The French brand Picture is a sustainable surf collection made with a proportion of eco-friendly materials and ethical practices. Picture is transparent with how its products are made, and this surf poncho in particular is created with a high amount of recycled materials. The garment is a good purchase for the ethical and sustainable-minded surfer.
This surf poncho is 88% recycled polyester, which makes the garment much more environmentally friendly than surf ponchos created by other brands. RipCurl’s surf poncho, for example, is made of cotton towel material, which unfortunately requires excessive amounts of water and energy for production and results in massive amounts of carbon dioxide emission. Though polyester is synthetic and therefore can release harmful microfibers in laundry, the repurposing of the fabric at least diverts waste from landfills and supports the notion of zero-waste.
The surf poncho is also made with a proportion of polyamide fabric (otherwise known as nylon) which is unfortunately made of plastic. Large amounts of heat and energy factor into the creation of nylon, which is chemically processed and releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Since nylon is a synthetic fabric, it also releases microfibers into the environment as they are washed out of clothing. While the use of nylon is minimal at 12%, it is important to recognize its role in affecting the environment, and potentially how other surf brands can follow Picture's lead in reducing synthetic fabric use.
Overall, the Nug Poncho is a creative reuse of materials into a wearable clothing-changing garment and receives a good score in this section.
In sourcing recycled materials for the garment, Picture limits waste production and the usage of water and chemicals. Picture is transparent with production practices, listing how many products it manufactures as well as how many production plants it sources apparel from. Manufacturing from its two largest manufacturers is documented as well on the website, and Picture also reuses some of its fabric offcuts as a means to reducing textile waste. Overall, the brand receives a high score in this section for its transparency as well as efforts to reduce its environmental impact.
Picture is a part of the Fair Wear Foundation, which enforces certain labor regulations such as paying a living wage, no worker discrimination, and safe working conditions. Picture also provides information on the two suppliers who produce eighty-four percent of the brand’s clothing, down to the types of products made there and the amounts of men and women working in the factories. The brand is also transparent on who it sources products from and specifically details why it uses suppliers in countries like China and Turkey (which unfortunately are countries with high risks of labor abuse) and how this affects product pricing and the brand distribution model. The manufacturers are documented in videos on the brand’s website.
As an aside, although only a small percentage of the garment is made of nylon, nylon creation is known to be harmful to workers - dust and fumes produced from nylon processing tend to irritate the body. This material should ideally be avoided when creating a sustainable product and ensuring safe working conditions.