Maium: sustainable weatherproof outerwear for 'future commuters'

2022-04-24 02:02:14 By : Mr. Michael Chou

Anita Palacios, creative director and co-founder of Amsterdam-based outerwear brand Maium, discusses UK expansion plans, its sustainable credentials, and greenwashing.

Amsterdam-based outerwear brand Maium was founded in 2016 by two friends, Hendrik van Benthem and Anita Palacios. The pair, "inspired by years of wet commutes", created the brand after identifying a lack of a conscious, practical and stylish outerwear product suited to cycling.

Maium – a word borrowed from the Bargoens dialect spoken in Amsterdam that can mean "rain", "water" and "canal" – sells men’s, women’s and unisex coats with body-length zippers on the side, allowing them to be transformed into a poncho for use on a bike or scooter.

Aimed at "the future commuter", the current outerwear offering comprises trench coats, rain macs, ponchos and puffer jackets. The brand also launched technical gloves for autumn/winter 21, and will expand into further into accessories for next season.

Anita Palacios, founder of Maium

The coats, including the lining and taping featured throughout outerwear, are made from recycled plastic, such as PET and nylon, which are certified under recycled content verifier Global Recycled Standard (GRS) and safety verifier Oeko-Tex Standard 100 principles.

Retail prices range from £35 for gloves and bucket hats to £400 for a puffer jacket.

The brand is sold direct to consumer through its website, and has more than 60 stockists internationally, as well as in Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands. In the UK it has six stockists, including Fenwick, cycling company Velorution, and sustainable clothing retailer Public Fibre. The brand is looking for a UK clothing agent to expand its footprint in the region.

Drapers speaks to Palacios to find out more about its sustainable credentials.

Our raincoats are easily transformed into a poncho for bike or scooter using the signature zippers on each side. It's a solution to keep you dry and fashionable while on the go. The functional aspect is present in all our products – supporting tech and innovation in fashion.

Most importantly, we motivate people to take their bikes instead of a car, taxi or public transport. Aside from having a positive impact on health, this helps to decrease carbon emissions.

We are committed to continuously searching for durable and sustainable alternatives in production techniques, fabrics, raw materials, packaging and logistics. To further offset our carbon footprint, we plant trees for every raincoat that is produced.

Maium rainwear is produced in the epicentre of outerwear: Beijing, China. All production facilities are in the Hebei province, where factories are known for their excellence in production of outerwear and they are worldwide considered to be best in class in waterproofing techniques.

All factories we work with are BSCI audited with at least an A (highest possible) in more than 75% of the audited performance areas, providing confidence with respect to fair, safe and healthy working conditions for our factory workers. [The Business Social Compliance Initiative provides companies with auditing methodology.]

In close co-operation with our production facilities, we continuously work towards further improvement of health and safety conditions. To strengthen the relationship, our team visited the factory at least once a year (before Covid-19) to learn more about how and where areas for improvement are and work on an even better collaboration.

Our coats are wrapped in biodegradable polybags and then packed in recycled cardboard boxes. All materials used are either fabricated from recycled plastic or are completely biodegradable. In our coats, we use a variation of materials such as recycled PET, organic cotton and recycled nylon pongee, and we use bionic finishing to have a durable water repellency without the use of fluorine water repellents (PFCs).

Recycled nylon pongee is a type of fabric similar to neoprene. The bionic finish is essentially a high-performance water-repellent textile finishing agent made from non-fluorinated and renewable materials, making it more eco-friendly than its usual fluorinated counterparts.

Making people more healthy and reducing the global carbon footprint – get on your bike and don't use motorised transport.

Until now we have recycled already 2 million plastic bottles, and aim to be carbon neutral by the end of 2022.

Currently, we have employed external analysts specialised in emissions to calculate our exact footprint in order to offset it completely in 2022. We have calculated, and to offset one coat we should neutralise around 8.5kg of CO2. We will try to achieve this in 2022 by planting trees, working with [NGO] Eden Reforestation Project, and the rest of the offset will be neutralised with carbon offsetting company CO2ok. We are currently in the final testing phase before launching a tool with which the consumer can also contribute to the offset of the "last mile".

There are so many. Every day, I feel we could improve a thousand things – for example, producing closer to home and developing more possibilities in circular fabrics. The ultimate goal would be to create a plastic jacket from plastic harvested from our own canals.

What is important for us is to try not to lose focus and be mindful of the fact that every step and effort you take in being more conscious of the world around you is a step in the right direction, and into a more sustainable future for Maium.

Being a brand, I think you shouldn't fear anything. As mentioned before, each step is equally important to the one after and the one before.

If you are open and honest in what you are doing and how you are doing it, I think a term such as greenwashing won’t exist.

Per person, 30kgs of plastic packaging material is thrown away every year in the Netherlands, and only 37% is recycled. Other material is simply incinerated. We see tremendous opportunity here and are taking very promising steps to make packaging material more sustainable.

A product ordered from Maium will in 2022 be shipped in a shipping bag made from 22 recycled PET bottles. When the consumer decides to keep the item, the shipping bag can be used as a handy shopping bag. In this way a new life is created out of something that is usually regarded as waste. If the consumer decides not to keep the item, it can easily be returned with the shipping bag and the associated tie wrap. When the shipping bag is returned, it will be checked, cleaned and re-used.

Tags fashion Fashion news retail news Spotlight on Sustainability sustainable sustianable fashion

Sign in or Register a new account to join the discussion.

Get full access to all the fashion industry news and intelligence you need

Browse the archive of more than 55,000 articles, access bespoke in-depth research, read the daily and weekly newsletters in full, receive the print magazine (optional), and gain priority access to Drapers events

We use cookies to personalize and improve your experience on our site. Visit our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy to learn more. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings. More information on how to do this can be found in the cookie policy. By using our site, you agree to our use of cookies.