SO WHO MADE MY CLOTHES?
Updated: Apr 24
Fashion Revolution Week demands responsible and long-lasting changes in manufacturing and supply processes. But who exactly are our great suppliers, and how do they commit to ethical standards without compromising on quality?
BEING RESPONSIBLE. BEING ETHICAL
In preparation for Fashion Revolution’s annual campaign and events in April, it’s a great time to focus on Elin Manon’s own commitment to the vision of forward-thinking clothing brands and manufacturers. Those who are conscientiously considering and answering the question – who made my clothes? – responsibly and ethically.
It's neither a glib nor complex question, but one that Fashion Revolution demands that all fashion brands must consider and act upon as we move deeper into a more sustainable and customer-centric decade.
A DEMAND FOR CHANGE
The movement was established in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, in which over 1,000 garment factory employees in Bangladesh were killed after a building collapsed.
The tragedy brought to light an already well-known, but often ignored fact – the deplorable conditions for workers in industries (like fashion) around the world, mirroring inequality and unethical practices by big and fast fashion brands, which echoes a likewise similar disregard for the environment.
CLEANING UP THEIR ACT
Clearly, things needed (and still need) to change. In attempts to improve their practices, fashion brands both big and small have acted to create equality and diversity in the workplace and to ensure that sustainability is considered throughout the supply chain.
For some, ethicality and sustainability are fuelled by an owner’s or designer’s vision (much like us at Elin Manon). They are integral to the way certain brands – especially starts ups and smaller companies – operate. A part of their culture and most processes.
But elsewhere, exactly how much ‘good’ practice and transparency is potentially superficial ‘virtue signalling’ is a point that movements like Fashion Revolution continue to probe.
It’s worth considering that while legislation and grass roots movements have helped encourage more circular production values and a move towards sustainability, a recent BoF Report spoke in less glowing terms of fashion brands’ efforts to meet sustainability targets, which is backed up by Fashion Revolution’s own Fashion Transparency Index.
Around the globe, conditions for ‘sweatshop’ factories, some of which supply major household names, are questionable if not downright unethical. This is not to mention illegal practices endemic within the fake luxury market, as well as ongoing animal abuses in luxury and cosmetics. All of these problems are related to time-saving and profit-maximizing priorities that fail to adequately consider the natural world and its people.
This is worrying but not entirely surprising. Fashion has frequently responded to and incorporated social responsibility in the same way it produces and markets clothes – as trends that change with the seasons.
But things are shifting in more significant ways, and Fashion Revolution points the way with – amongst other objectives – more circulatory production models and the empowerment of those who have a real stake in businesses from the shop floor up.
Fashion Revolution Week is about continuing that conversation, encouraging education and advocacy, and continually pushing the envelope to a more ethical and inclusive future.
DOING THE RIGHT THING
At Elin Manon, revolution and responsibility are central to our mission. We’re proof that there are designers who care about sustainability and adopt it, not just as an extension of what they do, but as an intrinsic part of their longstanding identity and vision.
In preparation for Fashion Revolution Week taking place between 18-24 April, Elin Manon wants to focus on and champion our great suppliers.
They are, without a doubt, worth celebrating for their commitment to social responsibility across production and supply chains, putting quality before profits, and people before trends.
Organic Cotton Sweatshirts- Stanley Stella
For anyone who still doubts that ethical fashion can have a visual edge, Stanley/Stella should put an end to that. Since its launch in 2012, the clothing manufacturer has focused on ‘breaking codes’ in line with its visionary founder Jean Chabert, based on its four value pillars – Innovation, excellence, people, and sustainability. Its charter can be expanded to focus very much on the third of those pillars, with its caring about people initiative that aims to ensure safe and fair working environments, continuous monitoring and reports in factories in places like Bangladesh and China, a clear and visionary code of conduct, and membership of the Fair Wear Foundation
Bucket Hats and Scrunchies - Gwdihw Gifts
Wendy is a talented maker based in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire. She has an exemplary reputation for creating traditional Welsh costumed dolls from textiles woven in Wales.
As well as dolls, she makes embroidered applique cushions from Welsh blankets. Between her orders, she manages to make time for us here at Elin Manon. We are incredibly lucky to have her on board to make our bucket hats and hair accessories.
Based in Pembrokeshire, National Weaving is the leading UK manufacturers of woven and printed name tapes and labels.
They provide Elin Manon with our bespoke labels that create unique appeal to clothing and accessories. We love the fact that National Weaving focuses on ethical values, as emphasized by its Oeko – Tex 100 standards compliance that ensures all components of a material are free from substances (in dying, preservation or through the production process) that could be harmful to humans.
Oeko Tex uses a strict compliance standards document for regulated and non-regulated substances across a range of product categories.
Sustainability is at the heart of Knoll’s wool business, with a commitment to responsibly woven yarns, packaging, and transportation. An international concern, its heritage range is spun from UK born and bred sheep, with all wool dyed and spun in the UK. A focus on quality and choice does not detract from Knoll’s keen focus on sustainability. Indeed, its policy, “is to offer yarns produced from wools from non-mulesed sources only. All dyeware used in Knoll products conforms to European REACH standards,” which sets out requirements relating to the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemical.
All wool supplied by Knoll is 100% natural, biodegradable, and more beneficial to the planet.
AND WHAT ABOUT US?
Knitwear – Elin Manon
All the knitwear on our website is hand-framed by Elin. She graduated in 2017 from Middlesex University with a first-class degree in Fashion and Textiles and began her brand in 2018 with the aim of creating sustainable clothing with artisan techniques at the fore.
Elin favours Hand framed knitwear, which is the process of manually knitting with a machine. It can involve a mixture of hand manipulation techniques like lace, weaving, cables, and intarsia as well as jacquard. It also involves fully fashioned knitting, which is when garments are shaped on the machine.