family business which has been around since 1967 and they are one of the leading sustainable clothing manufacturers in the world!
By managing the full production cycle in house, which is what they do for many sustainable brands, Utenos can guarantee quality, but most importantly they can take full responsibility for the product. The company controls all the raw materials eliminating anything that is likely to have an adverse effect on people or the environment at all stages of the product lifecycle. This isn’t restricted to the factory, they also consider the impact of packaging, wearing, washing, sorting and recycling of the clothing they make.
In 2017 Utenos officially joined Greenpeace’s DETOX campaign. Utenos is the only factory in the world to so far have met the textiles procurement standard set by Greenpeace. Under the standard, organically farmed natural fibres, harmful substances, fair pay and transparency are uniquely combined.
Its commitment to the environment also means that, as well as DETOX, Utenos has several global certifications that consumers can look for when the shop; GOTS is the Global Organic Textile Standard which shows you that the fabric has been ethically and sustainably sourced and OEKO-TEX which means that the dyes used in the garments are non-toxic.
What has been most astonishing on this journey is discovering that toxic chemicals are used in abundance to make some of the clothes I actually have in my wardrobe! But for every horror story I hear, there is an amazing person or business who is challenging conventional thinking and establishing new best practice. If we can highlight their work and help others reach new markets then I will be delighted.