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Ethics and Sustainability
When Hanky Panky was incorporated in 1977, our society was not focused on environmental concerns. A disposable culture had developed with little thought to conservation. But Gale Epstein and Lida Orzeck, founders of Hanky Panky, were naturally comfortable with a more nurturing style for growing the company which was fundamentally more conservative and free of excess.
In fact, recalling the first styles that launched Hanky Panky, Gale’s lifelong urge to recycle is obvious. It was a bra and bikini panty set that Gale cut up and reassembled—from handkerchiefs—that led to the creation of a company that has been an industry leader in design as well as ecological sensibility.
From the workplace to product and sourcing we make the very best attempt to be as ethical and environmentally responsible as we can. Hanky Panky has been manufacturing in the Northeast area of the USA since 1977. This saves time, fuel, and shipping costs, drastically reducing the generation of CO2. It also allows us to monitor both the quality of our products in the factories and the working conditions.
SOME OF OUR EFFORTS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
- We ensure the safety and fairness of working conditions by visiting our sewing contractors frequently and we have long-standing relationships with all of them. All garment manufacturing factories must be registered with the state of New York, which has its own standards for working conditions and performs its own inspections. We also love taking people on tours of our manufacturing and shipping facilities!
- We use sustainably-grown Supima® and organically-grown domestic cotton fibers in our lingerie and sleepwear. Our USA-grown cottons are produced under the CottonLEADS℠ sustainability initiative and have a smaller environmental impact than many imported cottons.
All of our cotton knit fabrics are knitted, dyed and finished in the Southeast USA, using low-impact fiber reactive dyes, which do not contain toxic chemicals. These dyes have a high absorption rate, and use less water than conventional dyeing, resulting in a more eco-friendly process which adheres to American environmental regulations.
- Our Signature Laces are knitted, dyed, and finished in the USA with low impact dyes.
- We take very seriously the threat of synthetic fiber pollution to our waterways and marine life. Because of this, we strive to source high-quality fabrics and materials, which are less prone to shedding fibers. You will never see flocked fabrics in our collection.
- We take issues of animal welfare seriously. We do not use fur, feathers, or leather in any of our designs. Additionally, producing domestically reduces overseas shipping activity, which can disrupt marine habitats.
- In 2018, we launched Lingeriecycle™, our sustainability initiative to help divert worn out, no longer wearable bras and panties from landfills. Items sent for recycling are finely shredded. Metal items such as underwires and hooks are separated out by magnets and sent to a metal recycler. Fabric components are ultimately converted into carpet padding.
- We partner with NYC-based FabScrap to recycle and repurpose our textile waste.
- We encourage our employees to use mass transit whenever possible and subsidize 100% of the cost of local monthly transit passes for all full-time employees.
- Hanky Panky offsets 100% of its unavoidable emissions associated with non-public transit employee commutation for each year, starting in 2019.
- Hanky Panky purchases Renewable Energy Certificates to match 50% of our electricity use for each year, starting in 2019.
- We strive to make all packaging and shipping materials from recycled paper or FSC-certified products and ensure that they are easily recyclable.
- We purchase 100% recycled paper for all printers and copy machines, and re-use the back of photocopies for notes and sketches.
- Instead of water coolers with plastic bottles, we installed filters to purify NYC tap water, and each employee is encouraged to utilize their own reusable cup or mug.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
- Hand washing in cool water and hanging to dry not only saves water and energy, it also prolongs the life of delicate lingerie. Heat, strong agitation, and alkaline detergents break down the stretch fibers used in our Signature Laces, and cause them to age prematurely, as well as increasing the risk of fiber pollution. We encourage our customers to treat their Hanky Panky treasures with care, so that they will last a long time.
- To minimize fiber pollution to our waterways and marine life, we encourage you to purchase either a Lint LUV-R or other washing machine waste water filter, or use a Guppy Friend® wash bag or a Cora Ball when laundering your synthetic fiber garments.
- We encourage all our customers to Wear, Donate, Recycle all their clothing and textile goods.