Meaning “white” in Greek, Lefko advocates for a clean supply chain without any ethical or environmental stains. The brand designs ethically made classic linen pieces together with refugee workers in Athens.
Lefko employs refugees and human trafficking survivors left stranded in Greece, providing them with meaningful tailoring employment and training. 50% of the brand’s profits goes straight towards their makers’ tailoring training program. They pay everyone above minimum wage and offer national insurance cover.
Lefko’s designs all make use of linen as it is a zero-impact fiber; it requires no irrigation, results in no waste and is fully biodegradable. The linen they use is Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified and the flax they use comes from a group of French farmers. In order to support small local weavers in Greece, the brand chose to source their lightweight linen from a small family run business. Furthermore, the brand made a conscious decision to only use buttons for their collection. This is because the alternative, zippers, are typically made out of polyester. Their buttons are made from corozo, which is derived from the nut of the Tagua Palm sourced from Ecuador.
Lefko makes their care and size labels are from GOTS-certified organic cotton. The team also wraps all garments in eco-friendly tissue paper, that is completely acid-free and made of wood pulp sourced from sustainably-managed forests that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. The label prints all tags with soy-based ink, a sustainable alternative to traditional petroleum-based ink.
Lefko uses one of the least environmentally-damaging fabric—linen. By sourcing the fabric from western Europe, the label is able to keep their end-to-end supply chain within the continent, where there are strict regulations, and also to minimise their carbon footprint. The brand also ensures that all their garments are 100% biodegradable and compostable, and customers can also return them to the label at the end of the garment’s life.
The founders started Lefko as a response to the lack of transparency in the textile supply chains. They were frustrated with the take-make-dispose lifestyle that the world has grown accustomed to. The brand hopes that sharing the process of making garments will inspire people to choose better, both for themselves and for the environment. Lefko also aligns themselves to be part of the solution towards the huge influx of refugees in Greece by creating ethically made garments with refugee workers in Athens. Thus, every Lefko piece has been handmade by survivors of human trafficking and refugees seeking asylum.