You are here

Libeco

230 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1300
New York, New York
United States
Libeco
Libeco is located in Meulebeke, Belgium - a small village - between Bruges and the French border. This region has always been known for its flax culture and prosperous textile industry. Our mission is to offer the widest range of linen fabrics and products of superior quality. We offer creative designing, weaving and stitching and new production methods respecting the environment. Libeco-Believe in Linen

Best Practice Achievements

Sustainable Materials
We make a conscious effort to manage our materials selection, seeking materials we are confident are sustainable, such as legally harvested forest products, responsibly produced plantation products, and recycled content:
Recycling and Reclamation
We factor disassembly, recyclability and product reclamation into buying decisions. We offer a product reclamation/product reuse policy:
Return and Reuse
We use recycled or recyclable packing/packaging materials, offer blanket-wrap transportation arrangements for customers and have a carton return/reuse policy:
Chain of Custody
We ask for verifiable chain of custody documents (i.e. legal logging certifications) before buying products containing wood:
Decrease use of Toxic Chemicals
We have decreased our use/acceptance of known toxic chemicals for treatments, binders and finishes, replacing compounds that compromise indoor air quality and are harmful to human health:
Low Environmental Impact Textiles
We are asking our vendors for textiles that have a lower environmental impact, i.e. organic cotton in place of conventionally-grown cotton, as well as seeking other eco-friendly textiles:
Life Cycle Analysis
We are moving forward on doing a Life Cycle Analysis and/or are applying for SMaRT certification:
Local Sourcing
We extract, manufacture and distribute for consumer use within a 500 mile radius for at least a portion of our product line:
Third Party Certifications
We hold third party certifications for some of our products, or as a store, we promote and educate the consumer on the meaning of various third party certifications:
Sharing the Wealth
We take responsibility for sharing our commitment to sustainability up and down our entire supply chain, rewarding our vendors with increased business for partnering with us on sustainability issues:
Social Responsibility Code
We have a written Social Responsibility Code of Contact that is a baseline for employee relations:
Supplier Responsibility
We have written and distributed a Supplier Responsibility Code of Conduct for our vendors and conduct training at our partner facilities on the adoption of same:
Health and Safety Code Compliance
We and our partners meet or exceed all local health and safety codes and can document our health and safety working conditions in all our facilities/stores:
We Pay Living Wages
We pay a living wage rather than minimum wage and extend that around the globe:
We Sponsor Sustainability Events
We have participated in or sponsored in-store, community and/or regional educational events on sustainability and the environment:
We Inspect
We investigate and mitigate any negative environmental impacts from our operations:
Save Paper and Other Office Resources
We save paper and other office resources with a policy expressing an aversion to excess written documentation:
We Use Energy Specialists
We have had an energy specialist or utility company audit to measure our conventional energy usage and are on track to reduce it. We are replacing a portion of the energy we consume with certified renewable energy, either directly, via a program of our local utility, or via Green e-Power:
Updated Inefficient Equipment
We have replaced outdated and inefficient equipment, identified and changed wasteful resource procedures and implemented tighter operational controls:
Energy Efficient Lighting
We have increased the use of day lighting and/or are upgrading to more energy efficient lighting system:
Verified Sustainability Claims
We make only verifiable sustainability claims in adherence with FTC mandates against greenwash and in support of their Environmental Marketing Guides:
Committed to Training
We are committed to conducting training in-house and in the broader community about global climate change and our partnership with the SFC:
In keeping with our commitment to continual improvement, we are planning to take the following actions this year: On reducing energy consumption:

2016: Weaving with Wind Energy Press Release: On July 1st linen producer Libeco switched to a new source of green electricity. The entire mill is now powered by wind energy known as ‘Seanergy’. Just as the North Sea wind provides the ideal climate for flax, so too this salty breeze now supplies energy for Belgium’s largest linen producer.

“The use of wind turbine energy is wonderfully symbolic for us”, Raymond Libeert, CEO of Libeco, begins by explaining. “Our sector relies entirely on our temperate local climate to provide the world’s best flax. The fact that our looms are now also powered by North Sea wind makes this story complete.“

Libeco is highly motivated when it comes to sustainable business practices, industrial processes and ecology. The West-Flemish company is CO2 neutral for the second year running. The results of their most recent study in August have now given them a target of a total annual CO2 reduction of 261 tons. By virtue of various steps taken in recent years, the company reduced its original emissions by a staggering 37%. The remaining emissions are offset in Uganda, where Libeco supports a climate project that reduces the remainder of the emissions.

