There are limits to what we can achieve. Below you can find an overview of our most prominent limitations:
One of these limitations lies within the natural origin of farming. What to do when the cotton farmer sees he will loose all the harvest to a plague and he wants to spray chemical pesticides on his land? This happened in 2019. We decided to let mr. Xianfeng use it, without any financial consequence for him. With this, we did not meet our promise to you, but it was a decision we think we needed to make. We are in this for the long time. We will figure this out, but this certainly is a limitation.
Polyester is an essential product for some of our medical tapes and adhesives. Oil took 40 million year to arrive its current form. It really is a wonderful product, maybe even too great. It is such a nice, clean, round fibre. Because of this, the baseline for the quality of current products is very, very high. Natural alternatives can often not reach this level.
Hygiene conflicts with recycling options. Do you want to re-use a bandage covered in sweat? Do you want to use a plaster with blood? Our answer is simple: no, we don’t. Which gives us an even greater responsibility to make our products with minimal environmental impact.
Supply chain limits
It takes time to grow a forest. It takes time to get rubber from it. The rubber that we are using now comes from standard, probably intensive, plantations. Because we dont have the rubber from the forest yet.
Our cotton needs a long stable fibre. We make one bandage in Germany, another in China. The farmers we work with don’t supply the quantity that we can choose for a certain fibre quality. For the best quality materials, we are dependent on suppliers of this high quality cotton yarns, which are not made from the same cotton as the farmer we work with.
This is no problem for the planet. The planet doesn’t care if we fix one hectare of cotton in India. Or in the USA. Or in China. The planet just wants to get fixed and protected.
Drought and insect attacks influence the possibilities of farmers and sometimes need to make a decision that is good for cotton production, not for nature.
We started 3000m2 at Sumatra. The trees were still small (1,5 years old) when the project location was hit by an earth shake. The whole project location was destroyed, only 18 trees survived. We started planting again.
The pigments used to dye our rubber and cotton aren't natural products. This has not been at the core of our attention yet.
Most cotton is bleached. We are not sure about the impact.
Our sports tape classic gets a starch treatment (this is to improve the tearing capabilities for physiotherapists). We are not sure about the impact.
Fair trade certification
We have a lot of respect for the Fair Trade initiative; it simply doesn't suit our project. We here follow the same reasoning as Veja and Tony Chocolonely. We want as much of the economic value as possible to end up in the farmers hands. We rather pay more to the farmer then to an advisor or labeller.
Better transport certification
We love the incentive, although we have strong doubts about using biomassa for this. But transaction costs are too high for our current volume. To give an indication: at current volume we would need to pay 6* more to the initiative, compared to the amount that goes to buy the biomass. We do love the initiative, but it is just not suitable for us at this moment. This may change in the future, as we understand we are responsible for the current pollution by sea transport.
On a note: It is impossible for any company to get cotton or rubber products in The Netherlands without (sea-) transport. Rubber and cotton do not grow in Europe, so we will always be dependent on transport.
Probably consuming less is the best solution for our planet. It is a reasonable question to ask if we do really need to import all this cotton and rubber and even plastic? Well, for our products, it is probably a very easy answer. Yes. We are not in fast fashion.
We are here for you to not let you break your ankle. We are here to enable you to recover and to let you be active. We see no reason why this can be bad. You might argue we need to do more to realise that people don’t need our products anymore in the future. That is an interesting one. All our products are made for preventing injuries or recovering when you have an injury. Although I think we can play a role, I cannot see this at the core of our company at the moment. This makes our responsibility even greater to make this product with no impact, so you have no brain puzzle about it.