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Can We Make The World A Better Place?

We’re going to try.

If we can make hats in styles that people want to wear, and make them from responsible materials using responsible business practices all at a fair price, then perhaps people needing hats will choose us over companies purely driven by profit. A better scenario would be other companies seeing our success and adopting similar practices.

Yes We Make Hats, But This Is What We Really Do.

Our slogan "Responsibly Grown, Beautifully Made" means a lot more than just making a high quality hat from organic cotton; it begs us to keep asking the hard questions about every strata of our business model and to seek out solutions to lighten our social and environmental footprint, even if there aren’t yet precedent solutions in the quirky world of hat making.

 

We realize that every product made causes environmental impact to some degree.
It is our goal to limit that impact.

It takes effort to understand exactly what we are doing on a deeper level. That is, committing time and resources to creating the most transparent picture of how Conner Hats impacts the world via material sourcing, design, production, and shipping, for example.

Changing whatever we can to reduce our footprint is never ending. We are passionate about this quest and we owe it to our children to help make the world a better place.

We Currently Operate Out Of Two Headquarters.

St. Augustine, FLorida – USA

Recycling

All of the paper we use, including office, hang tags, catalogs, P.O.P. materials are made from 100% recycled paper. This reduces water consumption, energy and saves trees. We recycle all of our paper and cardboard and reuse most of our boxes, which cuts down on the quantity of new boxes we have to purchase.

Solar Powered Warehouse

On April 22nd, 2015 (Earth Day) we added 15KW (58 solar panels) to our St Augustine warehouse. Currently this is powering 100% of our electric needs. Powering business by the sun is a dream come true and because of you we were able to achieve this. Check our Solar output.

No Single Use Plastic

Ditching single-use plastic is one of our primary goals at all levels of Conner Hats. Americans use 1500 plastic water bottles every second. For us, this really drives home the fact that we need to do our part to limit the production of plastic.

Reducing single use plastics is important for many reasons. Huge amounts of plastic end up in our waterways and ocean. Birds and sea life mistake it for food and many die from ingesting or choking on plastic. It also breaks down into very small pieces which are eaten by fish. We then eat the fish and the PCB’s, dioxins and other toxic chemicals can end up in us.

Things we can do to help might seem small, but everything helps. Choose products that use no or minimal plastic packaging. Recycle everything you can. Say no to plastic straws. Use Reusable bottles and cups. Use reusable grocery bags.

Besides a whole new line of hats made from recycled plastic bottles we have also stopped the use of single-use plastic connectors to connect our hang tags; we use a biodegradable string instead.

We asked our Conner Hats metal emblem supplier to stop individually bagging each tiny emblem in a plastic pouch, instead they are sent flat on sections of cardboard. This alone stops the production of thousands of tiny single use plastic pouches.

All of our woven labels are made from recycled P.E.T. (plastic bottles) and we pay more to have the heat seal glue for these labels to be nontoxic.

We are currently switching to a 100% non-petroleum biodegradable poly bag to protect hats in the warehouse and shipping. This is a bag you can compost in your garden. Most importantly for us, it will completely biodegrade very quickly in a marine environment.

Responsible Materials

It’s our job to care about what touches your head, that’s why many of the sweatbands and linings are made from third party tested organic cotton and are AZO dye free. All of our deluxe stretch terry hat bands have been third party tested and do not contain AZO dyes or Formaldehyde.

Further details on some of our hat materials:

Cruelty Free Wool
Starting March 2018 we will be changing our wool hat production to Cruelty Free wool. This means that we went back into our supply chain and only source wool from farms that do not practice Mulesing. Mulesing is the removal of chunks of skin on the buttocks of the sheep to stop a disease called Flystrike. Over 20 million Merino lambs are Mulesed in Australia each year. Hopefully by educating people on this topic Australia might consider the alternatives to this cruel practice.

Hemp
Hemp is very easy to grow and is three times stronger that cotton. Hemp crops don’t require much water and can be grown without herbicides, fungicides or pesticides.

