DATA

THE PROS:

With a few exceptions, all of Armedangels’ suppliers and subcontractors are GOTS certified.

The brand states it works with Fairtrade or the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) to implement high standards.

Armedangels reports it has a responsibility to make sure that every single one of the people involved in producing its clothes works under fair conditions, whether they are a cotton farmer in India, a sewer in Turkey or a designer in Germany.

THE CONS:

It is unclear if Armedangels can trace its entire supply chain.

The brand does not publicly disclose supplier names and addresses.

We don’t have any information on if the brand uses renewable energy at any stage of its supply chain, if the brand has measured its greenhouse gas emissions for its supply chain, what the brand is doing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain, if the brand has measured its water use at any stage of the supply chain, what the brand is doing to reduce its water use in its supply chain, policies in place to reduce pollution and resources used for transport, sustainable packaging policies, policies and strategies the brand has to manage waste and recycling during production.

/ Armedangels was founded in 2007 and operates as Social Fashion Company GmbH with the mission to combine fair working conditions and sustainable, high quality materials with beautiful and contemporary design.  The brand is based in Köln, Germany.

/ Armedangels produces 4 collections every year, 2 main collections and 2 smaller ones.

/ In 2015, the brand worked with 16 partners in Portugal, Turkey, Morocco, India and China.

/ The brand’s production lead times vary between 12 to 18 weeks and are dependent on internal planning, the capacity of its suppliers and material lead times.

/ The brand’s production in Portugal in 2015 was over 400,000 pieces.

/ Armedangels primarily uses its website and Facebook page to inform its customers about its latest news and activities. The brand reports that this includes detailed pages on the membership with Fair Wear Foundation, the brand’s Fairtrade and GOTS certifications, and on Armedangels’ general philosophy. The brand reports that when it updated its online store in 2015, it made it a priority to show its customers what Armedangels stood for on the landing page. The brand aims to become more transparent to its customers and to give them more insight into the Armedangel supply chain.

/ It is unclear if the brand can trace its entire supply chain.

/ The brand does not publicly disclose supplier names and addresses.

/ Armedangels notes on each of its product pages which certifications that product was made under.

/ The brand has been a Fairtrade licensee since 2007. Wherever possible it buys its organic cotton as a Fairtrade product.

/ The brand joined Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) in June, 2015. FWF delivers training to workers and factory managers called the Workplace Education Programme (WEP).  WEP trainings focus on workplace awareness and dispute handling and are conducted with workers, supervisors and managers separately. Four of the brand’s suppliers in Turkey have participated in a WEP training and it is planning on extending this number.

/ All the brands’ suppliers are evaluated every 6 months by an internal team consisting of buying, quality, technicians, design and sustainability. This evaluation takes into account the price-performance ratio, compliance with delivery dates, quality, social and ecological standards, the social and ecological development of a supplier, innovation and the suppliers cooperation. The brand aims to reward those suppliers that perform well in these evaluations with bigger order volumes.

/ With very few exceptions, Armedangels states that all of its suppliers and subcontractors are GOTS certified.

/ Armedangels states that its factories work hard to establish fair working conditions, but not all of them have accomplished it yet. The brand reports that it is more important to the brand that a factory is open to working with Armedangels on social and ecological issues and is motivated to make improvements, than being perfect already.

/ The brand states it has a Sustainable Material Guideline which summarizes materials which are eco-friendly and good quality. The Guideline is a living document and is revised regularly in order to accommodate new research. Armedangels states that it prioritises the following materials: natural organic fibres, such as organic cotton, organic linen and organic wool, cellulose fibres from its Austrian partner Lenzing, such as Tencel® and Modal®, and recycled synthetic fibres such as recycled polyester.

/ In order for a product to be GOTS certified, all suppliers from cultivation to the finished shirt must also be GOTS certified. The brand states all suppliers it works with are also GOTS certified (with a small number of exceptions that were not yet certified in 2015, but still working under the GOTS regulations), regardless of whether the product will later on be labelled as GOTS.

/ The brand reports its buttons are made of natural materials such as vegetable ivory, mother of pearl or horn.

/ We don’t have any information on if the brand uses renewable energy at any stage of its supply chain, if the brand has measured its greenhouse gas emissions for its supply chain, what the brand is doing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain, if the brand has measured its water use at any stage of the supply chain, what the brand is doing to reduce its water use in its supply chain, policies in place to reduce pollution and resources used for transport, sustainable packaging policies, policies and strategies the brand has to manage waste and recycling during production.

/ The brand does not have a product take back recycling program.

 

/ The brand tries, wherever possible, to substitute leather for non-animal based materials.

/ In Armedangels’ Social Report, the brand states, “We love to take the next step and implement new projects with our partners to learn more about key issues, like living wages. We will start with this in the near future.”

/ Armedangels reports that it is focusing its efforts on its suppliers in Turkey in 2015 and 2016. The brand’s CEO, Head of Buying and Sustainability Manager visited all suppliers to introduce Armedangels in detail including its philosophy and its commitment to sustainability, build trust and transparency, and learn from them.

Armedangels states that it wants to see continuous improvements in all its factories.

/ Armedangels reports that it has a close and direct relationship with its suppliers that enables the brand to get to know its partners. Armedangels’ goal is to establish long-lasting business relationships that benefit both parties.

/ The brand’s partner, FWF, delivers training to workers and factory managers called the Workplace Education Programme (WEP).  WEP trainings focus on workplace awareness and dispute handling and are conducted with workers, supervisors and managers separately. Four of the brands suppliers in Turkey have participated in a WEP training and it is planning on extending this number.

/ Armedangels reports that it is actively engaged in different working groups on issues concerning social standards. We don’t have any further information on this.

/ In 2016 the brand will start its “Made by Humans” campaign. The campaign focuses on introducing people in its supply chain and showing glimpses of their daily lives. The brand has started to make the first documentary about its organic and Fairtrade cotton farmers in India. It is planning on conducting more interviews with key people to show further insights into the materials it uses and the factories in its supply chain.

Better Thread reports that in 2014, the company raised €5,000 for Medico International, an organization which helps the victims of Rana Plaza, where, in 2013, 1127 people died, when a building collapsed in a suburb of Dhaka.

/ We don’t have any information on how much the CEO made in the last financial year.

/ There are no reported management scandals or issues.

 

/ The brand only uses sustainable materials such as organic cotton, organic linen, organic wool, recycled polyester, Lenzing Modal® and Tencel®.

/ In March 2012, Sportswear International reported that Armedangels won the Fairtrade Award in Germany.

/ In 2016 the brand will start its “Made by Humans” campaign. The campaign focuses on introducing people in its supply chain and showing glimpses of their daily lives. The brand has started to make the first documentary about its organic and Fairtrade cotton farmers in India. It is planning on conducting more interviews with key people to show further insights into the materials it uses and the factories in its supply chain.

VOICES

TheChangerPAIGE BRADLEY | THE CHANGER

“Not merely a fashion label, it boasts, ArmedAngels markets itself as a reminder that the textile industry can produce beautiful, wearable products without child labor, worker exploitation, ecological damage, or the perpetuation of social inequality.” – 09/21/2015

 


SportswearInternational

COSMA SHIVA HAGEN (QUOTED BY MONA SCHMADL) | SPORTSWEAR INTERNATIONAL

“I am a big fan of the winner. Armedangels is a counter point in the fashion industry.” – 03/23/2012

MARTIN HÖFELER, CEO | FWF SOCIAL REPORT 2015

We want to change conventions, revolutionize the textile industry and show the big players that it can be done better. We want to become the fairest fashion label in the world.