RESPONSIBLE SOURCING & SUSTAINABILITY
Three By One Pty Ltd (the home of Neuw Denim) is committed to treading a lighter path and respecting all workers in our value chain.
We recognise our role in shaping a more sustainable and responsible future for the fashion industry and are excited to be part of the innovations taking place to create meaningful change. Whilst we acknowledge we have a lot more to learn, we are certainly making significant progress every day and remain committed to making socially and environmentally sustainable choices throughout our processes.
As we continue on this journey, we look forward to working with our industry partners and you, our customers, as we progress on our journey towards being the most responsible brand we can be.
OUR SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIPS
We are committed to fostering a positive relationship with those who produce our products, ensuring they are respected and provided with dignified work.
We view our suppliers as partners and work with a selection of factories, mills and laundries who are specialists in their field.
SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT
All of our suppliers are required to agree to and sign our Code of Conduct as part of our onboarding process. Based on the ETI Base Code and ILO conventions, the Code establishes our minimum expectations and standards regarding employment practices, health and safety and environmental compliance.
To ensure these standards are being upheld and our factories operate in compliance with national laws,, we obtain independent third-party audits of the factories producing for Three By One every one to two years. Our preference is the SMETA audit methodology however in the interests of reducing audit fatigue, we are willing to accept audit frameworks of similar rigour.
Denim is central to what we do. We are proud to be working with laundries and mills that have been with us since the beginning some 10years ago and work closely together to develop the unique washes our brands are known for. Our company was founded on a passion for denim with the founders making multiple trips to the majority of our laundries each year to maintain and nurture sustainable innovation and quality.
SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY
Denim is central to what we do. We are proud to be working with laundries and mills that have been with us since the beginning some 10 years ago and work closely together to develop the unique washes our brands are known for. Our company was founded on a passion for denim with the founders making monthly trips to the majority of our laundries each year to maintain and nurture sustainable innovation and quality.
Beyond visibility of our final stage production, denim mills and laundries, we have also mapped a portion of fabric mills for our apparel ranges. These traceability efforts will continue through engagement with our suppliers and the use of more certified fabrics and yarns.
Likewise over the past year we have gained further visibility into the origin of our raw materials to both spinner level and where fibres such as cotton are grown.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT & SUSTAINABILITY
Three By One acknowledges our responsibility to reduce our environmental impact in every way we can.
As an industry, we must innovate for a more sustainable future. At Three By One, our staff, our designers, our factories, and our laundries are all focused on decreasing our footprint in many different ways including the elimination of hazardous substances in our products and increasing the sustainability of the raw materials we source.
Our commitment, across both our supply chain and our business operations which includes stores and our Head office, is focused on the reduction of energy usage, water waste and recycling of landfill material.
Along with many of our denim laundries, our denim fabric mills are leading the way in sustainability.
We’re passionate about working with the best mills in the business, particularly those making sustainability a priority so we’re proud to share some of our key partners and their efforts.
RESPONSIBLE SOURCING AND INNOVATION
We are extremely proud to say that the water used in our manufacturing process is reused and recycled with zero waste discharged as contaminated sewage. All water is treated and 30% is recycled for immediate re-use in the laundry. We are aiming for 50% within 12 months. The 70% that isn’t recycled is transported to an external facility, managed by the local authorities where further cleansing processes are applied. After the final process, the water can be re-released back into the public water grid.
Up to two-thirds of the environmental impact in the garment industry occurs at the raw materials stage, even before products are made. Being a denim company first and foremost, the fibre we use the most is cotton so we’ve started there on our journey toward responsibly sourced materials.
Throughout our ranges you will find Australian Grown Cotton, GOTS and OCS organic cotton.
Australian Grown Cotton
Australian cotton is the most water-use efficient cotton in the world, with yields three times the world average. As a thirsty crop, we think supporting Australian grown cotton which has continued to demonstrate improvement when it comes to water use over the past 15 years makes sense. With a 40% increase in water productivity over that time and a reduction in the use of pesticides by 90%, we use this cotton across certain core styles.
Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Organic farming also prohibits the use of genetically engineered seeds with farming systems designed to replenish soils and biodiversity.
We use organic cotton across our denim and apparel ranges.
Our use of leather is minimal. For products using this material, we only accept leather from Leather Working Group medal rated tanneries.
Traceability and transparency go hand in hand. We have worked at gaining as much visibility of the country of origin of our cotton as possible. Our cotton is sourced from countries including Turkey, India, Brazil and the USA.
We’re at the beginning of exploring circularity and the opportunities that it offers the fashion industry in reducing our reliance on (raw materials) products from livestock and petroleum industries.
We’ve commenced by making the back patches on all our jeans out of recycled leather and have begun including recycled cotton and recycled polyester in fabric compositions.
THREEBYONE requires our suppliers to share our commitment toward chemical safety and the elimination of harmful chemicals from our supply chain.
Our suppliers must comply with our Chemical Management Policy and Restricted Substances List which is aligned with the AFIRM RSL, which sets allowable limits for restricted substances in finished products. This RSL must be applied in conjunction with the limits and substance bans outlined in the legislation and regulations contained in our policy. In addition to ensuring chemical residues in finished products are minimised and compliant with allowable limits, we recognise the use of hazardous chemicals in the processing stage must also be progressively eliminated.
THREEBYONE requests suppliers, including chemical and raw material suppliers to work towards the elimination of priority chemicals as defined by the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL). Some of our fabric mills already report through the ZDHC gateway.
We continue to work on understanding our water impacts by collecting data from our water intensive facilities such as fabric mills and denim laundries.
Our fabric mills manage and report water use via various industry platforms including ZDHC and HIGG as well as reducing impacts on municipal water supplies through the treatment of wastewater and recycling plants with recycling rates of up to 85%.
Along with more sustainable materials, water reduction and chemical management are a continued focus of our efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our products.
DESIGNED FOR LONGEVITY: HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR DENIM
We want you to enjoy your Three By One purchases for as long as you can. We use premium fabrics and finishings to ensure our jeans are built to last and encourage you to repair them as much as possible to get the most out of them.
Repair reflects the way we live with our jeans and in fact, is even embedded into the design of every pair of Neuw denims. The back pocket Repair Stitch is inspired by our Creative Director Par’s homemade repair stitches from his own collection. Read more here.
With around 25% of the carbon footprint of a garment coming from the way we look after it, we think it’s a no brainer to do our part to reduce our environmental impact. Follow these tips so you can help tread a lighter path on the planet, and of course get as much life out of your jeans as possible.
Reduce the number of times you wash your jeans. We’re big fans of letting denim develop that lived-in look and allowing them to age gracefully. Besides the huge benefit of reducing water use, fewer washes allow your jeans to develop their own look.
Washing in cool or cold water saves energy as well as protects against shrinking.
It’s a good idea to wash your jeans on their own or with similar dark colours the first time you wear them and always turn them inside out. This minimizes abrasion and fading.
Ditch the dryer and air dry instead if you can. Tumble dryers weaken fabric fibers. Drying inside on a clothes rack or outside in the shade, this option again saves energy, avoids shrinkage and extends the life of your jeans. If you’re drying outside just turn them inside out to avoid fading.
Use an eco-friendly washing detergent sparingly. Harsh chemicals don’t belong on your clothes nor the environment so look for gentle products and preferably liquid over powder which can sometimes leave a residue. Don’t use bleach either. It’s not a friend of denim.
Found a stain? Try spot cleaning instead of a full wash. And adding a little white vinegar to your wash can also help to eliminate any lingering odours as well as act as a softener.
If you’re really committed – hand wash! This uses zero energy other than your own. Soaking in a small amount of detergent, a small-cap full, for around 30 minutes should do the trick.
Finally, when in doubt, read the care label!
