FutureStitch, Inc. announced that its manufacturing facility in China recently received the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification – the USGBC’s highest LEED designation and the highest score among sock and knitwear manufacturers worldwide.

“Since our founding, FutureStitch has had an equal focus on producing high-quality products and raising global manufacturing standards,” said FutureStitch Co-Founder and CEO, Taylor Shupe. “Addressing society’s most pressing issues, such as combatting climate change and providing meaningful employment with living wages, should be a primary goal for all manufacturing companies. Our Platinum LEED certification demonstrates that it is possible for any manufacturer to move beyond aspiration and take action to create a workplace that both engages employees and reduces its impact on the environment. We have set a new global standard for textile manufacturing, and we will continue to pioneer innovative, socially and environmentally responsible approaches as we look to build our first U.S.-based factory.”

FutureStitch is the first U.S.-based manufacturer in China to receive the LEED Platinum certification. The facility’s low environmental impact features include:

  • Low Impact Construction: The factory was built using a fraction of the concrete typically used to build manufacturing facilities and, instead, is constructed with recycled metals including aluminum alloys and steel.
  • Low Power Usage: 500,000 kilowatts (kWh) of power is saved annually through the use of efficient lighting, on-site solar heating and maximized access to natural lighting, reducing its annual carbon dioxide emissions by 498.5 tons.
  • Geothermal HVAC: A geothermal air conditioning system pumps cooled groundwater through the building reducing energy costs and eliminating the need to use ozone-depleting substances.
  • Air Quality: Fresh air is circulated throughout the factory, including the production workshops, to reduce carbon dioxide and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and maintain high air quality.
  • Low Water Usage: State-of-the-art chemical injection systems alleviate the need for wastewater. Products are finished using a dry-cleaning method instead of wet processes.
  • Green Transportation: More than 90 percent of employees commute through green travel.

FutureStitch’s 300,000-square-foot facility in China’s Zhejiang Province opened in October 2018. Designed by architect Zhang Lei, FutureStitch’s facility is SA8000 compliant – the world’s leading social performance certification program focused on worker well-being – and includes a library, basketball court, gym, and 4,000-square-foot art gallery.

“Greatness is in the details, and year-over-year, that’s where we find opportunities to innovate,” said Taylor. “We put a lot of care and attention into everything we do at FutureStitch; big and small. The LEED Platinum certification is a major milestone for our brand and it puts us on the path to becoming a top innovative manufacturer—not only in China but throughout the world.”

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