Sustainability and responsibility are the founding pillars of Elvang
It is our basis of existence and the focal point of all decisions that are made. For us, this means a shared responsibility for the people we work with, the quality in which our products are made and that we protect the environment. It has resulted in classification at the highest level as a Guaranteed Member of the World Fair Trade Organization. In addition, we have signed on to the UN's Global Compact initiative, which has social responsibility and sustainable production as core areas.
We have carefully selected our suppliers based on criteria of sustainability and responsibility. We have also chosen to produce locally in Peru because that is where our primary material, alpaca wool, comes from. In addition, there is the tradition of quality craftsmanship that Peruvians have maintained for millennia. By using local materials and production facilities, we contribute to the workforce and the associated economy remaining in the local community.
It has been absolutely central in our choice of partner that it is a workplace where the employees' terms are not compromised. Therefore, since the start of Elvang Denmark in 2003, we have worked closely with one of Peru's larger weavers, which maintains and adheres to a strong CSR program - among other things, that a doctor and dentist are employed at the weaving mill, which employees and their families can consult for free , that employees themselves decide whether they want to work over that there is no child labor, that remuneration is above the minimum wage, that there is training assistance for employees' children, and that a CSR manager and a shop steward have been appointed. Finally, our subcontractors - Peru's poor alpaca shepherds - help with free training on how to improve their alpaca business and in a number of other areas.
80% of our collection is made of recycled wool from our local supplier. This means that our designs are made of wool from other productions, which would often otherwise be discarded. By pulling the wool apart, the original fibers emerge, and new yarn can be spun, from which new textiles are woven. In this way, we help to utilize waste from already existing resources, which instead get new life in an Elvang Denmark design.
Of course, we must also take into account how we transport our products home from Peru. We try to avoid air freight as much as possible to reduce our CO2 footprint on the climate, and have set ourselves the goal that 90% of our production should be sailed home.
Elvang Denmark is one of quite a few companies in Denmark who has obtained the status of Guaranteed Member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). In doing so, we commit ourselves to complying with the WFTO's 10 principles of fair trade.
It is a certification that guarantees that our entire value chain has been examined and meets the requirements for fair trade - both the company in Denmark and our Peruvian suppliers. At the WFTO, it is not just the products that are certified. That's the way to do business.
In Elvang Denmark's case, it results in, among other things, that we assist alpaca shepherds with teaching on how they can optimize and improve their business.
A Guaranteed Member certification at the WFTO must be renewed every two years, ensuring that the 10 principles are continuously adhered to.
The 10 principles are:
1. To create opportunities for financially disadvantaged producers
2. Transparency and accountability
3. Responsible trading practice
4. Payment of a fair price
5. Avoid child and forced labor
6. Anti-discrimination, equality and freedom of association
7. Healthy and safe working conditions
8. Capacity building
9. Promoting Fair Trade
10. Sustainable environmental management