The athletic bra, swimwear, and leggings are on par with similarly marketed sustainable products. The recycled polyester used is becoming more popular for athletic wear, but the Econyl® is found in all of 1 People’s appropriate products. There are some small parts of their materials that are not recycled, like the elastic, yet this is an industry standard. For stretchy performance wear, most fashion brands are at the whim of the currently recycling and polyester technology. However, 1 People has committed to the Econyl®, which is more than larger brands (like lululemon or Athleta) have only used sparingly. The price is comparable to those brands as well, which 1 People says is fair to the customer and to the artisan who made the item. 1 People is a brand with an ethos of sustainability, and their production model reflects that. There is still room for improvement, like more transparency and clear goals. But, 1 People is a smaller brand, and sometimes more sustainable practices require a larger scale or more funding. Any major growth should not hinder the close relationship between suppliers and 1 People, or otherwise make the company more unsustainable or unethical.
1 people clearly labels what the main materials of their products are. On the 1 People website, you can see more detail on each of their materials as well. The athletic bra, swimsuit, and leggings are made of Econyl® (eco-nylon), which is a fabric made 78%. from recycled polyester and 22% elastane. The recycled polyester is produced with plastic from plastic pollution, like abandoned fishing nets and scrap fabrics. Econyl® reportedly saves 70,000 barrels of crude oil and avoids 61,500 tons of CO2 emissions, per 10,000 tons of Econyl®. Econyl® is a popular recycled polyester brand and has a wide range of applications from athletic wear to automotive floor mats. 1 People states that the Econyl® can be infinitely recycled, which can help the transition to a circular economy. However this claim is not technically true, considering the chemical properties of plastics (like polyester) and the capital investment needed to perform infinite recycling on a mass scale. The fabric is OEKO-TEX® certified, which means it meets a set of standards for human and ecological health. The OEKO-TEX® certification checks materials for banned, regulated, and non-regulated additives that are known to be toxic. OEKO-TEX® is known to be a stringent and reliable certification system. The fabric is dyed using natural dyes, knowledge of which is relayed by local family businesses in Indonesia. The actual elastics on the products are not recycled, which is reportedly due to issues with availability and cost. On the swimsuit there is a logo badge which is made of 100% recycled brass. The packing is made from recycled paper, which 1 People encourages the customer to reuse for storage. Inside the box is a product dust bag made from organic cotton. Most of the non-sustainable aspects of the materials can be traced to the lack of technology in the general industry, or a lack of funding from the small company 1 People.
1 People’s products are made predominately in Indonesia. 1 People works to partner with local artisans and businesses to produce an ethical and sustainable product. They say they work to foster relationships with these businesses to benefit both sides. 1 People states they do not support suppliers with evidence of bribery, tax speculation, or corruption. 1 People says they pay their workers fairly and that they regularly check on their suppliers to confirm ethical practices. 1 People is lacking information about the suppliers and distribution, but at a level equivalent to other companies. The 1 People website is full of photos of their suppliers in Bali. 1 People works to offset all their carbon emissions, especially given the high amounts of energy used for transportation. 1 People designs their products to last, but also studies the post-consumer waste stream of their product. If 1 People wanted to work towards a circular model, they could work to create a buyback or recycling program.
1 People is a luxury sustainable clothing start-up out of Denmark. 1 People is “people and planet drive,” emphasizing ethical and sustainable practices and preaching a slow-fashion model. They create timeless pieces that will last through changing trends and many years. They “believe in sustainability, social responsibility, impressive quality and unique design.” Their focus on transparency to the consumer can be seen through their “Our Materials” page on their website, where they give a short blurb about the materials found in their products. 1 People wants their consumer to make an informed decision, thus 1 People provides the information. 1 People manages their supply chain, by favoring local family artisans to create well-crafted products. 1 People gives 40% of their profits to Business for Planet, an organization educating sustainable entrepreneurs. 1 People states they strive to give back more than they take. This goal is not quantified with a list of their concrete steps towards that goal. 1 People is still a small brand, so they may not have the resources to achieve certain goals at the moment.