I’ve seen MATE The Label pop up in ads before, but writing this review was the first time I really took a look at their website. Right off the bat, I was impressed. The product listing page for this item is not only one of the most detailed pages I have seen for a clothing product, but it also focuses greatly on the sustainability and impact of the product. They have included on their website how they rate their own products, and how they plan to be even more sustainable in the future. The product itself is on the pricier end, so it may be out of reach of an average consumer. I highly recommend anyone interested in sustainable fashion to check out their website.
The thermal boxy crop sweater is made from 100% organic cotton that is sourced from Maharashtra, India, knitted in the United States, and dyed in Los Angeles. The cotton is grown without the use of pesticides and is micro-plastic free. All the information regarding the material is found on MATE’s website under their “Fabric Portfolio” page. According to their website, by using organic cotton in the making of this product, they are using 75.7% less water and 20.8% less carbon. They state that “these savings are calculated by comparing our product made with organic material against the same product made with non-organic materials.” These calculations are also based off of the Higg index, a set of environmental standards developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. The cost of the product is higher than the average, and although their environmental standards and practices make the price more appealing, it is still very high for many people. In their product impact report page, MATE outlines how they rate their own materials and calculate their carbon footprint and environmental impact. Additionally, they have outright stated that they are committed to never using polyester, nylon, conventional cotton, and rayon—materials that highly energy intensive and/or unethical to make. MATE has plans to implement a more circular fashion model in 2021 by up-cycling their scraps and used MATE products. MATE is also one of the most transparent brands I have seen reviewed, and they release the data and information behind their statements, leading me to believe in their strong environmental and sustainable goals.
The distance between MATE The Label’s headquarters and factories is (at most) only 10 miles, with their closest factory being only 4 miles away. This extremely small distance allows them to have a much smaller carbon footprint than other companies, who must move their products around their supply chain from location to location. Their cotton for this product is sourced from outside the United States, so that does increase their international impact. MATE has developed codes of conduct for their labor practices, workplace environment, and transparency. While they do not detail these codes on their website, they are extremely transparent in other areas of their practice, so I trust their statements. The fact that their products are manufactured locally is the highlight of how this product is made, and while there are areas they could improve in, MATE is a leader in the sustainable fashion movement.
MATE The Label is by far the most transparent company I have seen when it comes to their sustainability, environmental and social impact, and ethics. They have outlined their progress, goals, and how they plan to achieve these goals in becoming even more sustainable, they've detailed their product materials and supply chain, eliminated all plastic in their packaging, and committed to never using materials such as Nylon, Rayon, and Polyester in their products. They are a female founded company and also have one of the most detailed “FAQ” pages I have seen from a company—answering questions about why they use the materials they use and various other environmentally related topics. My one big critique is that their prices are a little out of reach for many consumers. I am very impressed with MATE and look forward to seeing them accomplish their future goals.