On The Level: ELVTE Sustainability and Manufacturing

What are the capes made from?

Our capes are made from fishing nets and plastic litter recovered from our oceans by the organization Healthy Seas.  These nets and other nylon wastes are sent to Aquafil where they use their Econyl® regeneration system to produce nylon 6 yarn from pre- and post- consumer waste. 

From there, our fabric manufacturer uses the Econyl® yarn to create our dreamy fabrics.  Then, fabrics are sent stateside to Louisiana to be made into our proprietary custom pattern by the same producer who created our design, pattern, and samples from the very beginning of this crazy dream for sustainable hairdressing capes!

[more on HealthySeas]

Can Econyl® yarn fabrics really be “infinitely recycled”?

Econyl® is created by breaking down recovered fishing nets and other nylon ocean debris and regenerating them into nylon yarn that is just the same as new nylon.  Better yet, this yarn can be recycled and remolded over and over again to create something new. 

How do I dispose of my cape sustainably when it’s too worn out to use? 

Be part of our ELVTE re-NEW program!  When you send your used capes back to us, we send them to be recycled into eco-friendly insulation for building construction.

Where are the capes produced?

The Aquafil Econyl® facility that regenerates our yarn is based in Italy, along with our fabric manufacturer.  After the fabrics are created, our cape designer facility cuts and sews our capes right here in the US in New Orleans, LA.

How do you guarantee worker/human rights in manufacturing?

Aquafil adheres to a code of conduct and commitment to human rights and social accountability principles outlined in the SA800020 and requires all 3rd party partners with Econyl® to do the same.  These commitments include “the condemnation of any kind of child labour, forced labour, discrimination and physical disciplinary practices; on the other, respect for workers’ health and safety, and the guarantee of acceptable living conditions, free association and collective bargaining. No exception.”

Our fabric manufacturer in Italy states clearly in their code of ethics that workers are guaranteed equal opportunities and protected from all forms of discrimination (race, age, gender, political, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, nationality, or health condition).  It also states employees are paid in accordance with laws and contracts, they recognize everyones’ right to work, freedom of association, and they guarantee a safe and healthy environment.  Lastly it promises the use of child or forced labor, or any form of abuse that is detrimental to the autonomy of the individual is NOT tolerated within their company or any business partners.

How do you guarantee sustainability in the production facilities?

Aquafil and its Econyl® regeneration company are OKEO-TEX certified and are compliant with the European Union’s REACH regulation (registration, evaluation, authorization, and restriction of chemicals).  Not to mention Aquafil is a co-founder of Healthy Seas and independently developed the Econyl® Regeneration system.  This system eliminates the most wasteful aspect of nylon production by replacing the use of caprolactam (derived from oil) with raw materials derived from the recycling of various types of nylon.

Our fabric manufacturer is OEKO-TEX certified, GRS Global Recycled Standard Certified, and ISO14001 Certified.  In addition:

  • They only use electricity for renewable sources and cogeneration.
  • Water is used, collected, and re-used 3 times in the production and dying process and then sent through a homogenization process before being treated through municipal wastewater to be purified and discharged.
  • The manufacturer uses an innovative heat recovery system to re-purpose the heat produced during fabric production to help heat their offices and other areas of the facility.
  • They use last generation plants (BAT), which keeps their emissions temperatures to 10x lower than the legal limits.
  • 99% of the waste created is recycled and reused by using raw materials, reducing packing materials, and the recovery of non-hazardous waste.

Manufacturing Certifications Explained:

SA80020 -The worlds’ leading social certification.  SA80020 serves as the leading guide for organizations of all kinds all over the world to a fair and decent workplace and to pursue continual improvement. Sets standards in child labour, forced compulsory labor, health and safety, freedom of association and right to collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours, renumeration, and management system.

OEKO-TEX Brand standard 100 - This certification exists to certify textile goods as containing no harmful substances.  It assures customers can be confident the goods they’re buying are safe and harmless.

GRS Global Recycled Standard Certified - The GRS sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled raw materials, chain of custody, social/environmental practices, and chemical restrictions.  

The GRS aims to increase the use of recycled materials in products and reduce productions’ harmful social, environmental, and chemical impacts.

ISO14001 Certified - ISO 14001 requires commitment to pollution prevention, legal compliance, and continual improvement. Being certified to the ISO 14001 standard also requires organizations to continually keep working to improve their environmental impact.

European Union REACH- Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals.  This serves to protect human health as well as the environment from the risks posed by chemicals-not just in industrial processes but in the daily lives of consumers.