Organic Cotton
We third party test our organic cotton to confirm OCS certified 100 and AZO Free.

Leather
We test our leather to confirm No Organic biocides, Azo Dye-Free, No Prohibited Metals, No Flame Retardants, Formaldehyde-Free, No Chromium (VI)

Some people may have a problem with leather for environmental or humane reasons. We use leather because it’s an excellent hat material. It’s extremely durable and some of our leather hats are still in use over 40 years later. Look for a link to our blog here on this subject in the near future.

Organic Raffia
The Raffia palm found in Madagascar has the longest leaves in the plant kingdom and can grow to eighty feet long. No need for water or pesticides, just cut the leaves needed and they grow back.

Recycled Paper
Toyo was originally made in japan from shellacked rice paper. We use 100% recycled paper with a non-toxic waterproof resin to keep them protected. It’s a machine made material made in China and hand woven into beautiful hats.

Recycled Plastic
We had this fabric made specifically for our hats. It’s light weight, UPF 50+ and waterproof. More importantly it’s made from recycled plastic bottles, straws and other single use plastics. It uses 70% less energy and 90% less water to produce our recycled fabric verses a virgin material.

Cleaning Up Our Business

Our safety standards are guided by the question:

“Is the hat safe enough for a baby to chew on?”

All of the dyes and paints used to color our hat materials are third-party tested, nontoxic lead free

Our USA wool felt hat production meets our non-toxic standards. The stiffener is made from food grade shellac and the color dyes are safe for the environment, all exhausted waters used are put in the public sewer for normal treatment.

Our wool hat production in China has been third- party tested and no Azo dyes are used and no toxic chemicals in the hat bodies. We trust our factories to keep our high standards but just in case we re test every six-twelve months to be sure.

Why We Use Organic Cotton

First of all, it’s important to realize that the difference between organic and conventional cotton isn’t just the lack or use of pesticides and insecticides in the farming process. Conventional cotton is also subjected to numerous chemical baths and treatments when the fabric is loomed and prepared for cutting. Additionally, conventional cotton uses dyes that sometimes contain heavy metals. We use only nontoxic dyes in our organic cotton.

Conventional cotton farming takes a huge toll on our planet, being responsible for a full quarter of the insecticides used worldwide. Some of the most toxic pesticides are also used on cotton, and people consume those pesticides in foods containing cottonseed oil.

Choosing organic cotton helps to support organic farmers and gives motivation to conventional farmers who are trying to convert to organic practices. Spreading the word to friends and family also helps to raise global awareness about the benefits of choosing organic cotton. Hopefully, over time, this can reduce the amount of chemicals consumed by conventional cotton farming and help contribute to a healthier planet.

Byron Bay, N.S.W. – Australia

OUR BC HAT BRAND IS ALL HAND-MADE IN OUR BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA FACTORY.

Carbon Offset

We offset a percentage of our carbon footprint by planting and maintaining 2000 native hoop pines on our family owned property about 35km from the factory.

Work Environment

Our factory is a fume free zone. We use only nontoxic glues in our manufacturing. Australia is a very worker friendly country and we all have lots of fun creating shade for people.

Materials

Our small, family run operation uses mostly Australian and New Zealand raw materials.

We have received a Declaration of Conformance for all of our leather used:

Customer: B. C. Leather Pty Ltd
Bovine Leather suitable for Hats

Safety Standards: EC DIRECTIVE 91/173(CHLORINATED PHENOIS)
EC DIRECTIVE 2002/61 (AZO DYES)

No banned substances have been used in manufacture, and the leather shall not contain the following, including: Organic biocides (PCP or TCP) from fungicides Aromatic Amines from Azo Dyes Sensitising Disperse Dyes Prohibited Metals Arsenis, Nickel, Cadmium, Mercury or Chrome V1 (Hexavalent Chromium) Flame Retardants (Brominated) Formaldehyde