what the FAQ?
everything you need to know about MNTN
Why are you the most sustainable?
at MNTN, we made sustainable manufacturing the top priority on our list. We’ve traveled to numerous locations to ensure that this objective was met. Though many of our competitors focus on sustainability at a singular point in the supply chain, MNTN’s priority is sustainability from start to finish. From the planting of seeds to carbon-neutral shipping and delivery methods, at every stage we implement sustainable methods.
How is MNTN Co planning to support charitable organizations?
In two ways. Both with direct financial support and with support through partnerships. The soon-to-be-developed MNTN foundation will bring our partnerships to life. For each product, product line, or collection that we drop, we will have a non-profit partner, or will contribute directly to the MNTN Foundation’s ongoing projects. Some of these projects include, but are not limited to: supporting an Elephant sanctuary in Thailand, numerous reforestation projects around the world, humanitarian projects in developing countries, investments in the development of green renewable energy, and ocean cleanup projects.
Are you a Bcorp or non-profit? If not, why?
The MNTN Foundation is pending 503C non-profit status. Thus, for now, we have chosen to support other established nonprofits, a way to avoid violating any laws with regard to the acquisition of funds for charitable use. With regard to Bcorp status, through records to initiate the Bcorp assessment process, we know that all of our business practices are done within or exceeding guidelines; however, we do not currently meet the financial establishment guidelines. When we are to submit an application, we expect to gain Bcorp status (by summer 2021 at the latest). As of November of 2020, we’re pending the final Bcorp assessment.
How are you reducing water usage in the production process?
On average, our manufacturing process uses 10% than that of the conventional manufacturing method. Using one of the most technologically advanced dying processes in the world, our dye house only sources the world's most sustainable dyes under incredibly strict EU and local government guidelines. Furthermore, all water used within our dying process is treated in house and is allowed to sit for 30 days before being tested again. If safe, it is then fed back into the agricultural water system in the area.
How are your manufacturing plants powered?
As of right now, they are powered by 50% solar power with the goal of gaining full renewable energy access by 2022. The local regulations barring manufacturing facilities from being solely reliant on renewable energies is the only thing stopping us from using 100% solar power. These regulations, unfortunately, are outdated and will likely be repealed as renewable energy becomes more reliable in rural areas.
How does a product being limited edition help to avoid waste?
By limiting the number of products we ensure that we will sell out the collection. A major issue we are addressing with this decision is the destructive nature of the fast fashion industry, specifically the ideology and philosophy behind "waste products." Most fast fashion companies will produce 100,000+ units of the same product with the goal of selling 60-70% of those units. With those conversion rates, their costs have been covered and their desired profits have been met.
The result? In some cases it means 30,000-40,000 brand new garments dumped into landfills, burned, or destroyed. While it is significantly cheaper to destroy those garments than it is to keep them in stores, this practice contributes to an incredibly destructive process.
At MNTN we are manufacturing products in batches that we know we will sell. Our goal is to avoid a single "waste product" from sitting in a warehouse, or worse, finding its way to a landfill. We completely understand your point with regard to people buying multiple products. While that is not our goal, it can actually contribute to less carbon emissions from a singular shipment in comparison to multiple.
We are not attempting in any way to become a resale model streetwear type brand. We are releasing a calculated number of units in each launch to ensure that exclusivity is not the sole purpose of a purchase. Our goal is to make sustainable fashion accessible. This model allows us to almost match the prices of our fast fashion “competitors.” This limited drop-sellout model allows us the opportunity to control every step of the supply chain, and over time we hope to scale sustainably.
Are you only selling t-shirts?
We're starting with T-shirts. As we see the impact of our business practices, for better or worse, we are able to adapt as we grow the range of our product from solely T-shirts to a sustainable solution head-to-toe. Our objective is to develop everything from everyday-essentials to active-wear. By Spring 2021, we hope to achieve this goal through a gender-neutral head-to-toe launch. Backed by a fantastic team of designers with almost-exclusive backgrounds in sustainability, we have been meticulously planning since day one.
How are you certain your supplier and manufacturer are paying a living wage?
Our relationships begin with the supplier and manufacturer and end with the family life of each worker. We have taken the time to personally speak with these individuals, and what we have learned from them allows us to trust our chosen process. Our manufacturing is done where labour standards are one of the strictest in the world, in the EU. The employees have extended breaks during their working hours, multiple two-week vacations throughout the year, and every facility has an on-site kitchen and food program to make sure the workers are well fed.
Is the shipping process carbon-neutral at every step?
Shipping is the only caveat we have yet to figure out. We are doing our best to ship in the most sustainable manner, which as of now is by marine transportation. By communicating with fulfillment centers, we ensure that each have the correct amount of product allocated to their area. Through this fastidious planning, we are trying to reduce additional shipping as much as possible once the product lands in North America. We’re working on the development of a system that incorporates individuals on various college campuses warehousing the product and making deliveries on our behalf.
How did you choose the elephant sanctuary as MNTN Co’s charity?
Just as we chose them, they chose us. Our personal connection to the individuals there gave us insight into their needs and high reputation. Much like our manufacturing process, we are supporting charities that we can wholeheartedly trust are allocating funds correctly and efficiently. The dedication and connection to Elephant Nature Park started long before the manufacturing of T-shirts, we have supported them independently over the last decade. We are incredibly confident that every dollar donated will go as far as possible. We hope to continue to develop relationships like this one, with non-profits around the world.
How are you supporting free shipping?
It’s worked into our cost. We have partnered with logistics companies that believe in our mission and support our actions. In bidding for our success, they are willing to help us provide the world with more affordable sustainable clothing options.
How are you competing with other sustainable brands?
We create products of the highest quality that are sold at an affordable price point. Our goal is not to be the cheapest of the sustainable brands, but to be the most sensible and accessible of all brands.
How are you competing with fast fashion?
The fast fashion industry is the Goliath to our David. Their resources go well beyond ours. However, by offering the consumer a product that is of equal if not better quality, that is carbon neutral, that gives back to the environment and its communities, all while at a similar price, we trust that our consumers will also put “Planet over profit. Always.”
How are your products able to be both sustainable and low cost?
Sustainability comes at a cost, one that is quite high. Our mission is to make sustainable fashion accessible to the masses. Rarely do we come across an eco-friendly alternative that doesn’t encumber the hefty cost. We provide a sustainable product not through a reduced cost, but through reduced profit margins. This project and this mission are more important than pocketing large payouts.
Can you explain your manufacturing process step by step?
Cotton plants are planted and free of treatment from pesticides, GMO’s or chemicals. That’s what makes it organic. The cotton is then picked, woven into base sheets of fabric, which is then heat pressed and dyed. Said fabric is then sent to our manufacturing facility where the different elements of the cloth are laser cut and sewn together by hand. Then the product goes to finishing which includes labeling, printing designs, and any other branding work. It is then sustainably packaged and sent to our logistics warehouse. Which will in turn get it to your doorstep.
Where are your materials sourced from?
A: They are sourced from locally grown cotton, in the Duoro Valley in Portual. Our cotton gets more sun than we do.
In what country does the manufacturing occur?
Porto - Portugal.