Quality. Community. Christ-Centred.
As a faith-led business, we at Rise + Dew consider quality by recognizing the contribution by and impact on every stakeholder — including our customers, suppliers, communities, and environment. We feel strongly about doing our very best to honour God every step of the way.
Although it is still a work in progress, we’d like to share some of our practices and answer several common questions that we have received:
1. Why is quality important and what is your approach?
2. How have you considered the environment in your business?
- Manufacturing: Garments are manufactured in Canada. We are assured that basic standards related to environment regulations, requirements, and restrictions are followed. The sweatshirts are made in Burnaby, B.C., which is great for the environment considering about 90% of electricity in our grid is generated from renewable sources.
- Durability: Fabric and craftsmanship is paramount to ensuring that garments are durable and stay in our customers’ closet longer. We have chosen more expensive printing techniques specifically because it prolongs the life of the piece. By creating high quality garments, they stay out of the landfill for years and we are reducing waste.
- Materials Transportation: Fabric is shipped by vessel to us from Asia. While this extends the lead time for us to create a collection and garment, emissions per tonne of freight delivered by ship pales in comparison to delivery by air.
- Shipping: We hand-deliver locally ordered items to reduce emissions from shipping and transportation.
- Packaging: Rather than printing labels, or using string or plastic tags, we have chosen to create postcards that are made to be kept as reminders and encouragement to customers. They are unglossed paper and can be recycled.
3. Where is your material sourced?
We do not currently source fabric from Canada because we have not been able to source the same quality of material locally. While this is obviously not our preference, this is where we acknowledge tradeoffs. Do we procure lower quality locally made materials over higher quality foreign made materials?
At the end of the day, we know that our reservations with buying abroad is rooted in challenges in assuring the working conditions and quality of materials. To that end, the fabric mill we procure from is accredited by STeP by OEKO-TEX®. This means we can have assurance of their commitment to sustainable production conditions and requirements for environmental protection and social responsibility. In addition, it’s parent company is publicly traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange which, starting July 1, 2020, introduced mandatory ESG disclosure requirements.We are impressed that our supplier is ahead of the curve and has been reporting on ESGs since 2016, disclosing environmental performance indicators such as total emissions (Scope 1 and 2), energy and water consumption, and waste generation, in addition to details on labour practices, community commitments, and training and development programs. They have also disclosed targets, awards, and industry association memberships, as well as the standards and commitments for which they are signatories.
Though we would have preferred to purchase materials locally, we are confident and comfortable with the steps and direction of our supplier and believe that our purchases are supporting a community abroad well. We are committed to keeping a close watch on any changes and developments should the opportunity to procure locally arises.
4. What steps are currently being taken to be more sustainable?
- Waste reduction: The garment industry is known to be wasteful due to manufacturing processes, trimmings, damaged goods, and unsold inventory. Here’s a summary of current efforts:
- Smaller batches: It is extremely costly to operate a made-to-order business and potentially wasteful to manufacture in large batches where pieces might remain unsold. We are learning to predict sales by size and style, and have started printing in the smallest possible batch size.
- Prolonged life cycle: We are continually improving the quality of our pieces. For example, the sweatshirts use fabric with high colour fastness and pilling standards which improves durability and longevity — it will take longer for the garments to fade and wear down. We hope to extend the life of garments to ensure that our customers can wear them for years to come, thus reducing what’s going to the landfill and the purchase of other lower-quality pieces.
- Packaging: Pieces are currently shipped in a recyclable poly bag made of plastic. We are continually doing research into compostable options.
- Partnerships and suppliers: When we consider our partnerships, charitable donations, and suppliers, we always apply a sustainability lens to ensure everyone we work with has similar values and priorities. Where partners might not yet be considering their environmental impact, we aim to start a conversation and express our concern.
5. How have you considered community and social impact?
- Relationship-first mentality: Having a relationship-first mentality means that we aim to partner with organizations and people for the long term. We take the time needed to do our due diligence whether it is reading up on a supplier or digging through an influencer’s feed.
- Labour practices: Manufacturing in Canada means that labourers are paid fair wages, work in safe and healthy conditions, and have access to social services (such as healthcare).
- Inclusion and diversity: We consider and prioritize ensuring that various groups are being represented in our consultations, photos, and partnerships. We extend our mission to everyone, and put effort into ensuring that everyone feels belonging, respect, and value in the Rise + Dew family, even when they look at our social media feeds and website. We believe that God created everyone in His image.
- Charitable donations: We have committed to donating a percentage of gross profits on a quarterly basis to charity. We are called to show compassion, and acknowledge that we are not always able to do it ourselves. That’s why we support organizations working directly with the most vulnerable in our communities.
6. How do you integrate governance considerations into your business?
- Formalizing our business from the get-go was a huge priority. We respect and follow all applicable laws even before they apply to us. After incorporation, we organized our books and began paying taxes because we don’t believe in shortcuts — and we intend to run Rise + Dew with a heart of excellence.
- We put ‘checks’ into place to ensure that Rise + Dew remains Christ-centered in the midst of challenge, pressure, and change. Simple practises — such as starting meetings with devotionals, writing blogs, running designs or write ups by our pastors, and sharing reflections — safeguard us from getting carried away in the day-to-day craziness.
- We refer to our vision and mission. These are not just words on the website, they are guiding principles and a firm reminder of why we exist and who we serve.
7. How does faith intertwine with your business?
- This business would not exist or have a reason for being without Jesus! Our mission is to provide daily apparel that represents our faith and beliefs. We provide people with an opportunity to wear their faith boldly and show His love. We truly feel that God brought us together to bring Him glory through Rise + Dew.
- When we consider the Governance in the ESG equation, faith is at the core. The systems and processes we have in place all reflect our faith. From devotionals, to committing a percentage of gross profit to charity, to diligently sourcing our fabric, to sharing encouragement on social media, Rise + Dew is set up so that faith, service, and love remains at the core. Our prayer is that everything we do, say, and create will point people back to God.