REDUCING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT IN OUR OWN OPERATIONS
Our team is passionate about the environment and championing sustainability. Our environment group meet monthly to workshop solutions and come up with initiatives to implement which lessen our own footprint. Their first step was to assess what measures we could take to reduce our impact at Head Office. Even the smallest things can add up and make a difference. So far we’ve:
Banned the use of single-use plastic bottles during meetings and conferences.
Implemented recycling of all soft plastics and recyclables.
Started to compost all food waste.
Eradicated the use of aerosol air fresheners.
Switched all light bulbs to energy-efficient bulbs.
Commenced using compostable mailer bags for any items shipped from Head Office.
We know we can do even more and will continue to look for ways to reduce our impact in every way we can.
Since we began, our in-store carry bags have been made from paper and we’re actively looking into reducing the amount of poly bags our products are shipped in as well as assessing more environmental alternatives to plastic.
Three By One requires all animals involved in our supply chain to be treated humanely and in accordance with the internationally accepted, ‘Five Freedoms’ developed by the RSPCA.
Freedom from hunger and thirst.
Freedom from discomfort.
Freedom from injury or disease.
Freedom to express normal behavior.
Freedom from fear and distress.
All animal-sourced materials must be by-products of the food industry. We do not use real fur, exotic skins or hair from the angora rabbit in our products.
SUPPORTING CIRCULARITY AND INNOVATION
Circular thinking is one of the most exciting developments for the garment industry and provides a key solution to collectively reducing our environmental impact and reliance on natural resources. We’re motivated by the amount of innovation taking place around textile waste and regeneration and take every opportunity we can to provide our support.
We want to help you to extend the useful life of your jeans. Our denim products can live a long useful life, particularly when you care for them well, but we understand there comes a time when you need to part ways. We’d hate for you to send them to landfill where they definitely don’t belong. Over 95% of garments disposed of today can be repurposed and recycled so we’re here to help with some tips for how you can responsibly dispose of them.
· Drop them into us and we’ll repair them for free! Every one of our SERVICE DENIM stores is equipped with sewing machines where trained staff make-in store repairs and alterations. In 2020 we repaired more than 1200 pairs of jeans.
· Donate wearable items to your local charity or community group supporting vulnerable community members.
· DIY - There’s a tonne of clever ways to fix a hole or mend a patch yourself.
In addition to supporting our customers to extend the life of their own products, we support the following organisations with development samples and product returns.
Deakin University, Victoria
We proudly assist Deakin University in their continual research into a circular economy by donating denim and other materials to their studies. This support went on to help Deakin University win a Global Change Award by designing a process that lets one used a pair of jeans dye ten new pairs, requiring no water usage. Have a read about this incredible innovation here.
We’ve also partnered with Deakin University in a Sustainability Victoria submission with the goal to recycle denim for use in concrete reinforcement and building & construction.
Tex Rex Australia
We have sent denim waste to Textile Recyclers Australia who use this to make furnishings and furnishing stuffing as well as re-purpose textiles into new yarn.
RMIT University, Victoria
We continue to support RMIT University fashion students by donating textiles, fabrics, and denim off cuts to their classes giving them resources to use in their studies.
We often support young designers interested in up-cycle process by providing offcuts and leg panels used in the development process. Here is just one example of how they are using this fabric - amazing!
We have engaged with members from our local council in Melbourne who are helping us to find ways to donate our denim waste responsibly.
SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITY
We are committed to supporting and aiding local and international charities and initiatives.
We send full, non-defect garments in complete wearable condition to numerous charities and foundations.
Save The Children
We work directly with Save the Children, Australia’s largest aid and development agency dedicated to helping children, by donating samples and canceled styles in wearable condition. Learn more about Save the Children here.
Each Christmas, we partner with Berry Street Charity by donating 10% of all sales over the Christmas Period to help children, young people and families impacted by abuse, violence and neglect. Learn more about Berry Street here.
The Social Studio, Melbourne
We proudly donate denim offcuts and samples, partner with and support The Social Studio in Collingwood, Melbourne. A fashion enterprise that champions the values of diversity, community, education and environmentally sustainable design by working with and for young people from new migrant and refugee communities. Find out more here.