Karukinka Outdoor was founded to make the world a better place–not necessarily to create clothing. Our founder Felipe Jadue came from the fashion industry and saw that it was broken. He saw that mass-producing cheap products for consumerism had far more negatives than positives.
Synthetic fibers, which are becoming more and more common in the world of fast fashion due to the fact that they are usually cheaper and easier to produce, are wreaking havoc on our environment. They are most often petroleum-based and produce harmful microplastics, which means that cheaply made clothes cause pollution during the production process as well as when they are taken home and worn and washed by the consumer. They also are more likely to be thrown in the landfill after a few uses.
Another aspect of the fast-fashion world that our founder Felipe sought to change is the living conditions of the people who create the clothing. Large factories usually export to countries without strict labor laws where they can mass-produce inexpensively, abusing their workers and cutting corners left and right. The people who work in fast fashion factories are not paid equitably for their work and often work in dangerous conditions. This can lead to depression and poor quality of life for these workers.
Dismayed at both the environmental and human toll of fast fashion, Felipe founded Karukina Outdoors to disrupt the industry. The company was founded on triple bottom line ethics, which elevate communities, economies, and the environment hand in hand. These three priorities are pillars that determine how we do business. The core belief behind the triple bottom line is that profit isn’t the only priority–the planet and people are just as important to the success of the business or organization.
Prioritizing social responsibility and stewardship of the environment, as well as profit, creates a symbiotic relationship that represents a new way of doing business and creating meaningful change in our capitalist economy. Karukinka is pairing triple bottom line business ethics with the fashion and outdoor apparel industries, shaking up the status quo and giving conscious consumers a better option to make a statement with the purchasing decisions.
There are a number of benefits that come from doing business under a triple bottom line model, including:
- Higher quality of life for our workers. At Karukinka Outdoor, we are elevating craftsmanship by putting the product back in the hands of our workers. We spin our own yarn, weave our own materials, and construct each garment by hand. Our workers are paid fairly to create each Karukinka product, which lets them know that their work and cultures are valued by the companies and by the consumers, and allows them to support their families.
- Retaining employees, which leads to a better product. Karukinka factory jobs aren’t seasonal or short-term. When we train someone to work for us, we are investing in their future. That, in turn, means that they see themselves working for us long term gives them a sense of ownership and pride that translates to quality workmanship.
- Practicing what we preach when it comes to sustainability. We believe that to change the future and protect the environment for generations to come, we need to make changes today. Our consumers need to be more conscious and it is part of our job to educate our customers about the perils of fast fashion. Everything from our supply chain to the fact that we produce products that are meant to last for generations rather than a few months is a carefully thought out part of the process. Each decision made considers how Patagonia and the entire world is impacted.
- Increased brand loyalty.Modern consumers are becoming more and more conscious of how their decisions impact the environment and other humans on this planet. Today’s market is saturated with brands that speak to environmental priorities but only commit to some. Karukinka is a brand that consumers can trust thanks to our top-to-bottom high standards.
There are many other benefits for Karukinka and other triple bottom line companies. Putting social responsibility and environmental stewardship hand in hand with profit not only makes for an ethical way of doing business but a better company overall.