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TOTEME is a Swedish fashion house founded on the principles of minimalism, long-standing style, meticulous craftsmanship and methodic repetition. We craft modern classics with purpose, occasion and longevity in mind – each piece is made to last and be cherished, each collection seen as an opportunity to build on our existing offering and perfect our styles.

We are committed to establishing TOTEME as a brand that inspires customers and brands to make decisions that benefit, as opposed to harm, people, animals and the environment. That is why we look to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and our collaborations with leading industry organizations to inform our environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework and our sustainability pillars: design, planet and community.

As part of our ESG framework, we have set ambitious sustainability goals and plan to meet them by staying up-to-date with industry developments, creating targeted key performance indicators (KPIs), policies, audits, training and workshops, improving our accountability and transparency, and partnering with the right suppliers to craft high-quality, lasting pieces in safe and fair conditions.

Read our Social Report to learn more about our approach to sustainability.

Design

TOTEME stands for style, purpose and quality. We take a curated approach to creating long-lasting, trans-seasonal pieces considering function and occasion, attention to detail and materials, and social and environmental impact. We believe in offering a streamlined wardrobe that is upgraded and complemented as opposed to reinvented, and present our collections through styling that expresses their full potential to encourage our customers to buy better and less, and wear more.

Our longstanding Signatures are unmistakably TOTEME: they have a classic expression and a clear purpose in our wardrobe. Whether it is a tank, trench or flip-flop, we strive to make the best wardrobe archetypes by tweaking and perfecting them over time through improved materials and manufacturing techniques.

PLANET

One of our priorities is to make quality pieces in consideration of the environment and animals – we work continuously toward improving our practices and have joined forces with key organizations that can help us minimize our impact on the planet. Our suppliers have a role to play too: they must follow our Sustainability Commitment as well as any of our policies that are relevant to them.

To bring down our carbon footprint, we have a few initiatives in place. For example, we are reducing air freight as well as running our premises on renewable energy and encouraging our suppliers to follow suit. We are also working on using less water in our production and carrying out regular risk assessments to check for harmful chemicals. Lastly, we are working on minimizing waste in our premises and supplier facilities – by employing CLO technology to avoid sample overproduction, for instance. By 2030, we plan to reduce greenhouse emissions by 42% and eliminate all hazardous chemicals from our supply chain.

As stated in our Animal Welfare Policy, we forbid the mistreatment of animals at any stage of our supply chain and ask our suppliers to follow the United Kingdom’s 2006 Animal Welfare Act. We additionally follow the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to ensure that we do not use materials from exotic or endangered species. As members of Fur Free Retailer, we follow their guidelines and recommendations on the use of fur.

As part of our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, 95% of our fabrics and yarns are sourced in the same location as that of the factory that uses them.

To guide our employees in choosing the right materials for our products, we use a Fiber Tool. Our goal is to use mostly preferred fibers, which are natural, organic, recycled, fast-renewing, or biodegradable fibers whose production helps create better environmental or social conditions. Currently 6% of the fibers we use are recycled, 65% of our wool is Responsible Wool Standard-certified, recycled or organic, and 81% of our cotton is organic.

In 2021/2022 we increased our use of preferred fibers from 15% to 46% and by 2022/2023 we had increased that to 71%. For the 2023/2024 period, 83% of our fibers are preferred fibers, and by 2025 we aim to only use preferred fibers. Looking for innovative fibers with a low environmental impact is also an ongoing focus for us: some materials we have used recently include CIRCULOSE®, which is made by recycling cotton from worn-out clothes and production waste, and Naia™, which comes from responsibly sourced wood pulp made with safe and environmentally mindful chemicals.

The leather hides we use for our products are a byproduct of the food industry and do not originate from areas where rainforests have been cut down to make room for farms. Additionally, all of our leather comes from suppliers audited by Leather Working Group, a not-for-profit organization that promotes and develops standards for a more responsible leather industry.

Our fine jewelry is made of 18kt recycled gold. Some pieces are also set with diamonds, which are ethically sourced, conflict-free and certified by the Kimberley Process. All of the materials we use in our fine jewelry are certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and the Chain of Custody (COC) standard. Our manufacturer is additionally certified by the RJC's Code of Practices (COP) standard, ISO 9001, ISO 45001, and S.A.G.O.R.'s Certificazione Aggiuntiva.

Our fashion jewelry is made of brass plated with 18kt yellow gold and palladium, making it hard-wearing and durable. Our manufacturer is certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC)'s Code of Practices (COP) standard.

All of our jewelry is made in the Italian region of Tuscany. 

Community

In our community we foster a culture of positivity and collaboration where everyone feels seen and welcome. Our community is made up of our customers and employees, our partners and suppliers, the organizations we are members of, and the foundations we support. We pay close attention to our relationships with these parties, as well as our manufacturing and working conditions, diversity and inclusion, philanthropy, transparency and sustainability engagement.

As Fair Wear members, we strive to ensure that workers across our supply chain work in fair and safe conditions. Fair Wear carries out regular factory audits on our behalf and also performs a Brand Performance Check to evaluate our practices. We are working with them and our suppliers toward paying a living wage to all workers across our supply chain by 2030. 

We work closely with a select group of suppliers in Europe and China, some of whom have collaborated with us for many years. Our fabric and manufacturing suppliers go through strict screening processes and must comply with our policies. To learn who our suppliers are, visit Open Supply Hub.

TOTEME stands against any form of discrimination and strives to be an inclusive brand and workplace. This mindset is applied to all aspects of our business: we are inspired by our community’s diverse identities, experiences and ways of thinking and encourage empathy, understanding, connection and collaboration.

We also promote a kind and respectful spirit within our community, creating spaces where everyone can thrive and learn from each other. Some of our ongoing actions are the expansion of our sizing range and featuring diverse models on our website and campaigns. 

Reflecting the wider fashion industry, our workforce is mostly made up of women. Women hold most of our leadership and management positions.

Over the past five years TOTEME has supported different charities and non-governmental organizations working to make the world a better place. Some of these include UNICEF, Médecins Sans Frontières, and Rädda Barnen.

Being transparent about our practices and how we assume our social and environmental responsibility is important to us. We are actively working on publishing our internal policies, reports and data and aim to offer full product traceability across our supply chain by 2025.

We are committed to educating and involving our entire community with the work we do to minimize our impact. All of our employees receive training and support on sustainability topics and must also deliver on specific targets. Some examples include our Supply Chain team’s ongoing efforts to reduce emissions from freight transportation; updating and building on our care tips to educate our customers on how to best care for our products; and offering training to our suppliers on human and workers’ rights.