Durable brand, small imprint
Right since our start in 2009, ethics and sustainability remain at the forefront of all stages of production at Delikatessen. As our need for fabrics remains small, we apply our expertise for high quality in small quantities. Produced in short series, we avoid any overproduction of our garments. We fill a real need by providing our garments solely by order to exclusive stores or directly to our personal clients.
Our enduring quality garments guarantee a long-term use and minimize their imprint on the environment. This ensures there is no surplus. Our local plant breeder swaps our remaining sample fabrics for his organic plants to grow in our vegetable garden, while other samples are given to friends and the local sewing club in our rural village in Burgundy, France.
Creating a sustainable business
We ensure the highest quality while aiming at remaining sustainable throughout the supply chain. Our fabrics come exclusively from the EU and Japan. All are certified with a minimum standard of sustainability, like BCI (better cotton initiative), the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 for the absence of toxic substances in the raw materials, the semi-finished and finished products, GOTS, the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain or the exclusively European Masters of Linen, which guarantees sustainable production in Europe, from field to yarn to fabric, respecting the environment and social ethics.
Most of our Japanese cotton is organic. Our Japanese supplier sources cotton from India and takes part in the ACE’s PEACE-India project: Eliminating child-labouring cotton. And supporting cottonseed farms with community participation and empowerment. From SS21 all our Japanese cotton will be organic and has full traceability from the raw cotton to the fabrics.
In Europe we only work with leading manufacturers who offer employees a good wage, a clean and safe working environment and normal working hours. Garments are exclusively made in Poland, as part of the EU with fair pay and safe working conditions (ISO 9001) to all employees. Women are represented throughout the supply chain. They are at the heart of most of our products. For instance, two of our main manufacturers in Poland are completely managed by women. We check standards at first hand, by keeping in touch with all managers and employers personally.
Production process at our supplier's production site – Albini Group
Learn more about our fabrics
Cotton is basically a natural fibre. However, making cotton is very water demanding. Cotton also requires huge acreage. Organic cotton is a good choice, but due to the reduction in crop yields resulting from the lack of chemicals allowed for organic cotton production, it requires yet more land.
We are in the process of making our cotton garments as sustainable as possible. There are different ways to achieve that. One way is to use recycled cotton. We believe it is the best way, as you reduce the actual production of cotton.
Another way is to use cotton fabrics that are fully traceable, with a certificate of origin, like GOTS. We are incorporating these fully traceable fabrics into our collection.
All our European suppliers are member of Better Cotton Initiative, while we are selecting almost exclusively organic cotton from Japan. Our Japanese supplier sources cotton from India and takes part in the ACE’s PEACE-India project: Eliminating child-labouring cotton. And supporting cottonseed farms with community participation and empowerment. From SS21 all our Japanese cotton will be organic and has full traceability from the raw cotton to the fabrics.
BCI cotton is not organic cotton, but it is a good step towards achieving more sustainable cotton and takes care of workers conditions. Farmers that adopt the Better Cotton standards commit to minimize the harmful impact of crop protection practices; use water efficiently and care for the availability of water; care for the health of the soil; conserve natural habitats; care for and preserve the quality of the fibre and promote decent work. Farmers that adopt these best management practices are growing healthier cotton, with less pesticide, fertilizer and water overruns. A third way to add to environmental protection is to mix cotton with other fabrics like linen, hemp or recycled polyester. This significantly reduces the demand and need for new cotton, while using sustainable or recycled materials.
Tencel and Lyocell
Lyocell, also branded as Tencel, is a natural, manmade environmental friendly fabric made from the cellulose of wood pulp. This is obtained from well-managed forests, with trees like Eucalyptus, Oak and Birch. The cultivation of these trees does not require irrigation or pesticides. Lyocell is naturally biodegradable.
We are introducing more and more Lyocell. It is soft, breathable, silk like, light and comfortable and made to last a long time. It also absorbs moisture (including natural perspiration), which makes it ideal to use all year round.
Wool is a generally natural fabric as it grows readily on sheep and is a renewable resource: the sheep are shorn usually once a year and then more wool starts to grow. Thanks to its unique structure and water-repellent outer membrane, wool is resilient, long-lasting and very suitable to be recycled. Wool will biodegrade naturally, for instance when buried in soil.
Although conventional wool is not eco-friendly, the grazing of sheep can help to store carbon from the atmosphere, and then some of this is converted into wool.
We are applying more and more sustainable wool options. A good example is our favourite wool supplier Subalpino, a family run Italian wool mill from Biella in Italy. Biella's position at the foothills of the Alps make the surrounding region ideal pastureland for sheep. We often select their unusual fabrics, like their fully traceable sustainable wool, from pasture to end product. They are either left untouched in their natural shades or dyed with natural elements like flowers, leaves, berries and roots. Our favourite is called zero miles wool, as it comes from the very fields around the factory.
Linen comes from the flax plant. Flax grows naturally and requires no additional water other than usual rainwater, unlike cotton, which can require high volumes of water. Flax is a bast fibre, which means that the structure is basically a bunch of long fibres inside of a thicker tube. The plants go through a process called “retting” to help separate the fibres. The retting breaks down the outside and the “glue” holding the fibres together, which then allows the fibres to be separated, spun, and woven or knit. Its production requires much less water than cotton. There is very little waste with flax; other parts of the plant, like the seeds, can be used to produce linseed oil or flax seeds for consumption. Because it’s a natural fibre, flax linen is recyclable and biodegrades, leaving no waste.
We have worked with this eco-friendly fabric almost from the start, as we love the structured feel and subtleness of colouring. Wonderful to wear, linen is also the oldest known and most sustainable fibre, straight from nature. It is absorbent, breathable, and stronger than cotton. The porous fibre keep you naturally cool in the summer, while insulating you when it turns cold. All our linen is sourced and produced in Europe, many are already close to organic standard and most carry the renowned Masters of Linen certificate.
Hemp is a bast fibre obtained from the inner bark of the hemp plant of the species cannabis sativa. Hemp fabric is made from the long strands of fibre that make up the stalk of the plant. Just like with linen, the fibres are separated from the bark through retting. Hemp is a high-yield crop that produces more fibre per acre than either cotton or flax. It requires very little water, especially when compared to cotton.
Hemp also requires a relatively small amount of land to cultivate; it can produce up to double the fibre yield per hectare than cotton. Pure hemp provides the warmth and softness of a natural textile, feels almost like linen and is long-lasting. Hemp constitutes a highly sustainable, low-impact crop, but is not always completely organic. We have started using organic hemp in our garments and organic recycled hemp in a selection of our buttons.