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Imse Vimse is a Swedish brand that wants to make sustainable consumption the norm rather than the exception. Their contribution to that transition is selling reusable hygiene products made from organic cotton. The brand not only offers reusable menstrual products such as sanitary towels and tampons, cotton pads and tissues but also baby nappies and children's swimwear. These are the perfect basic products if you would like to adopt or continue a zero-waste lifestyle. At present, the Imse Vimse brand is in the process of splitting up into Imse for women and Vimse for children.

The founder started this brand because cotton reusable nappies were the solution for her child's nappy eczema, so she started selling nappies and later menstrual products and skin care products such as cotton pads. The products are good for the environment as well as for your health and skin.

Ethical

Most products are manufactured in Latvia or Turkey. Imse Vimse's website states that they have strict requirements regarding environmental quality and working conditions. They carry out annual checks on the conditions in the factories to ensure that they meet their quality requirements, environmental requirements and working conditions. Not all organic cotton is GOTS certified so the organic certification does not always take into account ethical working conditions.

Imse Vimse occasionally makes donations to charities, for example, they send maternity packages with their own products to a hospital in Tanzania, they have contributed to a playground at a Swedish hospital and they donate to the environmental organization Greenpeace.

Materials

Imse Vimse uses organic cotton and their aim is for all their products to comply with the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 for textiles and thus be free from harmful substances. In this way the brand aims to provide their customers with a product that has a good impact on the climate and is also safe and pleasant to use on the skin.

All the cotton in their products is organically grown and comes from suppliers that have been inspected and certified by the Control Union Certification programme. From them, the products receive an Organic Content Standard or a GOTS label. Imse Vimse is working on GOTS certification. In order to label all their products as GOTS, Imse Vimse must be certified as a company, they indicate that they are not yet because it takes time and financial strength to proceed with that certification. They say the textiles they use and the suppliers are GOTS certified.

The swim nappies swim shirts and shoes are made of synthetic material. Partly from recycled polyester, but also elastane, neoprene and non-recycled polyester are used. For swimming products, it is common to use these types of textiles. However, when washing these fabrics, microplastics are released and they are not biodegradable. Cotton and wool are biodegradable, but the PUL layer used in many of the products is not.

Animal welfare

The brand's chest warmers consist of a layer of 100% wool from Gotland in Sweden and a layer of 100% silk. Imse Vimse uses these non-vegan materials for this product because they have qualities the brand cannot find in cotton. There is no information available about the farm(s) from which the sheep come and the way they are sheared, nor about the way the silk is made. The wool is washed on Gotland and the spinning and knitting is done on the Swedish mainland, then the chest warmers are sewn in Latvia.

The rest of the products are mostly made of organic cotton and occasionally of polyester, for the production of which no animals are needed. In general, animal welfare is good as they are not used for the majority of the products.

Circular economy

The sanitary napkins and nappies have a layer of PUL (polyurethane laminated polyester) between the organic cotton to make sure they do not leak. Unfortunately, this makes these products difficult to recycle but the addition of this layer is necessary for their functionality.

Imse Vimse offers a warranty on all products ranging from 2 to 10 years. If something is wrong with a product, you can have it repaired and if that fails, you will be sent a new product.

For panty liners, they have a temporary collection that incorporates leftover material from the brand's potty training trousers.

Slow Fashion

Sanitary towels, nappies and cotton pads never go out of fashion. Some of these products do have prints on them and children's swimwear is not boring either, but they are not seasonal or trend dependent.

Short Chain

The most products are produced in Latvia or Turkey. Latvia is located near Imse Vimse's headquarters on the Swedish island of Gotland. All menstrual products, baby nappies, breast warmers, nursing pads and cotton wool pads are manufactured either there or in Turkey. The cotton is grown in Turkey and all the cotton flannel products are also produced there. Imse Vimse has worked with this factory for many years. All nappies and cotton jersey products are made in Latvia in a factory that the brand has worked with for 20 years.

In the past, the brand has ordered children's blankets and net curtains to be made in Pakistan once every two years; for the next order, they want to move that production to Turkey. The swimming shoes they sell were bought a while ago from China, from that order they are currently selling the last shoes. They have not bought from this manufacturer for 4 years now and they do not want to do so in the future either. Soon the whole production will only take place in Latvia and Turkey.

Transparency

There is room for improvement for this brand in terms of transparency. Each product mentions the country of production, but nowhere does it say exactly in which factory it was made or where the cotton comes from.

The reusable menstrual products, baby products, wipes and cotton pads form the ideal basis for a zero-waste lifestyle. The brand could be more transparent about the factories where their products are produced and the working conditions.

Supergoods sells cotton pads and sanitary towels by Imse Vimse. At Doekjes en broekjes in Leuven you can find sanitary towels, wipes, nappies, children's swimwear and nursing pads.

Where to buy Imse Vimse?