AREA & THE ENVIRONMENT
At AREA, we have prioritized our impact on the environment since 1990.
We have continued to improve our approach without sacrificing our renown quality. We look at the lifecycle of our products, and always choose organic fabrics when we can. Anki even designed her own eco-friendlier packaging because vinyl continues to be the standard in the bedding industry, one that AREA rejected outright over 20 years ago.
In recent years, “environmental impact”, “sustainability”, “artisan” and “organic” have been leveraged as buzzwords in marketing strategies. There are also a lot of certifications that are becoming widely publicized. These certifications varied and comprehensive, and fall upon the factory to apply and pay to maintain. They cover a range of criteria that don’t necessarily focus on quality. However, it is very rare to find a textile factory in Europe that does not meet or exceed these standards on their own as the EU, as well as individual countries, all have very strict standards. Put plainly, these standards have become commonplace.
Our high standards for environmental and labor practices have been in place since founding. Our continued devotion to these values is something we consider integral. First and foremost, design drives production as each item goes through different stages of development. Colors are mixed from scratch to ensure the shade is just right, thread and weave are chosen individually, and samples are tested until the outcome is what Anki envisioned.
AREA uses only the highest quality natural fibers with the lowest impact possible to keep up that standard. Excellent quality means a long, useful life for our bedding. The factories Anki chooses have always had the best worker conditions, least toxic production practices, and most comprehensive waste disposal possible. Over the years, finding factories up to AREA standards has become an easier task.
We are constantly looking at ways to minimize the use of packaging. We cannot do without it, as fabrics need to be protected in transit as well as on storage shelves. Unfortunately, fabric and other alternative packaging is not sufficient for the purpose. Even if an item is displayed in store in a fabric bag, it was sealed in plastic at some point. The majority of our products are packed in polypropylene (pp) bags. Polypropylene is recyclable and identified with the number "5" resin code.
We encourage earth-friendly care for our bedding. This means: low-impact detergent, cold water wash, no chlorine bleach, no dry cleaning (please see product labels and our care page for more information).
Nowadays, 85% of our products are made in European factories. The remaining are alpaca, all produced in Peru.
The important, baseline standards of OEKO tex are honored in most every factory in Europe, with very little exception. Good quality fabric and organic fabric manufactured in Europe is held to Oeko-Tex standards. By regulating known and suspected chemicals, these rules ensure that workers remain healthy and our products are safe.
AREA has always manufactured cotton jacquard weaves in Portugal. In 1992, Anki started making cotton percales in China in solid embroidery and prints where the fabric was thick, strong and soft. She designed the extremely popular PEARL organic sateen collection in 2005, taking advantage of the precision and high quality production. The first organic cotton percale also came out of China in the beginning.
In 2011, AREA moved production of cotton items completely from China to Portugal as the influx of demand for bedding started to affect quality and swelled minimum purchase amounts. It was a difficult move, especially because of the relationships Anki had formed. The factories in China had always been efficiently and safely run with well-treated workers and high standards all around. Some of AREA’s most popular sheets had to be retired forever, but out of that came new and impressive innovations that have impacted the bedding industry positively. For example, the popularity of finer cotton sateen, PERLA, as well as more casual wrinkled cotton, such as ANTON.
AREA's use of pure linen and linen-cotton blends is a great choice environmentally. Linen uses fewer chemicals in the production cycle and lasts longer as linen fibers are two to three times stronger than cotton. It's no small point to us that manufacturing linen products is one of the most eco-friendly textile processes.
Lithuania, a Baltic coastal country not far from Anki’s native Sweden, has a renowned, centuries-old linen tradition - both in the growing of flax and in manufacturing linen products of exceptional quality. Our primary Lithuanian linen supplier was founded in 1862 and we have boundless respect for their knowledge, exquisite craftsmanship, and third-generation weavers.
The Lithuanian capabilities and traditions have always served as a touchstone, as well as inspiration for AREA product design. One of the earliest products of civilization, linen does not require fancy equipment to process, and the challenges and limitations of these methods are part of why Anki’s designs are so unique and of consistent high quality.
The factories AREA uses in Lithuania carry the following certifications:
The Global Organic Textile Standard
GOTS is recognised as the world's leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.
Under OEKO tex, every component has been tested for harmful substances and are therefore harmless in human ecological terms.
Followed by companies all over the world, ISO standards provide specifications to ensure products and services work the way they should be expected to. Following these standards means that consumers can have confidence that their products are safe, reliable and of good quality.
Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit
SMETA is one of the most widely used ethical audit formats in the world. It is designed to help conduct high quality audits that encompass all aspects of responsible business practice, covering Sedex’s four pillars of Labour, Health and Safety, Environment and Business Ethics.