Iridium uses fabrics of primarily natural fibers and mostly cotton. We also use natural, biodegradable materials for our buttons. Our use of the tagua nut, also known as vegetable ivory, is a perfect example of our commitment to maintaining our traditional look while respecting modern sensibilities and ethics. Most of our buttons are crafted from Tagua nuts, which come from a South American palm. Encouraging the commercial use of vegetable ivory stimulates local economies in South America, provides an alternative to cutting down rain forests for farming, and helps prevent exploitation of elephants and rhinos for their ivory. The nuts are harvested and made primarily into buttons and jewelry. This nut is non-toxic, pure cellulose, and almost indistinguishable from ivory in density, color and durability. The buttons absorb color in the dyeing process to coordinate with the garments. We also use shell and coconut buttons in a variety of sizes to complement our fabrics. Iridium Apparel embraces a tradition of natural materials that is reflected in our style.
Our socially conscious customers appreciate our global concern and share in this experience by wearing clothing made from quality materials manufactured in a fair trade environment. Employees in our factory are guaranteed a living wage, along with important rights, including maternity leave. Further, the country of Ecuador provides national social security, health and retirement benefits and enforces strict child labor laws. While some Ecuadorian factories are not legally constituted and ignore national labor laws, Iridium Apparel’s contracted factories follow accepted international standards, ensuring quality of life, and the health and safety practices humans deserve. This is indeed reflected in our costs, but our corporate philosophy demands that we operate well within fair trade guidelines. We are confident that everyone involved in creating the high quality fashion we offer is receiving fair compensation in a healthy environment. In addition, we hope that by bringing jobs to the region, we are doing our part to bolster the economy of this growing nation.