Sustainability has been an important value for me for most of my life. From a young age, I've been recycling and paying attention to what I eat to reduce my environmental impact on the planet. It has always been important to me to live in a way that I could fully support my own actions and stand behind my choices. When I founded APEX polewear, this was a tough challenge. The fashion industry isn't exactly a sustainable one. The manufacturing process can be very wasteful, and threads, fabrics and garments are flown all across the world before they end up at their final destination. Apart from the production process being harmful for the planet, working conditions for manufacturers in low wage countries are poor at best. This was not the way I wanted to do it.
As I was looking at how to get my designs manufactured, I ran into many problems. Manufacturers in Europe were hard to find, and many of the ones I did find outsourced their work to China. At a certain point I started to wonder if the trouble was all worth it, and maybe I should just start out this way and switch after the company had grown a little. After a lot of soul-searching, I realized this was not the way for me. I couldn't accept contributing to the problems of the world, even if it was only temporary. Not to mention the risk of producing low quality clothing. Luckily, I ended up finding a high quality clothing manufacturer in my own country, The Netherlands. While it was more expensive, I could uphold my values, and have my designs produced in an eco-friendly, conscious way. Having the polewear produced locally also means a reduced carbon footprint, since the clothes don't have to travel far.
In the end, I'm very happy with my choice to go with green and make ethically produced polewear with a low carbon footprint. I can now proudly say I fully support the choices I've made for myself and for APEX polewear as a brand. I still want to continue improving, and I'm constantly busy finding new ways to reduce our environmental impact - from the manufacturing process to shipping materials. I believe strongly that this is the way forward, and I dream of a future where APEX polewear is a zero-waste, zero-emissions company.
To read about everything we do to improve our brand, please visit our page Sustainability.