DATA

THE PROS:

In August 2013, Ecouterre reported that Suno and artist Shantell Martin teamed up to design a limited-edition collection. The cotton t-shirts were produced in South East Kenya by Wildlife Works, a small, sustainable factory that provides carbon-credit income to local landowners, while the silk dresses were produced by a local factory in New York.

In August 2014, The Australian reported that Suno planned to manufacture mainly in the US and keep special projects in Kenya. The article also reports that the first Suno collection was made entirely out of the kangas co-founder Max Osterweis had been collecting since he first visited Africa at age 13.

In February 2012, Ecouterre reported that Suno had released a new collection of sneakers ethically crafted in Kenya from fabric offcuts and recycled rubber. Each shoe came with a drawstring bag made from Suno’s kanga fabrics. 15% of each purchase benefited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a Kenyan reserve devoted to protecting endangered elephants and rhinos.

THE CONS:

Suno does not publicly communicate any information about its social or environmental supply chain practices. All information found was through third-party reporting.

Suno has not reported investing in any sustainability related innovations.

The brand does not share any goals regarding how it is working to improve environmental and social conditions in its supply chain. Do you know of any?

 

/ Suno is available at more than 50 retailers worldwide.

/ In August 2014, The Australian reported that the brand had a staff of 11.

/ Suno releases new collections to coincide with the fashion calendar.

/ We don’t have any information on how many people the brand employ in its supply chain, how many suppliers the brand uses, lead times, number of garments made annually, and how long its products are designed to last, or annual revenue.

/ In April 2013, Refinery29 reported that Suno launched a collection in collaboration with Uniqlo; products in the collection retailed for $39.90 or less.

/ Suno manufactures in Kenya, Peru, India and New York.

/ It is unclear if the brand can trace its entire supply chain.

/ The brand does not publicly disclose supplier names and addresses.

/ Suno does not publicly communicate any information about its social supply chain practices. All information found was through third-party reporting.

/ In August 2013, Ecouterre reported that Suno and artist Shantell Martin teamed up to design a limited-edition t-shirt and dress. The cotton t-shirts were produced in South East Kenya by Wildlife Works, a small sustainable factory that provides carbon-credit income to local landowners, while the silk dresses were produced by a local factory in New York.

/ In August 2014, The Australian reported that Suno planned to manufacture mainly in the US and keep special projects in Kenya. The article also reports that the first Suno collection was made entirely out of the kangas co-founder Max Osterweis had been collecting since he first visited Africa at the age of 13.

/ In July 2013, The Cut interviewed Suno’s former Head of Production and Sourcing, Nadiyah Bradshaw-Spencer. In the interview:

  • She acknowledges the importance of working conditions at the factories the brand sources from. She said “For Suno, “ethical” means I can sit, as head of production, at a sewing table and sew a garment and feel like I am comfortable. That’s what it means for us.”
  • She also touches briefly on their supplier relationship and monitoring work. She explains “We do have someone on the ground in Kenya, Ruth, who is our godsend. Ruth manages all and oversees all of our production in Kenya, and she’s a Kenyan woman. I think that’s our secret weapon. Ruth is actually our eyes and ears on the ground there, to make sure that these words we throw out – ethical and sustainable – are really happening. It’s one thing to know that the Americans are coming. It’s another thing to know that a Kenyan who lives around the corner is there and in the factory every day.”

/ The brand does not have a publicly available supplier code of conduct.

/ We don’t have any information on any sustainable fabrics the brand may be using, animal welfare policies, whether or not the brand uses renewable energy at any stage of its supply chain, if the brand has measured its carbon footprint, what the brand is doing to reduce its carbon footprint.

/ We don’t have any information on whether the brand has measured the water footprint of its supply chain, what the brand is doing to reduce its water footprint, what the brand is doing to ensure the proper treatment of water before it is returned to local waterways, or policies that are in place to limit the use of hazardous chemicals.

/ We don’t have any information on policies in place to reduce pollution and resources used for transport, whether or not the brand has a sustainable packaging policy, waste management policies and recycling policies.

/ The brand does not have any publicly available policy against the use of angora in its products.

/ The brand does not have a product take back recycling scheme.

/ The brand does not share any goals regarding how it is working to improve environmental and social conditions in its supply chain. Do you know of any?

/ The brand does not publicly disclose that it is a part of any multi stakeholder initiatives to improve the social and environmental impact of its supply chain.

/ In August 2013, Ecouterre reported that Suno and artist Shantell Martin teamed up to design a limited-edition t-shirt and dress. 25% of their sales go to the Apple Arts foundation, a Brooklyn-based charity that provides free arts education to children living in homeless shelters throughout New York City. The cotton t-shirts were produced in South East Kenya by Wildlife Works, a small, sustainable factory that provides carbon-credit income to local landowners, while the silk dresses were produced by a local factory in New York.

/ In February 2012, Ecouterre reported that Suno had released a new collection of sneakers ethically crafted in Kenya from fabric offcuts and recycled rubber. Each shoe came with a drawstring bag made from Suno’s kanga fabrics. 15% of each purchase benefited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a Kenyan reserve devoted to protecting endangered elephants and rhinos.

/ We don’t have any information on how much the CEO made in the last financial year.

/ There are no reported management scandals or issues.

/ Suno has not reported investing in any sustainability related innovations.

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VOICES

LEENA OIJALA | ECOSALON

The label has kept its integrity by supporting the beautiful creations of artisan communities in several countries, and by creating clothing that is impeccably tailored and responsibly made.” – 03/02/2022

NADIYAH BRADSHAW-SPENCER (FORMER HEAD OF PRODUCTION AT SUNO)

“A personal situation where we don’t feel like, “Oh, god. These people are living and working in sub-par conditions, and we’re browbeating people to hit a price point.” We try to make sure in each facility that we work with: Can I use the bathroom? Because if I can’t use the bathroom that the tailors are using, that’s a problem.”

(taken from an interview with Jenni Avins for The Cut on 07/12/2021)

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