At Hem, we keep a broad mindset when approaching our environmental ambitions. Though there are hundreds of small procedures we follow to ensure a positive environmental and social impact, our goals can largely be broken down into four key areas.
Hem manufactures 98 percent of its collection in Europe, and the remaining 2 percent, our rug collections, are produced at a GoodWeave-certified manufacturer in India. As such, our products strictly adhere to EU environmental standards and industry certifications, which are some of the most robust in the world.
We work with local manufacturers and craft people to ensure that both the highest environmental and social standards are adhered to throughout our supply chain. This also enables us to partner with suppliers that embody our values and employ certified processes targeted at environmentally and socially responsible practices. We endeavor to control and reduce the geographic dispersion of our supply chain, limiting unnecessary freight between our production facilities and reducing the hidden carbon footprint of the production process.
Where possible, all Hem pieces are designed for compact shipping, and easy assembly. This allows us to reduce carbon emissions caused by inefficient shipping practices, and ensures that “shipping air” is kept to an absolute minimum. As a stock-based business, we’re able to optimize our inbound transports effectively:
- We plan our production to enable us to ship full truck loads from factories to our European warehouse.
- We only ship full ocean containers from our European Warehouse to restock our US warehouse.
Our European warehouse is located in Poland, strategically placed near our highest-volume production partners, further ensuring we keep freight miles to an absolute minimum. As a direct-to-consumer brand, we’re also able to ensure that product is not needlessly shipped into a separate warehouse before then being shipped on to its final destination, as is the case with many retail brands.
We work by the motto of “Designing and making pieces for the auction houses of tomorrow”, and so we have to ensure our products make it to “antique” status. 100% of Hem’s portfolio is built to meet the needs of commercial environments. We only work with high quality, durable fabrics with high Martindale and Light Fastness ratings, and many of our products are certified for use in heavy usage settings. Everything we make is built with a 0% claims target, ensuring that we keep material wastage to a minimum (a broken product is wasted material), but also reduce needless freight as we don’t need to keep re-shipping product if it fails. Currently, we’re on a 0.5% claim rate, which is one of the lowest rates across our industry - we’re proud of that, but we’re not satisfied until it hits 0.
Quality is the driving factor when selecting materials to make our products, and never price. We will constantly strive to ensure that all materials used are as sustainably and ethically sourced as possible, and stand the test of time. We take pride in the materials we choose, and believe it’s essential to maintain responsible material usage - all materials are sourced in the EU unless otherwise stated, we employ wire frame construction where possible to cut out the need for plastic and minimize material consumption, and we find utility in offcuts; reducing waste wherever possible. To break it down across each segment:
All steel we use is made from at least 20% recycled content
- All fabrics are EcoTex or Ecolabel certified, and have >70,000 Martindale
- Leathers are produced in accordance with international standards for animal well being, have full traceability back to the farm, and are produced by partners who achieve and surpass ambitious emission standards
- All foam is REACH certified
- All timber is responsibly sourced within the EU