Sustainability & Transparency
We believe making small, thoughtful changes in the way we do things as a business can have a positive impact by motivating people to choose a conscious and sustainable lifestyle.
We are constantly reassessing how we can design and produce our goods to be more sustainable every step of the way – from the materials we use, where they’re made, how long they’ll last, and what happens to them after.
We believe that sustainability practices should be shared and we always want to learn more about how we can do better. We’re not perfect, but we’re trying our best! We hope to give you little bits of information to look for when buying goods — because we know that greenwashing can make it challenging sometimes.
When designing our products, we aim to use natural and sustainable materials, whether it’s for clothing, self-care products, or home goods.
We’re committed to using natural & upcycled fabrics.
Natural fabrics come from renewable sources—think cotton, hemp, and linen, and recycled fabrics are made with fabric waste — like Recover cotton. Whereas synthetic fabrics come from petroleum i.e. nylon, polyester, etc. which we aim to avoid.
Our Touch of the Earth timeless collection of basics is made of hemp & organic cotton, milled and knitted in the United States (Did you know Canadian factories don't currently have the expertise to transform raw hemp?). Hemp is considered one of the most significant sustainable fibres since it adapts easily to different climates and it doesn’t require the use of pesticides, fertilizer, or irrigation. Hemp fabric is also:
- antibacterial and antimicrobial
- durable & long-lasting
- has a great capacity ratio (meaning it will keep you cool in the summer, and warm in the winter)
Our Art Tees are made out of organic cotton fabric milled and knitted in Canada. We committed to organic cotton so that we would offer a more affordable option from our hemp collection, while maintaining a low ecological impact. Compared to regular cotton, growing organic cotton means:
- increasing biodiversity
- mitigating climate change by eliminating intensive fertilizer
- reducing water contamination and consumption
- preserving soil quality
- reducing energy requirements
Our Recover Cotton Toques are made in Montréal, using 75% of recover cotton fibres & 20% recycled polyester. Recover cotton is made of recycled cotton fibers and cotton fiber blends. More about it here
Our Olann x Merge knitwear collection is a close design collaboration with Emily, a talented Vancouver Island knitter that we’ve had the chance to work with for a few years now. She sources her wool and mohair entirely in Canada, and uses natural dyes whenever possible. Her experience and attention to details is reflected in the outstanding quality of her pieces, creating timeless knits that will last a lifetime. More about Olann here.
Both our bubble bath and soaps are handcrafted using only natural ingredients. We use coconut oil as a base for our Balmy fragrance, and are currently working on sourcing a locally made oil. We aim to reduce as much as possible the use of synthetic agents, under 1% of the total content, and go for natural alternatives whenever possible.
Our packaging has a second-use purpose. Read more here.
Made in Canada
Our clothing, self-care and home goods are mostly handmade or manufactured in Canada.
Why? Because it means:
- Supporting small makers
- Close collaboration & supply chain
- A shared vision of quality & design
- Ensured fair working conditions
From Quebec, Ontario, to BC, we work alongside skilled artisans to bring these designs to life. Every one of them has a different expertise to bring to the table, and we’re honoured to work with such talented people.
Our goods are made with love and passion for design, using quality materials. Once the product is yours, we hope that you will do your best to give it the lifetime that it was meant for.
If you find yourself not wearing or using something anymore, we encourage you to:
- Gift it
- Sell it
- Repurpose it See here how to repurpose our self-care packaging (inspired by nature of things)
- Recycle it
But pretty please, do not throw it in the trash.
It’s our duty to give back to our community. This year, Merge donated to the following organizations:
- Tribal Park Allies
- Rising Tide Mulaa
- Queen of the Peak
- Coastal Queer Alliance
- Clayoquot Action
- World Food Programme
- United Way Ukraine
- United Help Ukraine
- Surfrider Pacific Rim
- BC SPCA
- Seed & Spark
- Surfers for Schools
We know that sustainability lies in bed with transparency and pricing. It’s important to us that you know our values and mantras in sustainability as well as the formula to our pricing.
We promise to be transparent in hopes that you’ll promise to keep us accountable to support our ongoing effort to be more conscious of our social and environmental impact.
A rule in slow, conscious consumerism is that sustainable and ethical production ain’t cheap. Our slow living community knows how to red flag bottom of the barrel prices– and we bow down to your integrity.
The price journey of one of our Organic Cotton Art T’s:
- Materials $7.25
- Labour $10.25
- Illustration rights & embellishment $4-$12
- Transport $1
We make our products with tender love and care that incorporate costs that can’t quite be listed in tidy fashion – R&D, employee wages, retail space, utilities, marketing, and others are accounted for in our markup price.
Standard wholesale sales aim for a 30-50% profit margin, while direct-to-consumer products aim to be sold at a 55-65% margin. Luxury brands will have markups higher than 65%.
When we come across retail products that are inexpensive like fast fashion, it tells us that somewhere along the supply chain someone isn’t getting paid enough. In these cases, it’s generally the garment worker or artisan. So, the individuals that need the profit the most, are profiting the least.
We value cultivating relationships with stockists, manufactures and makers that upholds integrity, honesty, and fair pay. You’ll see that reflected in our prices.
Whether you’re a business or an individual that has insights on how we can improve our sustainability practices, please feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.