DEDICATED Brand on Low Impact Clothing Production

Dedicated Brand model wearing jacket

DEDICATED Brand on Low Impact Clothing Production

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DEDICATED Brand is a slow fashion brand from Sweden, specialising in ethical clothing made in a low impact way from organic, natural and recycled materials. In this behind the scenes interview, their CEO and co-founder Johan Graffner talks to me about what sets them apart from the mainstream fashion industry. 

Sustainable practices including fashion production from organic rather than synthetic materials means less water use and less use of pesticides, reducing the negative impact on our planet. And when it comes to the circular economy, they deliberately avoid mixing different types of fibres to ensure recyclability. DEDICATED Brand are also conscious of the importance of zero-waste fashion and are starting to print some of their t-shirts and garments on demand, one of the best ways to reduce textile waste.

I’m also impressed that as well as their low environmental impact they take into account the social costs of the garment industry. They work with ethical clothing manufacturers such as those certified by SA8000 and WRAP. The use of GOTS (global organic textile standard) materials and fair trade cotton also ensures that workers right through the supply chain back to textile production and the raw material stage are treated well.

Sustainable production is the order of the day here and there is no room for the destructive practices of the fast fashion model. Vegans will also delight as the only animal products used are recycled wool with a lot of their range being PETA certified. 

The interview

Johan Graffner CEO / Co-Founder of Dedicated Brand

Thanks so much to Johan, here is what he has to say about his DEDICATED Brand

Tell us about your sustainable fashion brand, what sets you apart?

DEDICATED came about from the realization that the few sustainable and ethical brands on the market weren’t fashionable, whilst the popular fashionable brands weren’t acting in a responsible way and had very poor control of their supply chain.

DEDICATED is based on creativity and sustainability and makes fashion-relevant, ethically produced clothing in low CO2 fabrics. Instead of just having one designer who does and decides everything, we collaborate with creative artists, illustrators and photographers from around the world. This means that we can fit in many different styles and graphical expressions into our collections, making them very inclusive, rather than exclusive which is the goal for most other brands.

Thereby, we lower the hurdles for regular people to be able to buy sustainable clothing.

What is your background and what made you decide to start up your brand?

My background is in skateboarding and business and I’ve always been intrigued by the fashion world and all kinds of pop-cultural expressions.

Tell us a bit about how you source your fabrics and base materials?

We started using GOTS certified (organic) cotton in 2006 and started to learn more and more about the benefits and best practice in low CO2 impact clothing production.

Now we follow the new developments in fabric production closely in order to ensure that we always represent the better choice for both planet and people. This has led to the introduction of Fairtrade certified supply chains, GRS certified recycled polyester, recycled wool, Tencel and hemp.

We travel to visit both mills and clothing factories every season.

Raw materials suppliers

Do you take into account the recyclability of your products?

Yes, we certainly do and we only use recycled synthetic fibers when it’s necessary for the garment’s performance – for swimwear and outerwear to be specific. All other garments are produced in natural fibers and we avoid mixing natural and synthetic fibers so that the garments can be recycled.

Outerwear supplier Lime in Chi Chi, Xiamen, China
Outerwear supplier Lime in Chi Chi, Xiamen, China

Who makes your clothes/products?

We have 5 main suppliers in India for garments in natural fibers and 2 suppliers in China for synthetic fibers.

Aadhava Apparels in Tirpur, India

Are any animals used in the production of your products and if so how do you make sure that they are treated ethically?

No, we have always been 100% animal free. However, we have recently started using recycled wool since wool is a superior fiber for colder climates.

What else makes your brand sustainable/ethical?

We have dug deep into our supply chains to ensure best practice and as coherent traceability as possible. Our suppliers are disclosed on our website www.dedicatedbrand.com.

We try to minimize our carbon footprint and we plant a lot of trees to offset for our residual footprint.
We do our best to combat overproduction and can also print a part of our T-shirt and jersey garments on demand.

We use fashion models of very diverse ethnicities, ages and body types so that people of diverse backgrounds can feel represented. All of our communication is science and fact based.

One of their wovens suppliers: Sundar Sons, Salem, India

What are the biggest challenges in operating as an ethical and sustainable fashion brand?

We take upon us a lot of extra costs in order to uphold our high standards. Since these matters can get a bit complex and the general public is quite ignorant on the need for better practices in clothing production, it is not easy to recoup these extra costs.

Also, certified fabrics cannot be bought off the shelf, instead they must be produced from scratch for every order which adds many weeks to the production lead time and also leads to higher minimum quantities.

Another thing is that the greenwashing from the fast fashion companies is massive, so we fight against a huge Goliat with an enormous communication power.

“Sustainability is not about being perfect, but a journey”, how can you further improve what you do and what plans do you have for the future?

Our garments have roughly half the climate footprint compared to 98,5% of all other garments produced by other brands. The more we sell, the greater is our “net-benefit”. We simply have to scale more, in order to improve our positive impact.

What one thing could fast fashion brands do to improve?

Over 30% of their production will never even be touched by a consumer. Rather it will go to a landfill or incinerator without being worn. So that one thing would be to abolish over production.

What are your favourite products in your range right now and why?

DEDICATED have always been known for the GOTS and Fairtrade certified T-shirts with graphics based on creative collaborations. I love this part of the brand. In our later autumn collections, the coats and overshirts in recycled wool are my favourites. 

Thanks so much to Johan for taking part in this interview. It’s great to see an eco, people AND animal friendly brand creating great designs for conscious closets.

To get your hands on their gorgeous printed tees, recycled wool shirts and of course their Swedish weather resistant outerwear, check out the link below:

*Please note that while they offer free shipping to various countries over a certain spend, there are import taxes for shipping to the UK so please take these into account before ordering. For more information, see their terms and conditions page.

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