Sellery does not support the use of any virgin plastics and has a strict policy against partnering with brands who allow >15% virgin plastic materials in any of their products. We only allow this concession for brands who also have a public commitment and plan to replace all virgin plastics with alternative options. The 15% allowance recognizes that in many cases significant innovation is needed to create more responsible alternatives that can maintain the necessary level of performance, as well as the need for enough supply of the alternatives to meet demand. We also support the use of recycled fossil fuel-based fibers. While recycled synthetics are not a long-term solution to sustainable fashion, they are a solution to the immediate crisis of landfill-bound plastics, while we move the industry towards more circular business models.
From the start, Sellery was designed to be socially and environmentally responsible. As we grow from infancy, responsible policies and procedures is high priority and always happens through the framework of our Sustainable Business Philosophy, Core Values, and Social Code.
While Sellery reserves the right to audit in-person, currently as a startup this is not within our capabilities. Instead, we require our brand partners to provide documentation that evidences our minimum standards and assessment criteria. Additionally, we require evidence of all active certifications. Certifications that include in-person auditing provide an added layer of accountability that Sellery relies on. While our methods are not perfect, we work hard to build trusting relationships with our brand partners (especially micro and small brands) who cannot afford expensive certifications and audits. Vetting brands for our minimum criteria is a collaborative process. A brand’s responses and actions during the process allow us to assess whether they are truly aligned with our vision and doing the hard work that we require of our partners. If you have questions or concerns about a particular brand or our process in general, please let us know at [email protected]. Learn more about our brand minimum standards and assessment.
Responsibly made fashion by design moves the industry towards environmental and social sustainability. This requires brands to address the many harmful practices affecting people, animals, and the planet. These companies are addressing areas such as environmental pollutants, raw material sourcing, product lifecycles, worker rights and wages, and animal welfare, to name a few. Responsible fashion also requires a move towards 100% traceability to inform steps towards continuous improvement, and full public transparency to allow for accountability to its choices.
Sellery’s Pay-It-Forward Pricing solution allows consumers to do their part in moving fashion towards harmony with our planet and the people and ecosystems in it. There is a critical need to drive broad adoption of responsible fashion, replacing fashion that is unnecessarily harming our planet and the people and ecosystems in it. One of the biggest barriers to broader adoption is the cost to the consumer. Responsible fashion brands and suppliers strive to pay fair wages and use materials and processes that ensure health, safety and environmental responsibility. These added measures increase cost significantly. Most people care about these things, but have limited budgets that prohibit shopping in line with their values. The problem is that we need the demand of many, not just a few, to make an impact and lower costs. The more consumer demand of the brands, the more brands demand of their suppliers, resulting in more suppliers and manufacturers that will shift to responsible processes and materials. These shifts will drive greater supply of responsibly made products and create economies of scale, which will ultimately bring prices down in a sustainable way (with fair wages, safe working conditions and less environmental harm). To achieve that, Pay-It-Forward Pricing brings together consumers looking to invest in the future of responsible fashion with those who otherwise can’t afford to choose responsible brands, allowing one to offset some of the cost for the other. This partnership allows us all to do our part to expand the reach of and the overall demand for responsible fashion. Become part of the movement by contributing today!
Sellery is a retailer on a mission to clothe the US in responsible fashion with the goal of a fashion industry in harmony with our planet, its people and animals. Our purpose is not to take profits from responsible brands, but to support them so they can succeed. Their success is hampered by several barriers to shopping responsibly. This is where Sellery steps up. We are addressing barriers like affordability, streamlining the labor-intensive process of researching and shopping responsible brands, and increasing honesty and transparency to better inform consumers, in an effort to cut through the greenwashing. Our hope is that by tackling these barriers, more consumers shop responsibly and as result our brands get greater exposure, grow, and replace the $ spent on irresponsible fashion today.
Our “Values” Icons, Classifications and Filters
A brand or product’s values are determined in a similar fashion (pun intended) to our assessment evidence process. Brands are required to provide documentation such as reports, invoices, signed commitments, qualifying certification approval or other material evidence that demonstrates values requirements have been met. At this time, in-person audits are not part of the Sellery verification process except where performed by other qualifying certification bodies and shared with Sellery.
