Ocio - Sustainability

Soft on your skin, and the environment. We make minimal impact leisurewear that sets a new standard for comfort.

Ocio’s sustainability began by challenging conceptions of what it means to be comfortable in the modern era. The fashion industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions and 20% of global wastewater pollution (1). At least 75 million people worldwide are employed by the industry (2). Yet conventionally, comfort is grasped through a singular lens.

When Ocio began, we envisioned a loungewear collection that was built with integrity, one that was inherently accountable for its impact. And we imagined loungewear that was more comfortable because of it.

This reformed understanding of comfort, one that rises to the challenges of today, is what drives us. At every step in our production process, we make decisions we can be proud of, ones we are excited to share with our community. We see no detail as too small. Every element of our loungewear down to the tag is worthy of the same sustainability effort.

Ocio’s goal is to bring our community one giant step closer to understanding our process. Whether you’re just in the mood to browse or you feel like breaking out a notepad, this sustainability page is here for you.

Meet the Fabric

The quest for Ocio's first fabric began early. We sought loungewear that was soft without feeling artificial, structured but never rigid, and flexible while still maintaining shape. We also wanted the fabric to be sustainable, made with organic and biodegradable materials and low impact dyes. We spent months feeling swatches and testing samples, yet we still never found our guy.

We went back to square one and decided to start from scratch to develop a custom blend that checked every box. After some easy math and traceable sourcing, we came up with this: a blend that’s equal parts Organic Cotton & Tencel Lyocell with Spandex added for stretch, dyed and finished at a Bluesign® Certified Dyehouse. Don't worry, we'll unpack that for you below. But if you just want the zinger, we created an out-of-this-world soft, traceable fabric that meets rigorous environmental standards, knit and dyed in Los Angeles.

Here is the breakdown of our 45% Organic Cotton, 45% Tencel Lyocell, 10% Spandex custom fabric blend.

45% Organic Cotton

Why we love it:

As a natural and biodegradable fiber, organic cotton is a sustainability superstar. Grown without toxic chemicals and synthetic fertilizers, organic cotton is made possible through biodynamic processes like crop rotation and the use of beneficial insects to manage unwanted pests. Compared to its thirsty sibling conventional cotton, organic cotton uses 88% less water and 62% (3) less energy to produce.

Ocio’s organic cotton is verified by the Organic Content Standard (OCS). This certification also helps ensure fair pricing and practices for our farmers.

Where we source it: Our Organic Cotton is grown in the Aegean region in Turkey

All of our cotton, including the GOTS certified cotton in our tags, is sourced outside of China due to human rights violations against the Uyghur population in the Xinjiang region.

45% Tencel Lyocell

Why we love it:

Three words, 17 letters: land use efficiency. Tencel Lyocell is a renewable fiber often derived from low maintenance eucalyptus trees. These trees require less land to grow big and tall and they also produce high yields. But that's not all. Tencel Lyocell is converted from wood pulp to yarn in a closed loop process that reuses 99% of the solvents used along the way. On its own, this fiber is biodegradable.

Where we source it: Our Tencel Lyocell is sourced in Turkey

10% Spandex

We’ll be the first to say that spandex is not an eco material. Widely used for its stretch properties, spandex is a plastic fiber (like most synthetic fibers are). So why is it in our fabric? Our team explored all possible spandex alternatives that are currently available for spandex and unfortunately could not find a workable solution. We elected to include spandex in this blend because stretch is one of the properties that makes our fabric special.

Spandex allows for flexibility and customization within each of our size offerings so we can accommodate as many bodies as possible. It ensures the fabric can give a little in the places you need more room while also providing for better recovery and durability. Ultimately, we believe that the inclusion of spandex in this blend contributes to our loungewear's longevity and fit standards. And through a partnership with rePurpose Global, we are able to offset twice the amount of plastic waste as we create, putting us in the category of being a Plastic Negative business.

In addition, we are actively seeking bio-based alternatives to spandex that offer a similar performance. As we grow, we hope to be able to invest in plastic-free spandex technology should one not become available.

