Our Achievements

In 2019 we released our Mission 2022, our commitment to reduced packaging and move towards more sustainable and preferred fibres and materials. We are well on the way towards achieving these goals. Over the last year we significantly reduced our plastic packaging and transitioned to sustainable and biodegradable cardboard and paper packaging through almost all of our ranges. Furthermore, we managed to transition to source all of our cotton from preferred fibre sources, including better cotton and organic cotton. We acknowledge that there are still a lot of strides to be made. That is why we continuously innovate to do even better. We have recently launched our Roadmap to 2030, outlining our ambitious goals to contribute to a sustainable future.

Sustainable Materials

In our Mission 2022 we pledged that by 2022 we would source all of our cotton from sustainable cotton sources. We can proudly report that we are ahead of our mission and by 2021 all of our cotton is either from BCI or organic sources. Additionally, we have tested and trialled a couple of recycled materials, such as our Repreve recycled polyester, made from recycled plastic bottles. We have also launched our bamboo range, our innovative range of socks that use an ultrasoft and comfortable eco-friendly bamboo viscose derived from organically grown bamboo. But it does not stop here. We are continuously innovating to become a pioneer in utilizing the most sustainable and innovative materials.

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Corporate Responsibility

We feel committed to contribute to the lives of the people we touch and the communities we do business in. At Underworks we believe it is our corporate responsibility to make sure that everyone has access to basic clothing items such as socks and underwear. Since 2019 we have run our IGiveASock program, and this year is bigger than ever. We have donated more than 16000 essential clothing items to people experiencing disadvantage, including homelessness, poverty, and mental health issues. We have partnered with several community organization such as Food Bank, The Salvation Army and St Kilda Mums, to make sure these essentials get directed to people most in need. Additionally, we actively donate our excess samples to people in need and recycle our damaged stock through externa textile recycling partners to prevent waste and enable a more circular economy.

Sustainable Packaging

We have pledges to transition away from single use plastics in our packaging as much as possible and can confirm we have now transitioned away from plastic hangers, plastic bags and unnecessary films and coatings. In collaboration with one of our key partners in packaging we have developed a great alternative made from recycled paper and carboard. Besides using recycled inputs these cardboard hangers are fully recyclable. We have transitioned to cardboard hooks as well as paper and FSC certified cardboard wraps in almost 95% of our collections and are working round the clock to phase out the last bit of plastic hangers in our thermals range. On top of that we have managed to print a large part of our labels and tags with eco-friendly soy ink, which allows paper to be recycled much more easily.

Standards and Labels

BCI

Underworks is a proud member of Better Cotton. We partner with Better Cotton to improve cotton farming globally. This organization is a non-for-profit that educates farmers on responsible farming practices, like water use, reduction of chemicals and land conservation as well as fair labour conditions. Underworks is committed to sourcing 100% of our cotton as ‘more sustainable cotton’ by 2025. ‘More sustainable cotton’ includes Better Cotton, recycled cotton and organic cotton. Better Cotton is sourced via a system of mass balance and is not physically traceable to end products.

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GOTS

Underworks has recently adopted GOTS certified organic cotton into some of its products. The Global Organic Textile Standards is a leading standard setting body that certifies organic fibres from farm to finished product. The framework assures that fibres are sourced from farms using regenerative farming practices without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. This certification provides a credible assurance to customers that they are buying products containing traceable organic fibres which are produced in a socially sound and environmentally responsible way.

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OEKO-TEX 100

As product safety is so important to us most of our socks are OEKO-TEX certified. OEKO-TEX certified textiles have been tested for harmful substances and to be awarded the OEKO-TEX 100 Standard an item is subject to strict regulations on regulated and non-regulated substances, which are often stricter than national regulation. This means that product does not contain any harmful chemicals or toxic residues and is safe on the skin. By buying OEKO-TEX certified products you can trust that the products you buy are safe you and for your children. OEKO-TEX has some of the highest standards on baby products and you can be confident to shop safe product for your baby with us.

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ECOCERT

Our bamboo sock range contains bamboo viscose that is derived from organically grown bamboo. This bamboo is certified by EcoCert, a globally recognized organic certification organization that exists since 1991. This organization evaluates environmentally friendly and socially conscious practices and recognizes that the bamboo we use is grown organically using no synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and uses only rainwater for irrigation. The organization has awarded the bamboo crop used to make our bamboo viscose an official organic standard.

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FSC

All of our paper and cardboard labels and tags are from mixed certified and FSC controlled sustainable wood sources and are FSC Mix certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This international non-for-profit organization acts as a transnational certification program for many different industries utilizing wood or paper-based products. This helps assure that no endangered forests were harvested to make our wood and paper products and contributes to our ecological mission to help protect and preserve the planet. Our bamboo is also FSC certified.

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APCO

Underworks has signed on to become a member of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) in 2020. This organization serves as a platform to encourage Australian businesses to reduce the impact of their packaging in Australia. Our membership requires us to submit our action plan yearly and to write an annual report about our achievements and challenges when it comes to packaging. Underworks is proud to have transitioned most of its plastic hangers and wraps to recycled cardboard hangers and paper wraps in the last two years. But it does not stop there. We continuously innovate to keep reducing and improving our packaging throughout the supply chain.

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Canopy

Canopy is a non-for-profit multi-stakeholder initiative on a mission to eliminate sourcing from ancient and endangered forest and to protect the environment, climate, specious and indigenous communities. We partner with Canopy to support approaches and systems to build a future that does not use Ancient and Endangered Forests in the packaging, paper or in man-made cellulosic fabrics, including rayon, viscose, lyocell, modal and other trademarked brands. We will influence these supply chains in order to protect the world’s remaining Ancient and Endangered Forests and endangered species habitat.

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