It's often said the largest polluter in the textile industry is transport, packaging, and energy consumed in the shops (lights, heating etc.) but this is wrong...
Without a doubt, manufacturing is the most polluting, impactful, miserable step when creating a garment. Indeed, transforming the material into yarn, dyeing, weaving, or knitting is terribly harmful and very demanding in terms of energy.
Long before the creation of Untraced, we already knew this and wanted to do things differently. Working with good factories who respect the environment and their workers. Since Untraced was born and raised in Australia, we quickly came to the conclusion that producing our first collection locally was the best solution.
For us, manufacturing locally meant travelling shorter distances, using local workforce and making sure operations were respectful towards employees and the environment. It meant feeding our economy and not participating in the madness of the fashion world. In our eyes, it was clearly the best solution, even if it meant paying 5 to 7 times the cost we would have paid for producing in Asia.
So we contacted and visited several factories in the country before choosing DNA Manufacturing, located in Brisbane, Queensland. The people are great and efficient, working conditions are among the best we’ve seen so far, and wages are really high compared to Asia or Vietnam.
They're a small team, a small factory, they make great quality clothes, and they don't have a heavy impact on the environment. We were happy.
And yet, despite all our efforts, despite being locally made and choosing sustainable materials, we realized after reviewing everything that our environmental impact was still high.