We treat our wardrobes as disposable. Americans buy on average 68 items of clothing a year. A UK study showed that each garment is worn just seven times before being discarded.
We are using more resources than ever before in producing over 100 billion garments a year worldwide - double what was produced in 2000. Sixty percent of discarded garments end up in incinerators or landfills within a year of being produced.
We don’t need more clothes. Our landfills don’t need more clothes. We need fewer, better things.
In pursuit of this goal, we commit to create products responsibly, enable you to maximize their wear, and provide a way to recycle every product through second life programs.
We care deeply about how each product is made and its impact on the environment, and we have intentionally built our supply chain to support responsible production from raw material to finished good.
Many of our vendors are small family-run businesses, supporting heritage production techniques that have largely been left behind by modern mass manufacturing. These mills and factories are often the pillars of their local communities and producing with them supports local economies around the world.
All of our factories have either been independently audited for social compliance or have agreed to our Cuyana vendor terms, which include compliance with local labor laws. Our suppliers are like family to us, and we frequently visit them as we co-create products to ensure the highest quality and so that our relationship continues to mean more than just business.
Our supply chain is different from many other brands in minimizing our carbon footprint by manufacturing in close proximity to our material sources whenever possible. It is common practice in the industry for the raw material to be produced across the globe from where the final product is made, requiring shipping from raw material to factory and then factory to store. We intentionally select factories that are located near the source - for example, our Pima Cotton is grown, spun, and made into finished garments all in Peru.
There are two key steps in the production process that we carefully track for responsible environmental practices. You can read more about the certifications here.
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For example, how the cotton is grown or cows are raisedKey considerations: Water use, deforestation or desertification, animal rights, traceability
Fabric & Leather Production
For example, how the cotton is spun & woven into fabric or hides are tanned into leatherKey considerations: Water use, energy consumption, chemical management
Unlike most fashion brands, we only make what we think we can sell. We produce in small batches, buying as close to demand as possible to prevent overproduction. In 2019 we sold through 90% of the products we made, which is very high for the industry where it is common to have sell-through rates of just 60-70%.
We believe that an essential piece of sustainability is getting the most use possible out of your fewer, better pieces, and it is of the utmost importance to us that you are able to love our pieces for years to come. To that end, we commit to helping you keep them in your closet through thoughtful design, upholding quality, inspiring rewear season after season, and supporting you in care & repair. And not only will keeping them in your closet reduce our impact on the environment, it also delivers a superior price per wear for your wallet.
Intentional design is at the core of our fewer, better philosophy. When designing any product, we first ask ourselves whether it is timeless, functional, and versatile - an item that you will feel chic wearing year after year. But we don’t mistake basic for boring: all of our clothing has composed design details that create a focal point for the feminine form and all our leather goods combine beauty with function to become your trusted daily companions. We design so that you fall in love with what you wear for years to come, creating a bigger impact on your closet and a smaller impact on the world.
Quality is the key to product longevity and is carefully considered for each product hand-in-hand with design. Every piece in our collection meets a quality standard defined by craftsmanship, integrity, and best-in-class materials. And while many brands tout quality, few are willing to back up their claims.
At Cuyana, we select many of the finest materials available on the market so that you are able to wear and love our products for longer. For example, our silk is between 25-30 mommes in density versus an industry standard of 16-19 mommes, lending a luxurious weight and the longevity to endure many washes and wears. Our superfine 100% Baby Alpaca is just 20 microns in thickness, which is more durable and pill-resistant than the lower grades of Alpaca blended with synthetics used by other brands. Because quality materials and design are upheld as equally important inputs to product development, we are able to ensure that each product we bring to life is made with high-quality care and crafted to stand the test of time.
We want to put an end to the notion that your wardrobe is disposable, and encourage our first instinct to be to repair rather than replace. Over time, this practice will extend the life of your products and increase your price per wear, slow consumption and reduce unnecessary waste.
The first step is to be intentional with how you care for your items.
Leather & Suede, Straw, Canvas, Metal Hardware
Alpaca, Cashmere, Wool, Cotton Cashmere, Silk, Pima, Poplin, Linen, Tencel
While all our products are made with quality & longevity, wear & tear over time from frequent use is to be expected, and your beloved products can often be brought back to life with a small repair.
We offer a two-year warranty on all products.
In order to reduce waste, we can facilitate repairs for your Cuyana pieces.
For a light cleansing, our in-store Leather Spas can help with a refresh.
Even if our pieces are thoughtfully designed and made with quality, we have failed if it languishes in the back of your closet. We want you to be inspired by the pieces you have, and it is our mission to help you find fresh ways to keep them in rotation.
Our Core Collection is designed to serve as your foundational layer with the purpose of bringing your wardrobe to life. Each of these pieces is created to evolve with your wardrobe, effortlessly complimenting you and your personal style along the way.
Our Capsule Collections are comprised of chic yet wearable pieces with an of-the-moment design perspective that can be easily styled with any of our Core Collection pieces.
We believe fashion should always be inspirational - you should always look forward to getting dressed. Once it is time for you to make space for the new by moving on from your beloved Cuyana pieces, we want to empower you to do so without guilt. Our Lean Closet program is designed to keep your Cuyana pieces out of landfill by giving them a second life.
Giving back to women in need has been a core part of our brand since we first launched our Lean Closet program in partnership with H.E.A.R.T. (Helping Ease Abuse Related Trauma) in 2013. At the time, it was common for philanthropic brands to operate under a “buy one, give one” model, where for each product sold, a lower quality item was also produced and donated. We approached things differently, creating a takeback program so that our customers had the opportunity to pass along their gently used high quality Cuyana items directly to women healing from abusive situations at H.E.A.R.T. We believe this approach is better for both the environment as well as the women who ultimately receive and use the items.
While our resale partnership with thredUP evolved the original program to expand its reach (more on that below!), we still regularly hold in-store donation drives benefiting H.E.A.R.T., and as a company we donate our production samples to H.E.A.R.T.
thredUP is our resale partner to give your gently used items another life while simplifying your own. When you send your clothes to thredUP with a Cuyana x thredUP shipping label, you will earn Cuyana credit from the pieces they accept, plus a 15% bonus credit from us as a thank you. When you spend your Cuyana credit, Cuyana will donate 5% profits from your purchase to H.E.A.R.T. (Helping Ease Abuse Related Trauma). Learn more about how to sell your clothes through thredUP here.