For a small business, 1people is making remarkable progress. Their awareness of their choice in materials from their products to their packaging, their work with local communities in Indonesia, their purchasing of carbon offsets, and their commitment to transparency are all commendable efforts. Additionally, their future plans to help other sustainably-minded small businesses is admirable. However, 1people lacks information regarding their labor practices and their carbon offsets. While I am sure that 1people is treating their workers well and is helping in the communities in which they are investing their money into, I wish there was more information available on the website for myself and other sustainably-minded potential customers.
All of 1people’s dyed fabrics are either naturally plant dyed, GOTS certified or Oeko- Tex certified (although which Oeko-Tex certification is not explicitly stated). All of the cotton used in their products are GOTS certified, and for swimwear and activewear, 1people uses Econyl, a fabric made of 78% recycled polyester and 22% elastane. The recycled polyester is collected from abandoned fishing nets and carpet lint.
As far as packaging is concerned, 1people strives to be as sustainable as possible, using recycled paper for their boxes and bio-compostable paper for their logo stickers. Another cool feature by 1people is the addition of a planet logo on their website that depicts exactly how much of each product is made of sustainable materials. Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with the materials and amount of care 1people have put into the decisions behind the materials of their products.
For reference, Global Organic Textile Certification (GOTS) entails that the product must have at least 95% organic fiber, the product must not be treated with any toxic substances, and the product must be produced in a mill where employment is freely chosen, the freedom of association and collective bargaining are respected, and working conditions are safe and hygienic. The OEKO-Tex certification refers to 18 independent research and test institutes in the textile and leather industries in Europe and Japan. An OEKO-Tex certification signals that the item has no harmful substances.
1people owns a warehouse in Bali, Indonesia where most of their products are handmade. 1people works closely with artisans and local families and communities to create their products. There is no other information on 1people’s website about how their products are made.
My main concern for 1people’s products is the greenhouse gas emissions resulting due to the transportation of their goods. After all, their stickers are created in London, while their main products are made in Indonesia, and they are a Danish luxury brand. On their website, they list that they are purchasing carbon offsets through certified projects around the world. Where these projects are located and how much 1people is helping each project remains unknown, leaving me wishing for more information and hoping that 1people is offsetting in Indonesia or other parts of Southeast Asia.
1people claims to take good care of their employees and suppliers, to respect human rights, and to make sure to work with suppliers that will work with 1people to be as sustainable and practical as possible. 1people is not certified specifically with regards to their labor practices or treatment, however their GOTS certification implies a good working environment. Being such a small company, I am personally okay with 1people relying on certifications to imply to consumers their labor practices, however I would appreciate if in the future 1people were more forward about their labor practices and put this information explicitly on their website.
1people also donates 40% of their profits to their school Business for Planet, which is launching in 2021. Business for Planet is a free sustainable, entrepreneur program created to help small businesses by providing them advice, networking opportunities, micro-loans, etc. One cool feature on their website is that for every item, there is a hand with currency on it. On top of the currency is a number that states how much 1people will donate if you purchase this item.