We acknowledge the fashion industry has had and continues to contribute a huge toll on the environmental services of the Earth, and that social conditions vary drastically between each factory. In fact, there have even been recent claims by industry leaders that the fashion industry is the second largest industrial polluter after crude oil and mineral extraction.
In doing so, we have taken on full responsibility for our own impact within our own operations. We set this foundation in stone twenty-five years ago when we first fled to the shores of Bali and begun collaborating with the incredibly skilled and knowledgeable local artisans. We hold no outstanding claims regarding our operational impact and reach. Furthermore, we are humble enough to know the path we tread is a dynamic and evolving journey of constant self-improvement. It is not the easy way but it is the only way for our business.
Beachgold is committed to the implementation of progressive environmental and social practices as a matter of corporate and design philosophy. By working closely with our staff and supply chain, Beachgold actively contributes towards reducing inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, empowered communities, and the creation of secure, purposeful and engaging jobs. By harnessing the power of its' unique business co-operative governance structure, Beachgold utilises its profits and growth as a means to a greater end: creating uplifting impact for its employees, communities, and the environment.
Over the past three decades Beachgold has sought a comprehensive understanding of its ecological and social impact and, through its approach to garment design and production, has articulated specific long-term goals for reduction. This process has ensured that Beachgold not only meets but exceeds certifiable standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
To date Beachgold has outlined three cornerstones of its sustainability strategy aimed at environmental, human and societal impact. These are detailed below.
1. To Reduce the Environmental Impact of Beachgold's Business Practices and Products.
In an ongoing effort to reduce its environmental footprint, Beachgold has committed to business practices, including, but not limited to:
- Reduction of energy consumption;
- Reduction of water consumption;
- Reduction of paper consumption;
- Reduction of single use plastics;
- Reduction of waste through recycling;
- Limiting use of only third party certified textile dyes;
- Concentrating printing to suppliers which utilise certified water recycling technology;
- Optimisation of textile finishes; and,
- Repurposing of textile offcuts.
Beachgold's environmental policy details a commitment to compliance with Indonesian and local Balinese provincial environmental regulations and persistent improvement over time to reduce overall impact. The policy involves implementation of an environmental management system (EMS) which outlines all reduction processes and is audited by a third party certified consultant on an annual basis.
Certain aspects related to waste management have been engrained within our operations from the beginning. The design of each garment ensures that all offcuts are minimized. We upcycle and repurpose any leftover material into items such as boxer pants, hair ties and cleaning cloths.
We are happy to have launched a collaboration with local pioneers of responsible waste management, Eco Bali. Our office and checking facility has a fully integrated waste management system in place including waste separation and compositing of organic waste. We have also launched an environmental education program with Eco Bali where we have meeting with our team members and supply chain to shed light to the environmental complexities we face on a daily basis. We have provided each team member with a reusable water bottle with water dispensers available throughout the premise and are taking on responsibility for waste within and outside of the boundaries of our operations.
Whilst on a macro scale, we endeavour to tackle water issues, we are focusing on our supply chain, in particular our partner dye-houses. Currently all materials are locally sourced and milled in Java, Indonesia.
There is much more to be accounted for within this space, and we will continue to focus more efforts and resources to deal with the complexities we face within the lifecycle of our operations with intent of alleviating our overall environmental footprint.
2. To Minimise Toxicity of Beachgold's Products.
One of Beachgold's cornerstones of its sustainability commitment is its efforts in optimising materials and substances that could be harmful to human health. Beachgold fully supports material transparency and places the highest value on product componentry that has been independently verified by third-party certifying bodies and is reassessed on a recurring basis to ensure material consistency. Our major efforts to date regarding this matter are detailed below:
Oeko-Tex is a European toxicity test that evaluates textiles for the presence of a broad array of harmful substances that may cause potential health impacts through direct skin contact. Four classes of certification are granted to textiles that meet or fall below specific limits for a broad array of chemicals. All of the dyes Beachgold's suppliers use are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certified that is tested for harmful substances and adhere to the Responsible Care Principles set out by the Ecological and Toxicological Association of Dyes and Organic Pigment Manufacturers (ETAD).
Proposition 65 under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act for the State of California, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, is a law requiring businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase for their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. By providing this information, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from exposure to these chemicals. Chemicals included on the Proposition 65 list are those that are known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Beachgold has engage a third party certified tester to determine which products do or do not contain chemicals on the Proposition 65 list and are in compliance with the law due to the addition of a disclaimer that can be viewed on applicable website product pages and order acknowledgments shipping to the State of California.
Fact-Based Information and Transparency
Beachgold's commitment to providing fact-based information and measurable, documented results means that when analysing product componentry, the highest value is placed on third party certification. Third party certification provides independent validation and verification of textile componentry and, due to the complexities of the garment supply chain in Indonesia, third-party certification ensures that all components of a textile garment are assessed in a credible manner.
3. To Enhance the Social Impact of our Business Practices.
Co-operative Governance Structure
Beachgold's core business model is based upon a cooperative governance structure whereby our full-time employees have been given the opportunity to fully own and operate their own private facilities. This enables a shared growth model whereby business expansion for Beachgold includes broadened horizons for our whole team.
Supplier Code of Conduct Contracts
Beachgold has signed code of conduct contracts with all suppliers who have been engaged with the business. These contracts ensure strict compliance with significant matters such as worker health and safety, environmental impact and social impact. The process of signing all contracts involved individual audits conducted by certified third party consultants who identified opportunities for improvement. Beach gold conducts an annual review of all of its supplier's workplaces to ensure compliance and to monitor performance improvements.
Financing of Supplier Production Operations
The majority of Beachgold's suppliers are financed in a scheme by which they are paid 50% of all estimated production costs upon commencement and 50% upon completion. Unlike other garment producers, Beachgold recognises the importance of providing upfront financing for our suppliers to ensure overhead costs are covered and to reduce financial risk involved in completion of production.
Beachgold is committed to providing all of our direct employees with a living wage. While there is no certified living wage for Indonesia, Beachgold pays above minimum wage for the City of Denpasar and factors in cost of living expenditure into its annual review of staff wages.
Spiritual wellbeing is harnessed as an integral component to ensure our sustained ability. Each team member is able to select their own religious holidays. We hold full respect for all traditional Balinese ceremonies and rituals within our own factory facilities and office. This includes a temple being placed in the property for daily offerings.
Engaging with underserved segments of society
Beachgold works closely with underserved communities and artisans throughout Indonesia to bridge the gap with the international marketplace. Beachgold's role is to facilitate the development of sustainable livelihoods for the underserved communities that we partner with throughout our supply chain whilst we fulfil and exceed global demands placed upon the textile industry. This is particularly evident with out range of natural, handwoven accessories.
As an alternative to pay advances Beachgold runs a micro financing program with all staff members who wish to borrow money for personal or commercial usage. All microloans which are distributed as part of this program charge zero interest and repayment plans are scheduled on a case by case basis dependent on personal income and wealth circumstances. Historically, of the loans that have been distributed, the majority have been for primary and tertiary education fees for children of staff members.
Sourcing of Pine Fibre for Rayon Fabric
Beach gold sources all of its Rayon fabric from sustainable pine plantations in Indonesia. Relative to other variations of fibre, pine plantation are perceived to offer some of the highest number and variety of benefits and services to direct employees and local communities, generate a better environmental record, and to present more opportunities to local people for use of plantation land and products for improving rural livelihoods.