Where we source it: Our spandex is made in Korea

To learn more about how we take action on the plastic footprint of our spandex usage with our Plastic Negative Certification, please see the Accountability & Transparency section below.

Our Dye Process: Certified Low Impact

Textile dying in the fashion industry is responsible for around 20% of all global wastewater pollution(1). A toxic slew of carcinogens, heavy metals and environmentally degrading chemicals, this wastewater can wreak havoc when disposed of untreated, affecting both wildlife and human life by tainting fresh water supply.

Ocio’s approach to textile dyeing is different. Our fabric is dyed and finished at a Bluesign® Certified Dyehouse in Los Angeles. We work exclusively with certified low impact textile dyes, addressing the root of the problem by cutting out toxic substances from the beginning. Bluesign® is an independent certification that works to identify and completely eliminate toxic chemicals from the textile dyeing process. Bluesign® also sets parameters to ensure safe conditions for employees involved in the dying process.

More on this certification: Bluesign® has worked to identify over 900 hazardous chemicals used in the fashion industry for washing and dyeing textiles (4). In order for a facility to become a Bluesign® partner, they must show that each and every one of those chemicals has been eliminated from their production process.

Supply Chain & Sourcing

Local, collaborative and close-knit: Our supply chain is located within a ten mile radius in Los Angeles. Only our thread, drawcord and raw materials are sourced or made outside of LA.

With such a concentrated supply chain, we not only can reduce shipping related carbon emissions, but we can also establish personal connections with the people who bring Ocio to life. We are proud to work with family owned and operated manufacturers that uphold the highest standards when it comes to ethical manufacturing. In addition, we seek out partners with a shared commitment to our environment, some of which operate on renewable energy resources.

Traceability: As a small business, we take all opportunities to source everything as locally as possible. Traceability is important to us because it gives us visibility across our supply chain starting with raw materials. As we aim to pinpoint our loungewear’s origins, we can more strongly uphold our environmental standards and discover opportunities to improve.

And that’s not all. Traceability is like a zoom-out function, allowing our community to see the full picture. The fashion industry is super global. From material sourcing to manufacturing, clothing can rack up travel miles quickly. Though ours is produced far more locally than most, we share the origins of each component of our loungewear to give you a backstage pass to our production, and maybe spark some good old fashioned curiosity about the process.

SoftCore Signature Fabric: Knit & dyed in Los Angeles with Bluesign Certified Dyes. Made from 45% Organic Cotton (Grown in Turkey), 45% Tencel Lyocell (Made in Turkey)  and 10% Spandex (Made in South Korea)  

Drawcord: Made in USA of 100% Organic Texas Grown Cotton 

Care Label: Made in Los Angeles of 100% GOTS Certified Cotton, Grown in Pakistan

Elastic: Made in Los Angeles of 100% Polyester 

Transparency & Accountability

Not like your ex. We’re transparent in a way that’s actually… transparent. And we take responsibility for the totality of our impact from the get-go. Transparency and accountability are two of our most important core values. As for transparency, we don’t believe in secrets. We tell it how it is and are honest about our impact.

Speaking of impact, let’s talk accountability. Nearly everything we do has an impact on our environment - grabbing an iced coffee, brushing our teeth, and yes, purchasing clothing. At Ocio, our job is to be honest about the impact of our leisurewear, and tell you what we do to minimize it.

Certified, and loving it:

We partner with third party organizations and certifications to help us offset what we can’t reduce. Here’s an overview of some of the partnerships we sought out to offset the environmental impact of our loungewear.

Certified Plastic Negative:

We dislike plastic as much as the next guy, so we sought a partnership with rePurpose Global, an organization that facilitates plastic removal projects around the world. We are proud to be Plastic Negative, using our product as a means to fund plastic removal and recovery projects in Goa, India. There, we are able to support waste workers as they recover non-recyclable ocean-bound plastics. Not only are these plastics diverted from marine ecosystems, but they are also co-processed and used as fuel at cement kilns.

From the outset, Ocio’s plastic footprint is low. All of our packaging is 100% plastic free, made from both recycled and FSC certified materials. Even our stickers, tape, tissue paper, and shipping labels are compostable. We also do our best to eliminate the use of plastic packaging in our supply chain wherever possible.

