Since we started Smash + Tess six years ago, our goal has been to disrupt the fashion industry because we want to create a safe space for all women to be seen and celebrated. And we do so by creating clothing that stands the test of time through ethically sound means.
We've learned A LOT as we've evolved, grown, and listened to our customers.
One thing will *always* stay unchanged, our clothing is made in a fair and safe production environment.
We call it happy and healthy origins.
This is a core value of ours, and, in alignment with this value system, we’ve decided to begin partnering with manufacturers overseas, while maintaining some of our local manufacturing partnerships as well.
Queue the questions! “But Smash, you’ve always manufactured in Canada?!” “Why change now?” “How will you ensure happy and healthy origins?”
Some brands go overseas only to save money, or worse, to avoid environmental regulations. Not ok!
Smash + Tess is going overseas so we can directly collaborate with the experts in the fashion industry and reduce our carbon footprint...and don’t worry, we’re going to tell you how we plan on doing just that.
Our Canadian Partners
We have some amazing production partners here in Canada. Some have been with us since our first Romper and some are newer partnerships. These working relationships and friendships are strong and growing!
Many of our core items that you know and love will still be manufactured here. That said, the reality is, the fashion production market in Canada is considerably smaller than it is internationally. We have struggled to bring you new and exciting products that require certain equipment, fabric mills, and expertise that Canada just doesn’t have.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I looooove teasing upcoming drops. One of those upcoming drops is a knitted romper…something our community is BEGGING us for. We started planning this community-led design piece and quickly learned there is no way to viably mass produce it in Canada.
Fortunately, we’ve found some fantastic partners overseas to help us execute these pieces and many more that we have, coming down the pike!
Our Overseas Partners
Transparency is our thing, so let’s talk about what goes into choosing an overseas partner.
We look for partners who share our values — people who believe in sustainability, treating people well, and making quality items you’ll love for years to come. Chosen specifically for their standards, sustainable practices, and technological superiority, these factories are some of the most technical and environmentally conscious in the region.
AND these production partners are audited by a third party every 6-12 months, looking for workers' protection, safety manuals, rights of freedom, paid a living wage (no minimum) and NO child labour.
Some of their methods include using renewable energy sources, recycling natural resources throughout the certified production process, and ensuring that what is put back into the environment is as clean and free of pollutants as possible.
We’re also proud to share that some of our overseas partners have the following certifications:
- The REcycled Claim Standard (RCS) and Global Recycle Standard (GRS)
- The bluesign(r) SYSTEM
- The HIGG Index
Our overseas production partners are full-service factories. Why does this matter to us? Well, instead of just manufacturing our items, fabric and trims are sourced from neighbours close by and patterns are made in-house and engineered to be as efficient as possible to reduce fabric waste.
Every part of the process is controlled by these manufacturers, so your clothing isn’t making a few trips around the world before it makes it to your closet! Instead of fabric flying in, our trims flying in, and then everything put together and shipped back to us…. It’s ALL made in one spot, then sent to us. This means a lower one-time carbon footprint.
Quality is *everything* to us. Having full control of the supply chain in this way allows our factory partners to keep standards consistently high so that S+T quality you know and love is only going to get better.
HAPPY & HEALTHY ORIGINS
It means the world to me that you take a few minutes out of your chaotic week to read this update. It’s so important to us for our community to know where their clothing is coming from. We promise to never stop working to understand our levels of impact on the environment as a brand and find ways to reduce them.
We know there’s much, much more we could be doing, so we’ll continue to find ways to improve our processes, hold ourselves accountable, and be transparent with you every step of the way.
Thank you for your support and feedback in helping us get to where we are today. We can't wait to keep growing with you.
ASHLEY FREEBORN (she/her)
Co-Founder, Principal and CEO
Smash + Tess