Marlin Ray Surf Poncho's Supply Chain Transparency

Every time our body meets the ocean’s waves, we feel grateful and energized by the power of nature. When we developed the poncho for Marlin Ray, we looked at every aspect of production to minimize its negative impact on our planet. The miracle of nature is too personal and inspiring for us to ignore this.

How does Marlin Ray fare? The fashion industry is a dirty business and whether you’re a producer or consumer, it’s often a choice of the lesser evil. Technology in apparel manufacturing has not yet caught up to match with sustainability. We can’t promise a 100% sustainable product -- it’s currently impossible -- but we do promise you full transparency and commitment to our goals of respect for environment and humanity.

We have laid out all aspects of our production supply chain – including their advantages and disadvantages and our future goals for improving sustainability and lessening our environmental and economic footprint.

Kenyan Textile
100% cotton fabric made in Kenya
Environmental Advantage: 
100% cotton, a natural fiber. For the ponchos, we chose 100% natural and compostable material over polyester plastic performance material. The cotton is grown, spun and knitted in Kenya to minimize shipping distances of raw materials.
Environmental Disadvantage:
Conventional cotton is highly water intensive and a pesticide treated crop. The fabric is also conventionally dyed. We have not yet visited the knitting and dying factory.
Goal: 
If we reach high enough sales volume, our goal is to source organic cotton fabric with low impact dyes.

Terry Lining
100% organic cotton terry made in India by GOTS certified organic and Fair Trade USA certified factory called Rajlakshmi Mills.
Environmental Advantage: 
100% organic cotton. We’re very happy to have a source for organic cotton terry in India. It’s high quality and we meet the minimum qty by lining the ponchos with the same color.
Environmental Disadvantage:
Increased carbon foot print of shipping materials to cut and sew factory.
Goal: 
There are no viable organic cotton sources or fair trade knitting factories in Kenya currently so we have to go out of country.

Cut and Sew Factory
Ponchos are cut and sewn at Wildlife Works, carbon neutral, fair trade factory in Kenya. Each poncho contributes to sustaining the factory jobs in the Kenyan bush, replacing destructive livelihoods such as poaching and deforestation.
Environmental Advantage: 
This is one of the most ethical and transparent cut and sew factories in the world.
Environmental Disadvantage:
Increased carbon foot print of shipping to the U.S.
Goal: 

We are committed to producing at Wildlife Works and hope to increase our capacity with them to create more jobs in the area.

Plastic Free Labels and Trims
100% recycled paper hang tags that are attached with cotton string and stainless steel safety pins. Care and content info screen printed directly onto canvas labels. The poncho seams are reinforced for strength with 100% woven strips instead of the conventional polyester fusing. 
Environmental Advantage: 
Conventional apparel industry uses polyester care labels and hang tags are attached with plastic fasteners. We're happy to not use any plastic in our labeling. 
Environmental Disadvantage:
None!
Goal: 
Continue to keep all plastic out of this step as we scale.

Minimizing Plastic Shipping Materials
Ponchos are shipped from the factory in durable brown paper bags, multiple ponchos per bag. The shipping box is lined with plastic repurposed from the shipping of fabric bolts. Customer shipping materials are made of paper and recycled paper. Even the tape sealing the package -- thus all is compostable or recyclable. 
Environmental Advantage: 
Conventional shipping packs each garment in individually wrapped plastic bags. International shipping has high risk of damage and moisture exposure so the protection of plastic is needed. In our case, we chose not to individually wrap the ponchos and we’re able to reuse the plastic that comes to the factory from fabric shipments.
Environmental Disadvantage:
Even though the plastic is being repurposed, we are still using plastic and we hate that.
Goal: 
Plastic alternative that protects from damage as well as moisture.

Carbon Neutral
We have offset the unavoidable carbon impact of our ponchos from the cotton grown to shipping to you with Wildlife Works Forest Protection Credits. We will be publishing the carbon impact calculation of our poncho production soon.
Environmental Advantage: 
The purchase of these credits go directly to preventing further deforestation in developing countries. In our case, we have chosen to stop deforestation in Kenya, where our production takes place.
Environmental Disadvantage:
None!
Goal: 
We hope to have more sources for organic raw materials in Kenya to decrease the carbon impact of shipping.

End of Life
We have a take back program for customers to send back their used products. We will take it back to our factory and repurpose it into new apparel products. 
Environmental Advantage: 
None!
Environmental Disadvantage:
Higher carbon footprint to send it back to Kenya. 
Goal: 
We hope to have enough volume to divert a significant amount of waste from landfill. 

What plastic are we using? 
- We are currently using polyester thread but are doing research to find 100% cotton thread that is strong enough. 
- The back of the Avery Sticker labels are made of coated plastic. 
- The adhesive backing on the USPS box flap is made of coated plastic. 

Other Vendors: 
- Shipping mailers: Ecology Packaging 
- Shipping tape: Amazon
- Card stock: Amazon 
- Vistaprint's recycled paper choice (business cards and postcards)