In the combat of global warming and our responsibility to make responsible use of scars raw materials I have chosen for a 100% made in Europe label.
Our rationale: minimize the transportation mileage from the source of the raw materials to our stores in Belgium.
All Akaso clothing and handbags are proudly made in Europe: Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Bulgaria. All our fabrics and knit yarns are made in Europe, following strict European environmental and labour regulations.
The EU has the most strict regulations regarding the use of dyeing fabrics and yarns. The EU bans several hazardous whitening and coloring chemicals which are still widely used in nearly every other textile producing country at a huge environmental and human cost.
We only work with those EU fabric and yarn suppliers who have implemented a solid strategy geared to minimize the use of water and energy during the production process, and purify and/or recycle waste water. Drinking water is increasingly a scars resource, and hence all of us need to adopt a life style using less water.
We favor suppliers who use green energy generated with renewables.
We only work with European manufacturers that pay their workers fair and solid wages, beyond the local minimum wage. Workers must have the capacity to send their children to school or university.
No child labour. The place of every girl or boy younger then 18 years is at a school bench, not behind a sewing machine.
I laugh at the excuse that our sector needs to produce in poor countries to provide jobs in developing countries. Today, even after many Bangladesh scandals, the bulk of made in Asia production equals to institutionalized slavery : workers gain hardly to survive, let alone to send their children to school. That is a human crime.
Our prints are designed by the Kara tribe in Ethiopia. I have chosen to pay every Kara tribe artist the equal wage I would pay for a Belgian graphic designer for a raw design. That is 250 euro per design. Considering that many Ethiopians live on 1 euro a day.
Akaso has built quite a following with Tencel tops. Tencel is a 100% ecological fabric made by Lenzing in Austria, made from European sustainably managed forests. Tencel is granted the EU Ecolabel, and has won the EU Award for the Environment.
Tencel is made with a 100% closed loop production process with 0% negative impact on the environment.
It is biodegradable and compostable.
We also buy Modal and Viscose yarns from the same Austrian supplier which are both wood based yarns. Yes, it is a man made yarn with a chemical process. However our supplier guarantees a closed cycle production process with zero to small negative impact on the environment.
The global explosion of viscose consumption is today a top five cause for global deforestation.
Akaso viscose is made from European sustainably managed forests. More expensive, but with respect for our planet. For every tree cut, a new tree is planted.
Our sweatshirts are made from pure cotton. By 2020 we aim to migrate to 100% organic cotton.
Akaso is building a strong reputation of fine high quality knits.
Not only because Akaso knits are extremely soft, Akaso knits keep their wonderful appearance even after frequent washing.
No surprise: we use the best of Italian yarns.
We only use yarns with the longest possible staple, category 1.
Why ? The longer the fiber, the more durable your garment : your garment will not pill, it will not produce any holes, washing after washing.
Alpaca and Pima cotton from Peru. Baby mohair from South Africa. Cashmere from Mongolia. Mako cotton from the highlands in Egypt. Belgian and French linen. The finest pure Merino Wool from Uruguay, South Africa, Australia and New-Zealand.
We work only with those Italian suppliers who have a charter that guarantees that their raw materials are produced and harvested in respect for the animal and the environment.
The Italian yarn making industry has developed over more than a century a unique knowledge on how to transform the finest raw materials into ultra soft and high performance yarns. That means : machine washable and which will keep their beauty washing after washing. They also make the world’s thinnest yarns. That equals to light and comfortable garments.
You will never see any acrylic in an Akaso garment.
It is pure poison for our environment and humanity: with every washing particles of your garment go down the waste water into our oceans, where it is eaten by fish and shell fish, and finally ends up on our plates.
Acrylic is proven to be highly cancerogenous. Click here to read more.
And still acrylic is widespread, more and more, even in designer collections and so called high-end boutiques.
Because it is cheap and allows brands to increase their margins on the expense of human and animal health.
In a rare occasion we allow for some polyamide, such as in our alpaca and baby mohair yarns. These yarns used in a 100% pure state produces a thick and heavy yarn, prone to break. Garments in 100 % pure alpaca or mohair are found too heavy, less comfortable and pill easier after washing.
We are confident that the yarn industry will find new innovative solutions to produce soon an all-natural alpaca yarn that is light, comfortable and durable.
We work with the finest full grain calf leather sourced in Tuscany, Italy.
Tanned under strict EU regulations, with complete recycling of all waste water.
No China or Indian leather where waste water ends up in vegetable gardens. A normal practice poisoning the drinking water and food chain of millions.
No PVC or vinyl, another poison for our planet.
Our metal accessories are made in Italy, where they are plated with white gold.
Light weight metal alloys. No rubbish.
All other components are made in Europe.
Our bags are made in Portugal, paying decent wages.
Since 2018 nearly all our garments are packed in bio-degradable packaging made from Degralen, a corn based bio plastic. Not toxic when burned. It decomposes within 2 years when stored in a land fill.
Our paper shopper bags are made from FSC wood: paper made from sustainably managed forests. On rainy days we will cover your shopper bag with a 'plastic' raincover made from corn and hence perfectly bio-degradable.
Since the founding of Akaso we drive vehicles fueled by CNG or Natural Gas.