At the core of our value system lies the clear and urgent commitment to leave the world in a better state than we found it. We would love to share some steps we have taken on our journey towards creating a sustainable future for our company and our planet.
Two years of diligent effort by our dedicated manufacturing team has led to our Fall River, MA production facility achieving the exemplary STeP by OEKO-TEX® certification. The goal of STeP (Sustainable Textile Production) is to promote environmentally friendly and socially responsible textile manufacturing practices.
Assessments are conducted by an independent international body which performs a meticulous analysis of textile facilities to confirm that each meets all qualifiers of excellence in environmental performance, chemical management, quality management, health & safety in the workplace, and general social responsibility.
The Matouk factory is now one of only 3 production facilities in the United States to be recognized as STeP certified, and we look forward to collaborating with companies around the world and across the industry in a long-term commitment to sustainable textile manufacturing.
The vision of the sunlight reflecting on solar panels on the roof of our Fall River, MA factory may be the most visible example of our commitment to sustainability. Since installing our solar energy system in 2010, it has produced 30% of the energy required to run the factory and offset more than 678 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Within the Matouk factory we have taken many steps to reduce waste. We gather all cotton fabric scraps and compress them in a hydraulic baler, a prerequisite for industrial recycling. By investing in this new process, we will keep nearly 18 tons of textile waste out of the landfill annually. By upgrading to double-sided printers and digitizing paper dependent processes, we have reduced our paper consumption by about 3000 pounds annually. Through a collaborative initiative with our primary towel supplier in Portugal to adopt reinforced shipping cartons, we are now able to re-use nearly 9000 shipping cartons a year for our own outbound shipments.
Throughout our global supply chain, we partner with socially responsible partners who embrace the same values, integrity, and standards to which we hold ourselves. Investments in supply chain sustainability often requires years of planning and collaboration to upgrade large capital investments in machinery and facilities, but we have already seen results of this work making an impact on a more sustainable future for our planet.
Over the past 12 years, through investment in state of the art finishing equipment, our main towel supplier in Portugal, also an OEKO-TEX STeP certified producer, has dramatically reduced the amount of water required to produce our most popular towel styles, including Milagro, Cairo, Lotus, Aman and Auberge. In fact, since 2010 our partner has reduced the amount of water required to produce 1 kilogram of towels by over 50%, saving millions of liters of water every year in the production of our towels.
In the Fall of 2016, we introduced our handcrafted Matouk Down collection, supplied by our exclusive partner located in the Swiss Alps, Dorbena. Our down collection is DOWNPASS certified, confirming that all feathers are harvested by humane methods and prepared for production using the most sustainable practices. Through the use of solar power, local Alpine water and biodegradable detergent, Dorbena is able to exceed the world’s highest standards for sustainability and social responsibility.