When looking for partners to work with in our supply chain, we had one top priority: People First. Of course, Planet was a close second, but we knew that if we picked the right people with the right values, they would care for the environment as much as us. It's crucial that everyone involved in the production of Tortoise pieces is well taken care of.
That's why we've chosen to work with Kishor for our first collection. The family-run factory in Uttar Pradesh, India is as planet- and people-oriented as we are. Since 1979, they have had a strong focus on ethical production as well as the environment.
The factory is certified by SA-8000 and GOTS which cumulatively ensure the ethical treatment of all parties involved in the supply chain as well as environmentally sustainable practices. As a label born amid the Covid-19 pandemic, physical visits to factories were out of the question with the travel restrictions in place. This meant that international certifications were our next best option to ensure that we worked with the best factory, as audits were made by accredited independent certification bodies.
Undoubtedly, these standards guaranteed by the certifications should be an uncontested universal standard. Yet it is unfortunate that it is not yet the norm. It is hence our priority as well as our privilege to start Tortoise on the right foot, and we only aim to improve in our journey to come.
What does it mean to have all these certifications?
SA-8000 is an auditable certification standard by Social Accountability International. Its guidelines ensure the non-use of child labour or any other forms of forced or compulsory labour, including overtime. Any overtime work is due for appropriate remuneration on top of their living wage that is sufficient to meet basic needs and discretionary income. It also requires employers to treat employees fairly and with dignity and respect without discrimination. They are also obligated to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees and give them the freedom of association and right to collective bargaining.
This certification promises that our production process adheres to our People First expectation of keeping all persons involved well-paid, safe, and healthy. Learn more about SA-8000 here.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) ensures the organic status of textiles, from harvesting of raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing. “Organic” means that no less than 95% of the fibre content of the products are of organic origin, made without the use of toxic or hazardous chemicals. They have strict and clear instructions of what is or is not permissible by their standards. More information about GOTS can be found here.
GOTS is a quality assurance system that requires the entire processing and manufacturing chain to be inspected and inspected. For Tortoise, this traceability helps to ensure that at every point of the supply chain, our organic cotton is sustainably grown and managed without harming any people involved.
Here are some of our makers!