Our most significant use of plastic is in our fabric. As we mentioned, our fabric contains 10% spandex. While spandex is the only portion of our fabric that is synthetic, we strongly believe in diminishing the impact of our use, hence our Plastic Negative Certification.

Carbonfree® Business Partner:

We elected to become a Carbonfree® Business Partner to offset the carbon footprint of our loungewear. As a part of our commitment, we offset carbon emissions by funding carbon credits and projects that boost energy efficiency in places in need.

Even before this certification, our carbon footprint is low. We like to call ourselves carbon smart. All of our manufacturing (including our fabric) is done locally in Los Angeles, which drastically reduces our carbon footprint by cutting shipping-related emissions. We even make smaller components, like our tags and elastics locally. As a young company with a high level of visibility in our supply chain, we focus on efficiency, reducing emissions wherever possible. However, because not all emissions can be eliminated, we elected to partner with Carbonfund to offset what we cannot reduce.

In Other News, Fabric Scraps:

Reduce, reuse, recycle. This expression is an oldie but a goodie, and it’s our approach when it comes to cutting room scraps. It is estimated that at least 15% of all fabric that goes into the fashion industry is discarded as cutting room scraps (5). Most companies dispose of these scraps in landfills where they release greenhouse gases and pollutants into both the air and water.

At Ocio, we take responsibility for our scraps, and make sure they don’t end up in a landfill. We start by reducing the amount of waste we have per cut to maximize our fabric efficiency. After cutting, we use a sorting process to pull out larger pieces and make products like scrunchies that you can enjoy with your other Ocio pieces.

And as for scraps that are not able to be upcycled, we work with Marimole, a textile recycling partner committed to circularity, to divert scraps from landfills and give them a second life. Through this partnership, we ensure our scraps are processed and either converted into new yard, or shredded and repurposed to be used as insulation. Between our textile recycling initiatives and our plastic negative certification, we have worked diligently to reduce and offset the impact of textile waste and the plastic footprint resulting from spandex. We hope to continue to find new ways to innovate as we grow.

Long-term goals? We’ve got a few.

Because the fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to the climate crisis, we’re all about taking action now. We know that reducing our environmental impact can’t wait, and that’s why we seek out every opportunity we can as a small business to do just that. However, our commitments to sustainability are long-term and deep rooted, and we are always seeking ways to improve. That’s where our long term goals come in. 

Carbon Neutral:

Currently, we call ourselves carbon smart. With local manufacturing and a partnership with Carbonfund, we’ve managed to skinny our emissions upon launch. So what about becoming carbon neutral? We’re working on it. To become certified carbon neutral, we first have to calculate our footprint, and that takes some time. We hope to celebrate this milestone on our 1 year anniversary, so check back in for an update.

A Circular Supply Chain:

We envision a circular future for our collections at Ocio. Circularity means that our loungewear can eventually be used to create new loungewear. We are working to expand our usage of biodegradable and compostable materials, and are exploring the possibility of starting a take-back program for well-loved Ocio pieces to meet this goal.

Plastic Free:

Plastic Negative? Check. We already offset our plastic footprint two-fold by partnering with rePurpose Global to fund plastic removal and recovery projects in Goa, India.

Longer term, we hope to eliminate plastic from our production entirely to be 100% plastic free. Give us some time on this one. As we’ve mentioned, one of the biggest obstacles to achieving this goal is finding an alternative for spandex. It’s the stretch fibre that makes our custom fabric blend stretchy and forgiving. However, spandex is a form of plastic. We are actively seeking plant-based spandex alternatives to put us one giant step closer to being 100% plastic free.

So now you know. This is what sustainability means to us, and this is how we do it. We minimize our environmental impact using certifications and low-impact raw materials. We communicate our decision making processes directly in efforts to create the most transparent dialogue about sustainability around. Our loungewear stands with unparalleled integrity, and your comfort is grounded in this minimal impact process.

Rest easy knowing that our loungewear (soon to be your loungewear) upholds unmatched sustainability standards. Why be comfortable with anything less?

Have more questions? Send us an email.