Since its founding in 2011, Cuyana has always created timeless, versatile pieces using heritage craftsmanship and thoughtfully-sourced materials. Our long-standing ethos of fewer, better items in your closet means our products are designed to maximize wear and transcend the latest trends.
But does all that mean Cuyana is a sustainable brand? In short, yes. But as explained in the last post in this series, we view sustainability not as a fixed destination or endpoint, but rather as a dynamic and evolving journey. We’re keen to reframe the sustainability conversation around the ideas of impact reduction and risk mitigation, rather than a punitive and often shame-filled approach to getting it perfect — or else.
Furthermore, we question the very idea that there are “sustainable fashion” brands versus conventional ones. The truth is, every fashion brand is in the business of making more stuff. And therefore every brand should be thinking about how to do that with more care and less impact. Below are five of the ways our deep commitment to this model of sustainability manifests throughout the entire life cycle of our products.
We’re on target to achieve 100% sustainable materials certification in 2023. We can currently say that 99% of the textiles and materials used to make our products are certified as sustainable, with the remaining 1% happening within the year. We adhere to numerous industry-leading certification schemes including Blue Sign, the Forest Stewardship Council, the Leather Working Group and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). See our website for the full list of our certification schemes.
We offer Revive, a second-life program for pre-loved Cuyana pieces. We hope that each piece from Cuyana lives a long and well cared-for life in its owner's closet. But our Revive program allows customers to sell pre-loved Cuyana pieces to new owners who can shop the site. (Resell is currently limited to only leather goods, though slated to expand to all our products soon.) Meanwhile, our donation program accepts all Cuyana pieces via a prepaid shipping label and donates them to the Los Angeles-based charity H.E.A.R.T., which works with women who are rebuilding their lives after experiencing abuse.
We are proud of our industry-leading sell-through rate. We only produce small batches of products that are designed to long outlive next season’s shift in trends. That’s why we can boast a sell-through rate of roughly 90%, meaning the vast majority of the products we manufacture end up finding a home in customers’ closets. That compares to an industry standard of 60-70%, a number driven by vast overproduction and adherence to trend-driven timelines. We also encourage and educate our customers on how to best take care of our products to maximize wear for as long as possible without sacrificing quality or feel.
We’re passionate about products with single origin stories. Our timeless Panama Hat collection is woven from toquilla straw by indigenous women in Ecuador, the home country of our co-founder. Meanwhile, our single origin cashmere can be traced to a single plateau in Inner Mongolia, meaning only the most resilient fibers make it into our sweaters. We believe that the most sustainable pieces also have a rooted sense of place and a connection to the land and people who made them. You’ll feel it when you wear it.
We’re always updating and adding to our sustainability initiatives on our website. Follow along on our journey at cuyana.com/sustainability and subscribe to our newsletter.