Supply Chain

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New Friends

We left our comfort zone this year and began partnering with international manufacturing partners. We wanted to provide a line of clean knit sweaters after much customer demand. We began by vetting partners in Los Angeles who could bring this collection to life but quickly learned that Los Angeles manufacturing was not fully equipped to make this kind of product. After learning this we had to begin broadening our search.

We looked to Peru as it has a strong community of artisanal sweater makers who have a deep history in crafting exceptional products. When we met with ITV Groupo we knew we had found the right partner. They were able to produce a 100% organic cotton sweater in which all materials and production from seed to finished product were done in Peru. This allowed us to ensure the supply chain was concentrated and transportation between manufacturers was kept to a minimum. In the area of social responsibility ITV Groupo pays their employees a living wage and maintains a fair trade certification through Fair Trade Peru. We learned a lot from this experience in international sourcing and will take these learnings to ensure we always put forward the cleanest and most responsible products.


The traceability of our supply chain is something we are always working on improving at MATE. We have always had a close relationship with our tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers (if this is a foreign term to you please reference the graphic below). Once we start tracing our supply chain to tier 3 and we start losing visibility. This is mainly because we do not directly work with yarn spinners, cotton gins, and farms (in most cases). Tracing supply chains for cotton is also particularly tricky because yarns are usually made up of cotton that is aggregated from many small farms who send their cotton to a common gin. Regardless of these hurdles we have done our best to estimate our traceability throughout our supply chain.


Finished goods factories, aka cut & sew facilities


Fabric mills & dye houses


Fabric mills & Yarn spinners


Farms & other raw materials providers

How We Plan to Improve

Our goal this year was to create a line that was 100% traceable and made 100% in the United States through C4 (California Cotton & Climate Coalition). Unfortunately that project was delayed to 2023 due to supply chain delays at the yarn spinning mill. It is an understatement to say we have learned a lot from this project. Turning apparel sourcing completely on its head we started at the farm and built a supply chain from scratch.

Our new manufacturing partners in India will also allow us to improve supply chain visibility. Because they are vertically integrated and purchase cotton directly from farms products made by these partners will be 100% traceable.

Code of Conduct

We continued to leverage our code of conduct with tier 1 suppliers. This agreement provides these suppliers with requirements to provide adequate working spaces with natural light, proper ventilation, and meal storage/prep areas as well as a equal and harassment free work environment. This agreement also requires a 1.5x overtime pay and is signed by all of the tier 1 manufacturers we work with. We have used this agreement for nearly three years now and has served us well when vetting new partners and maintaining our commitment to socially equitable working environments.

Certifications and Progress

This year we experimented with manufacturing goods outside of the United States. Going into this new sourcing there were some things that were must haves. Some of the questions we asked ourselves were…

Is this manufacturer providing a living wage that is relevant to the country they are operating in?
Does the manufacturer utilize renewable energy and are they able to use environmentally and socially responsible fibers? (Ultimately can they make clothing with less impact?) Are the manufacturer’s efforts verified through known and trusted certifications?