A pioneer of Australian design, ELK was established in 2004 in Melbourne, Australia. The ELK aesthetic holds a unique place within the international fashion landscape. With a highly considered approach by brand founders Marnie and Adam, ELK collections resonate with their global audience through sustainable and ethical practices, design refinement, trend curation and an intellect that is innately their own. Their sculptural accessories, hand-made leather and ready-to-wear collections define their artful vision while their devotion to ethical and sustainable practices has endured them as a leader in the practice of responsible innovation for the fashion industry.
Beyond their commitment to great design,ELK has a strong ethical foundation. As a family owned and operated business, there is a great respect for all persons that work within and for the business. ELK has garnered a loyal customer base and a global reach that sees ELK collections sold in over 1200 independent retailers across 20 different countries.
ELK has cultivated a work environment in which our employees are constantly challenged to do their best. Through a creative approach, ELK has created a strong brand identity, and we nurture this quality in others by employing people who share our keen interest in design, our love of nature and simplicity and our commitment to an ethical and sustainable business. Just as each piece in our range is carefully created; we seek out individuals who can bring their own life experience and inspired ideas to our company.
In return, ELK provides employees with a unique work culture. Our culture is open and friendly, which promotes a happy work place. Staff retention is high and many team members have been with the company for long periods of time. Operating in this transparent fashion ensures everyone can be instrumental in helping steer the business towards future opportunities and growth. We live, create and work in a world surrounded by like-minded people, by peers that inspire us and aim to create a positive impact on all those that work with and for us.
We encourage our employees to integrate ELK products into their lives outside of work through offering product discounts, allowing ELK staff to act as brand ambassadors.
We encourage all employees to participate in our Health and Wellbeing Initiative which provides weekly organic local fruit and vegetables, social activities, community and charitable initiatives and health and wellbeing activities.
All employees are kept up to date with our ethical and sustainability drive and are informed about ELK products – from the design process, through the materials used-to craftsmanship and traditional skills utilised in making them– and are confident communicating about ELK to others.
ELK supports employees' involvement in activities outside of work, whether it be to study, artistic pursuits or volunteer work.
After a difficult year that saw severe drought, bushfires and floods across Australia as well as a global pandemic, we want to focus on the positive and are pleased to share our achievements over the past 12 months and progress against our 2025 sustainability goals.
The greatest progress was made within our own operations. We have significantly reduced our electricity use and we are extremely proud that 81% of the packaging we used in 2020 was recycled, with 99% either recyclable or compostable.
The results of the past two years of re-thinking the materials we work with was evident in our 2020 ranges, with more ELK preferred fibres used. We also continued to give back to our communities with donations to charity partners more than doubling in 2020.
Whilst we want to celebrate our wins, we don’t want to overlook the challenges of the past 12 months. Our retail stores were closed for 6 months, production volumes were around 50% less than the previous year, and most of us had to adjust to working remotely. This has slowed progress in some areas, but as our business is recovering from the COVID disruptions we are able to take stock and prioritise these projects again.
Our commitment to setting ambitious targets and transforming our business to be a force for good remains strong. There is still much work to be done, but we believe that being a responsible, purpose led business is more relevant than ever to ensure that ELK is resilient and sustainable into the future.
We look forward to a future where responsible business is the norm rather than the exception.
Ethics & Sustainability Manager