“It is an ongoing process involving daily decisions designed to make our operations more sustainable. But it is something we owe our planet and our natural raw materials. Linen is one of the most durable fabrics in the world and we believe this approach will be very important in the future. We have noticed an increasing awareness of ecology and of the environmental cost of products among our clients and we can only applaud that.”

As yet Libeco is unable to say much about its plans for the near future, other than that new studies have been commissioned to decide what its next step towards a more sustainable future will be.

With Seanergy Electrabel, ENGIE Group guarantees that the electricity it supplies was produced entirely by wind turbines located in the maritime area under Belgian jurisdiction.

The best quality flax grows in the region between Caen (France) and Amsterdam (Netherlands) with Flanders (Belgium) in-between. Our moderate temperatures and the combination of sun and rain promote the growth of flax here and ensure that it is of the highest quality. The North Sea wind plays an important role in creating this climate and supplying the all-important rain.

After its first CO2 study in 2011, Libeco launched an integrated ecological plan in partnership with CO2logic, a company specialized in measuring and reducing CO2 emissions. Measures implemented in recent years include the switch to renewable energy, the installation of LED lighting and 1,252 solar panels, the acquisition of an environment-friendly fleet of vehicles and the optimization of waste-processing.

Last year Libeco launched a collection of biological linen. Fabrics as well as finished products in the form of bed linen are available. The complete production process was certified with the Global Organic Textile Standard, or GOTS for short, which guarantees that the collection is produced according to the most ecologically and socially sound criteria, and without the addition of harmful substances, from the flax seeds through to the finished product.

In June 2014 the company was awarded a ‘Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM Silver label’ for all its loomstate fabrics. The label is only bestowed on products which are regarded as safe for humans and the environment, designed for future life cycles and produced in sustainable manufacturing processes. At the end of August 2015 the label was renewed for a further two years.

2014: Full CO2 neutrality just awarded. Off-setting in place for functions we cannot completely be neutral on, but further reductions without offsets are goals for this year and next.

In keeping with our commitment to continual improvement, we are planning to take the following actions this year: On how we will manage our primary material or service to a more sustainable direction:

2016: Flax neutralizes CO2:

Libeco requires more than 7000 acres of flax per year to weave their fabrics (approximately 4500 soccer fields or 11 square miles). The flax plants on a single acre absorb more than one ton of CO2, so the flax required for the production of Libeco linen absorbs more than 12 000 tons of CO2 every year! The current annual CO2 emission of the company is 500 tons.

Flax is naturally sustainable:

The ecological score of linen is exceptionally high. Flax is a natural fiber that does not require irrigation and hardly any plant-protection products. There is no waste material as all parts of the plant are used. Linen is also 100% biodegradable and recyclable. Flax is one of the most sustainable fibers in the world!

CO2 neutral company:

Libeco’s mission has always prioritized sustainable policies. As of 2012, the company cooperated with CO2logic to measure and consistently reduce their CO2 emission. Four years later Libeco has achieved a 36.5% reduction of the annual CO2 emission. Since 2014, the remaining CO2 emission is compensated by supporting a climate project in Uganda. Libeco is proud to be a CO2 neutral company for more than two years!

Unique organic linen collection with GOTS certification:

Blessed by a sustainable raw material, the company is going the extra mile. Two years ago, Libeco launched a unique organic linen collection. Its complete production process has been certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This guarantees an ecological and socially responsible production, without the addition of any hazardous substances.

Cradle to Cradle Silver certification:

Two rest products are produced when weaving linen: selvage and shearing dust. Libeco recycles these materials, which are used to produce new products such as paper or insulation material. This is but one of the reasons why the company received Cradle to Cradle Silver certification for all loomstate fabrics in 2014!

2014: We initiate programs for fully GOTS-certified Organic linens this year and intend that in future all of our linens should be certified. We will continue to grow this program.

In keeping with our commitment to continual improvement, we are planning to take the following actions this year: On education and promotion of the sustainability cause:

2014: Our outreach in social media, on our website will continue to grow, as will partnerships with the 3rd party organizations to cross-market. We will hold more events focused on sustainability with our B2B and retail customers, which will reach the end-consumers as well. We will continue to build upon our existing educational seminars designed for our customers and the clients to understand linen, our ecological outreaches and education about this side of the industry.

We will continue to look to promote, specifically all organic and ecological products and aspects of our company through free and paid media advertising.

We will offer our customers free marketing materials ( - labels, brochures, stickers, tags etc) to use on the products they buy from us to promote these aspects to their customers.

We will post our SFC Membership seal in our places of business, on our websites, and in our marketing materials to distribute to our staff, vendors, and customers.