At Kelly Lane, we carefully examine each step in our process to determine how we can create better with less. The following are a few examples of our sustainable practices. For more information on the ethos of our brand and how sustainability has played a role from the onset, see "Our Story".
When choosing a fabric, we consider its entire life cycle: how the fibers are farmed and processed, how the fabric feels on the skin, how it is cared for, how it holds up long-term, and how it ultimately goes back to the earth. We have currently streamlined our fabric selections to GOTS certified organic cottons milled in the Carolina's. On occasion, we will also make use of the sustainable fabrics (hemp, organic cotton, soy and tencel) that we have on-hand from previous collections.
Why organic cotton? Organic Cotton comes from non-genetically modified plants that use no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Conventional cotton, on the other hand, takes up very little of the world’s farmed land, but uses 25% of the world’s insecticides – more than any other single crop. Organic cotton farming promotes better biodiversity and conditions for the farmers.
Dyes // Low impact, fiber reactive dyes are a synthetic dye that chemically bonds directly to the clothing fiber molecules. The absorption rate is at least 70%, creating less waste water run-off. Reactive dyes are free of heavy metals and known carcinogens such as formaldehyde dioxin, and azo. Since some natural dyes use highly toxic mordants (fixers) and are at times less permanent, fiber reactive dyes are the most commonly used among sustainable designers.
Printing // Our custom designed prints use water-based inks that are PVC and phthalate free.
Style // Artful sophistication is the style focal point of our collections. We intentionally create pieces that are meant to transcend trends, becoming the highlight of your wardrobe – whether for work or play. Versatility and wearability are top priorities, so that you desire to wear your piece again and again, no matter what the season.
Quality // Our goal is to infuse quality at all levels in the creation of our collections: fabrics that hold up over time without losing their shape and finish, sewing that stands the test of time, and fit that flatters many shapes.
CUT AND SEW
All of our garments are cut and sewn in Pittsburgh, PA by Kelly and local sewers, who are paid a living wage.
Machine wash gentle and cold, line dry // Consumer use accounts for 82% of energy used in the life cycle of a garment. For example, washing and drying a polyester blouse uses 6x the energy used to make it. Hand washing or using the gentle cycle uses far less water than the regular cycle, and line drying eliminates the need for energy intensive dryers (which also degrade the clothing over time).
Hang tags and Receipts // To minimize the use of paper, we have eliminated hang tags on all garments that ship directly to our customers. Our contact info is on the garment labels, and receipts can be accessed digitally. For in-studio events, we use hang tags that are printed on 100% recycled paper.
Packaging // We have sourced 100% recycled and recyclable Poly mailers that can be re-used by the customer if a return or exchange is desired.
Fabric// All of our unusable cut pieces of fabric are donated to the Center for Creative Re-Use and to local schools. Our future goal is to find a way to incorporate these remnants into our collections.
Recycling // We reuse boxes and packing materials from local businesses and recycle all paper, ink cartridges, plastic containers, etc.
Lighting // We use fluorescent lighting throughout the studio.
Energy Use // We turn off all power strips at the end of the day and use natural air flow for cooling in the summer.
People // We are very careful about how we treat everyone from interns, to the UPS drivers, to our sewers and other contractors, and of course our customers. Seeding good relationships is critical to everyone’s well being, and ultimately that’s what being sustainable is all about: well-being for people and the planet.