Waw what a loaded question, for anyone who starts a sustainable brand you realise quickly that there are always ways to improve, there is not one magic material that will solve all your problems, but there are important pillars to our brand ethos which help us to stay on track.
1. Slow Fashion
Sustainability is a lot more than banning plastic from your business, for me it is the speed of consumption and unethical manufacturing practices that cause the most damage. You can make a product as sustainable as you want but if it's produced and marketed to sell at an untenable speed it will all be for nothing.
In 2013 the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed. 1,134 people died and 2,500 people were injured from the disaster. It is seen as the deadliest garment-factory disaster in history. The day prior, factory owners ignored pleas from the workers about cracks in the walls and they were ordered to return the next day. This is the result of fast fashion, and it is unfortunately not an isolated incident.
My pledge is to create clothing in an ethical way, where health and safety, welfare, and a living wage are paramount in the production of garments, above all else. To create exciting clothing that is also made to last, not supporting over-consumption. Our knitwear is made in house by myself, I work with local seamstresses and embroidery technicians to create our sweaters and bucket hats. Recently I have began working with a studio in London who are the only UK company with a leading status in the ethical and fast forward audit. All of these suppliers are paid a living wage.
2. Sustainable and Recycled Materials
Wool- The wool yarn we use is milled in the UK and is from RWS wool.
The Responsible Wool Standard is a voluntary standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and the land that they graze on. The goals of the RWS are to provide the industry with a tool to recognise the best practices of farmers.
Wool has a variety of properties which make it a great sustainable material, read more from our blog Choose Wool
As well as new wool we try to use recycled wool as much as possible, our main source is from repurposed tapestry wool, large quantities of this type of wool is wasted from the carpet industry and can easily be knitted into our designs. As well as this we are focusing our efforts to repurpose waste wool from the Welsh woollen industry as a marketable product.
Organic Cotton- choosing to use organic over conventional cotton is a non negotiable.
Despite cotton being a natural and biodegradable material, it is one of the most environmentally demanding crops. It can take 10,000 to 20,000 gallons of water to make a single pair of jeans. Figures by the WHO, show that approximately 20,000 people die of cancer each year as a result of pesticides being sprayed on conventional cotton.
We use organic cotton for our, jersey sweaters, summer scarves and some of our hair accessories.
Bamboo- Bamboo is grown without pesticides or chemical fertilisers,
it rarely needs replanting, it can grow rapidly and be harvested within 3-5 years, it produces 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees.
We use bamboo for our silky scarves and scrunchies
As well as the recycled wool we use, we source vintage and surplus materials to create our bucket hats, the vintage fabrics are carefully selected from vintage, antique and thrift stores with care taken to ensure we aren't taking something which could be of use to someone else. Surplus materials can come from other designers or fabric mills with an overstock of material.
Oeko-Tex and GOTS certifications.
Wherever possible we use certified textiles to ensure that they meet sustainability requirements.
Oeko-Tex is used to test textiles for harmful substances towards human health
GOTS is the leading standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria
3. Zero waste processes
Fully fashioned knitting is the process of knitting to the exact specifications of what you need. Unlike cut and make like the majority of clothing, where you lay a piece of fabric down and cut it out.. The joy of fully fashioned knitting, is that even at the end of it's life cycle it can be unravelled and re-knitted into something else!
Working closely with other local businesses, we take their waste materials and try to make them into something else, this can include fabric scraps or yarn waste.
4. Sustainable packaging solutions
Ideally we would love to have all of our packaging from recycled materials, for the time being we use a mix of recycled, recyclable and biodegradable packaging.
Our boxes are made from recyclable Kraft board, we use recycled tissue paper and swing tags/post cards. Our mailer bags and shipping stickers are from compostable materials.
Ethical fashion was once a niche topic, now it has become a necessity for the industry to hold itself accountable
Lots of love