Caroline Mewe is the driving force behind Alchemist. She is a much sought-after speaker at conferences on sustainability in fashion, and rightly so. After all, she sets the example with her own brand. For starters, she works with sustainable and sustainably produced materials whenever she can, like recycled linen and denim, organic cotton, viscose and Tencel®. (Alchemist buys the latter from an Austrian supplier that generates 80% of its own energy locally and sustainably.) Putting these materials to good use, Alchemist launches two high-quality collections per year, making sure the garments match with items from previous collections.
Alchemist produces 80% in Portugal, thus reducing its environmental footprint. Moreover, the factories the brand works with all have one or more certificates (like BSCI, FWF, SA8000, GOTS or Smeta) and are annually audited. Yet the label set equally high standards for itself by signing the Social Economic Council’s International Covenant on Sustainable Clothing, which audits Alchemist every year. In addition, the brand has engaged a part-time employee to keep the focus on sustainability.
Finally, the sustainable approach extends right to the stores. Alchemist ships its orders in biodegradable packaging and supplies shops who sell its clothes with organic cotton bags to hand out to their customers.