Many people prefer to support products that are made in the U.S. Sellery believes that the reasons for doing so are often misguided and for that reason we have chosen to abstain from creating this “value” filter altogether. People may support “Made in the USA” because they think with reduced distance, there is a lower carbon footprint. However, according to the FTC, textiles only need to be cut or sewn in the U.S. to achieve “Made in the USA” status. The raw fiber and the spun yarn can come from anywhere. This happens frequently in fashion, as the most fertile farming conditions for textile materials are often in other regions of the world. This means that a product made in the U.S. could have the same or even greater carbon footprint than a product made abroad. Another reason people support “Made in the USA” is the assumption that fair wages are being paid. This is not necessarily true. We know that the U.S. minimum wage is not a livable wage everywhere in the nation. Additionally, there is clear evidence that many U.S. garment workers are not being paid a fair, or even minimum wage, especially migrant workers. While some states like California have or are addressing this with legislation, it only shone a light on the bigger issue we have with “piece rates” in manufacturing. Lastly, many consumers look for “Made in the USA” simply to support domestic jobs. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, to live into our mission and honor our vision, Sellery supports the brands and manufacturers who are addressing the negative social impact of the fashion industry and who intentionally create positive impact in the communities in which they operate, regardless of what country those communities are in. Here’s a list of the values we do recognize.
Sellery does not recognize donations as a “value” to be filtered by because without the context of what other measures a brand is taking, this could contribute to greenwashing. While this wouldn’t apply to brands at Sellery since they meet strict social and environmental standards, outside of Sellery, celebrating these actions can mask and even further incentivize bad behaviors. For example, we don’t want to encourage brands who donate to help impoverished communities while perpetuating slave labor in the factories that make their products. We would rather see that money used to pay for suppliers that pay fair wages. Similarly, we don’t want to spotlight brands paying to offset carbon emissions while doing nothing to decarbonize their business model. We don’t advocate for “pay to pollute” or “pay to not pay fair,” or “pay to [insert harmful thing here].” That said, Sellery does give back and encourages its partners to do the same, not for recognition, but to support the work that aligns with our values. Here’s a list of the values we do recognize.
We recognize that great work has been done to design products that are carbon-neutral and even carbon-negative! This design work is important to the future of fashion. However, without greater context, recognizing individual items for their carbon impact can be a slippery slope to greenwashing. We do not want to celebrate a product whose maker may be acting irresponsibly in the production of all other products. For this reason, Sellery only applies the ‘Net Zero Carbon’ value to brands who are doing the hard work to decarbonize across their entire business model. Here’s a list of the values we do recognize.
The short answer is yes but…Certification for raw material at minimum is critical, as necessary auditing is performed through the certifying bodies to ensure the raw materials organic status. However, the finished products from those materials may or may not be certified. This additional certification confirms that the processing of the organic raw materials into finished goods has met the strict guidelines to maintain its organic status. However, while many brands use only organic raw materials, often their yarn producers, fabric dyers and other parts of the supply chain are small, sometimes family-owned operations who do not have the financial means to become certified, even when they are using the same materials and processes as their certified counterparts. At Sellery we strive to manage the tension between supporting these smaller responsible businesses while doing everything we can to accurately represent our products. Where the material meets the required organic certification, but the finished product does not, Sellery takes additional steps to evidence that the dyeing and other finishing processes have not added any disqualifying chemicals. As a small startup Sellery does not have the means to perform in-person audits, so we evidence through information such as chemical lists, invoices for materials, buyer agreements, photos and videos, and other documentation. We acknowledge that this approach is not perfect and leans as heavily into trust as it does into evidence. If we feel confident that a finished product meets those standards, we will include it in our Organic classification.
While Organic materials are inherently GMO-Free, GMO-free are not always organic. Sellery does not recognize GMO-Free as a “values” filter, as it does not follow the same chemical restrictions or ensure measures for healthy soil or regenerative farming. Here’s a list of the values we do recognize.