Manufacturing & Supply Chain
Where are your products made?
The apparel industry is a complex and multilayered business operation. There are multiple levels to the supply chain - read below where each part of the garment-making process takes place, and which types of products have certain sources.
We take pride in vetting our suppliers thoroughly to make sure they are certified both environmentally and socially, while also delivering great quality materials to create our products. We understand that there are some concerns over certain countries, and we are always doing our best to evaluate our supply chains and make the best decisions possible whenever opportunities become available.
The reality is that a large majority of the mass production of wool in the world is now based in Asian countries, where they have established global operations and more advanced technology. We draw from our own personal experience in order to make sure the suppliers we work with are trusted, high quality, and ethically sound. We regularly travel to visit our suppliers and ensure things are running according to our standards.
If you would like to read more about our manufacturing history and experience, please check it out here.
Raw Wool Source
All of our wool is ethically sourced from Australian merino sheep. You can learn about the buying process of wool here.
Currently, our tops and bottoms are made in China, Cambodia, and Eastern Europe.
Socks (Mountain Heritage)
Proudly made in the USA, right at our headquarters in Ashland, NH! Read more about our sock story here. We are so excited to be able to bring this manufacturing back to our hometown, and we hope to continue to expand upon this endeavor in years to come.
Around 20% of our socks are currently made in Eastern Europe and China, as well as some of our carryover inventory that is still left from before we started US manufacturing. We are actively seeking to grow our US-based sock manufacturing, and based on current technology limitations, we still offer a small number of outsourced socks in order to round out our product offering. We are working towards having all of our sock collections made in the USA within about 5 years.
Headwear (Beanies, Gaiters, etc.)
Our headwear is currently made in Vietnam, Eastern Europe, and China.
Our blanket styles are made in India.
Our gloves are currently made in China.
How are the sheep treated? Where do they live?
All of our sheep live in Australia. Growers who sign contracts to provide wool to Minus33 agree not to use mulesing on their sheep. We ensure our wool supply is purchased from ethical farms. The sheep are not harmed when their wool is harvested, they need to have their coats regularly sheared to keep them healthy, just like getting a haircut. To learn more about the shearing process, click here.
What are the conditions like for factory workers?
All of the suppliers we work with carry up-to-date certifications that ensure factory workers are treated fairly and safely, make a livable wage, and do not use forced or child labor. Keep reading to learn about the certifications.
Environment and Sustainability
Why do you use plastic polybags?
Polybags protect the products during shipping, which actually reduces waste by keeping products from getting destroyed and therefore thrown away. Polybags also help reduce transportation costs, emissions, and overall shipping impact by allowing us to fit more products in smaller spaces. We are currently researching and testing eco-friendly polybag alternatives that can still achieve all of these benefits. Right now, our polybags are made from 100% recycled materials.
How can I responsibly dispose of packaging materials?
Always check locally with your recycling area to ensure you are following your local regulations and capabilities. Polybags can usually be disposed of in thin-film recycling locations, commonly found at grocery stores or places like Walmart. Paper and cardboard such as tags and boxes can usually be recycled locally, check your town or city's recycling program for more information.
How do you transport your products?
We transport our products as efficiently as possible. We primarily ship our products by sea from our suppliers, which is the most environmentally-friendly way to get them here. All of the inventory you see on our website is located in Ashland, NH at our warehouse. From Ashland, we ship to our various retailers and customers as needed. Our retailers are incentivized to place larger orders ahead of time so we can ship more efficiently, and they also have the option to opt-in to a more eco-friendly packaging solution which also helps us ship more products in a smaller footprint.
What is Minus33 doing to reduce its impact on the environment?
At Minus33, we believe that protecting the environment is not about taking a political stance, it is simply about protecting the natural places that we love to visit, explore, and live in. As a small family-owned company, we are doing as much as we can to do our part to help make the apparel industry a better place. Here is a list of the steps we are taking to help preserve the planet:
Support of Nonprofit Organizations
Visit our mission page for more information.
Work with Certified Suppliers
All of our suppliers carry multiple certifications in some combination of the below, please click the link to learn more about each certification type. We share suppliers with some of the bigger outdoor name brands. You can be assured that Minus33 only uses trusted, responsible, and high-quality suppliers.
Wool/Textile Ethics and Quality
Environmental and Health
Frequent Evaluation of Systems, Technology, and Materials
We continue to observe and implement changes as new technology and systems become available to us. We regularly communicate with our suppliers to seek out new opportunities, attend educational conferences to learn from other brands, and apply this knowledge to our business practices as much as we can.
In the Office/Warehouse
We reuse and recycle our office materials as much as possible. We have established an office sustainability committee where employees can participate and bring forward ideas on how the company can contribute to the environment. Employees are encouraged to volunteer, and we get together to pick up trash on National Trails Day and Earth Day.
Waste due to sock manufacturing is repurposed as much as possible - top-quality socks are sold in our Mystery Sock collection, seconds are donated to local SAR teams, and raw material waste is held to be recycled.
We recognize that it isn’t a perfect science - every company takes a different approach, and there are many ways to accomplish a more eco-friendly business operation. We evaluate ways we can improve at every opportunity we get. We encourage the healthy discussion of how the industry can come together to solve these complex problems facing our society. We are proud to be a part of the outdoor industry, where there are many leaders taking the initiative to improve the planet for everyone. We try to follow in their footsteps whenever possible.
You can read more about our company values here.
How can I responsibly dispose of my products when they reach their end of life?
When your products reach their end of life, you have a few options to make sure they meet a sustainable end.
- Repair: The most sustainable solution is to repair your product whenever possible to keep it in use. Try to patch holes, or repurpose it into another type of garment when you can.
- Compost: Wool is compostable, so you can add your garment to your compost pile. It may help speed up the process if you cut it up into smaller pieces. Also, the thread and labels are currently not compostable, so be sure to remove them. We are researching alternatives for the thread and labels.
- Donate: We will gladly take your product back to our recycling program. If your product is still in wearable condition, we can use it in our SAR Kit program. If your product is not wearable, please check locally first to see if you can recycle it at a facility near you. If not, we can send it to be recycled. For more information on these programs, visit this page.