This series of articles is something we have wanted to write for some time, ethical fashion is an important and emotive subject; it is increasingly more so as the long lasting effects of fashion and in particular fast fashion are becoming even more understood and importantly being publicised. Clothing manufacture has profound effects on our fragile planet, from the lives of the people involved to the raw materials and the footprint it leaves behind.
There seems to have been a swelling of feeling against the effects of fast fashion over the last 12 months in particular, the Duchess of Sussex said at the British Fashion Awards, 2019 is the year where ‘it’s cool to be kind’. With fashion promotion we too have a responsibility to ensure people have all the facts so that they can make informed decisions about their clothing choices.
What is ethical and sustainable fashion? There is not exactly an easy, simple answer to this question and the more you look into it the more complicated it becomes. Companies have their own definitions, policies and standards, but maybe not coupled with the transparency that allows us to see how deep these claims run. That is where the recognised standards come into their own to help us negotiate these brands pertaining to be ethical so that we can have trust in their convictions.
More is constantly being understood about the full journey of our clothing from start to finish, more research and greater knowledge leads to higher levels of understanding but also shows how far there is still to go. With this greater understanding comes greater questions- which is not a bad thing. Further and deeper questions about the true ethics of production and the true sustainability of materials. The debate will rightly rage on; what is ethical and sustainable today may not be deemed as such tomorrow.
In researching these articles it has been apparent there are brands that claim to be “ethical” and “sustainable”, they have policies in place but don’t necessarily stand by their convictions; and then there are those that go above and beyond with ethical fashion truly being at the heart of what they do, Frugi being an absolute leader. We have our exclusive headline interview with Frugi founder Lucy Jewson who explains how they ensure the brand remains true to their ethical roots and encourages us all to be mindful of our fashion choices. We also explain a bit more about ethical and sustainable fashion, we have some suggestions to help lessen our footprint as consumers and in this article we feature brands that have ethical and sustainable credentials for you to choose from.
The aim of these articles is to try and arm you with the information so that you can make your own informed decisions about the clothing you choose to buy, or not to buy.
See our full interview with Frugi founder, Lucy Jewson for all the details on how they run their ethical business.
We have a story to tell and a mission to accomplish- to show that superb design, great ethics and passionate people can help to change the world!
Since Frugi was founded in 2004 it has been an ethical brand, they really do put the planet first. From the close work with their factories, to their quality and design details, the promotion of fair over fast fashion, even promoting re-use and the longevity of their clothing as opposed to over-consumption.
Frugi are proud to be certified both by the Soil Association and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) using only organic cotton without the use of any nasty chemicals. They have been GOTS approved since it was first conceived. Frugi are passionate about the design and quality of their clothing to lessen their impact on the environment, with dedicated design teams always looking for sustainable solutions for their clothing. They also use recycled plastic to make their outerwear range with more clothing developments imminent using this recycled material.
Frugi have factories in India, Turkey, Portugal and China. The factories are regularly visited by a team out in India to ensure standards are met, this includes the wellbeing of their employees, communities and the environment in which they work. They also ensure the factories adhere to the Frugi Code of Conduct- no child labour, employment is freely chosen, absolutely no discrimination, suppliers look after their employees.
Frugi use biodegradable packaging both into and out of their site in Cornwall, they also have a team working on further developments.
Other Ethical Credentials
Every year Frugi give 1% of turnover to charity. Current chosen charities are Chance for Childhood, in particular supporting the Kinbu Nursery in Accra, Ghana, Little Life Savers and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Living Sea Programme. Frugi passionately promote the quality of organic, ethical products and the long lifetime of their clothing, actively encouraging the re-use and handing down through the generations.
2. Mint Rainbow
Luxury, organic, unisex, clothing handmade in the UK in a range of stunning prints. Only using the highest quality fabrics, Mint Rainbow clothes are kind and gentle on the skin whilst also being super stylish, comfy and practical, the gorgeous prints are also wonderful for family twinning!
Environmentally friendly, high quality, super soft and absolutely beautiful, our fabric is what stands us apart.
Mint Rainbow believe that the sustainability of our planet begins with consciousness and small actions from the individual and have therefore chosen to use only organic cottons and fabrics that are printed with low impact dyes. Almost all fabrics are 100% organic under GOTS and are treated only with love – not pesticides! Those that are not 100% Organic are of premium quality, are environmentally friendly and use low impact dyes. Not to mention gorgeous prints!
All garments are individually handmade in the UK by Lucy from start to finish. Absolutely everything is made to order which in turn reduces wastage.
All packaging is recyclable for sustainability, using quality tissue and paper mailers.
The Mint Rainbow clothing is of high quality and handmade to last- epitomising the slow fashion philosophy and helping reduce society’s over-consumption.
3. Ruma BFW
The Ruma mission is to create a fashion brand that calls for a change in attitudes towards breastfeeding, by creating clothes just as beautiful as the nursing women who wear them.
Ruma is the product of two women with fashion backgrounds who are passionate about ethics and quality. They have both seen first hand the conditions in Far East factories, therefore ethical production is extremely important to them. They ensure workers are paid correctly and treated with respect.
I couldn’t make peace with buying from high street stores where I know the garment workers are often extremely ill-treated women and children.
Ruma use OEKO-TEX® approved fabric which ensures it has been fabricated without the use of harmful chemicals. They also use organic cotton where possible.
Ruma are passionate about manufacturing in the UK where the supply chain can be audited and ensure all employees (who are all working mums) are treated fairly. They make sure all of their workers are paid an above average wage for their skills.
Ruma are currently moving to use 100% recyclable packaging.
Further Ethical Credentials
**Exclusive and new to breastfeeding specific clothing -they are excitingly looking to feature recycled fabric in their new collection-amazing stuff!**
For us sustainable thinking goes into everything we do, not least into our products. Because it’s our mission to make clothes with love for motherkind, the ones who literally bear the future forth, we believe it would be not only silly but also thoughtless if we did not design our clothes with future generations in mind.
Boob think sustainable throughout the design and production process to minimise their impact on the environment. Most of all, they make clothes that are designed to be worn, washed and loved over and over again.
Boob is a GOTS certified company as they believe it is important that their products do not contain any harmful chemicals. They have also chosen to certify all products according to Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®. This certifies that the raw material and all components of the garments are tested for substances that are illegal and hazardous to people’s health.
Since 2008, they have massively increased the use of sustainable materials from 20% to 97% with an aiming of reaching 100%. (classified to MADE-BY’s index for sustainable fibers)
Production takes place in Portugal, Turkey, Italy, Greece and Morocco where they place high demands on suppliers when it comes to environmental and social responsibility. Boob only work with factories that respect their Code of Conduct and strive to build long-lasting relationships with producers that share their basic values about human rights and caring for the environment. This also includes regular visits to the factories that they use.
In particular with their largest manufacturer Irmaos Rodrigues, in Portugal, they have a partnership based on a common understanding: that the responsibility for this planet, and the people who live here, is one that we must all share.
Further Ethical Credentials
We would rather be part of the solution than the problem when it comes to the future of the textile industry.
Boob are participating in research programs through “Mistra Future Fashion” , the purpose of the Mistra Future Fashion program is to deliver knowledge and solutions that the Swedish fashion industry and its stakeholders can use in order to significantly improve the fashion sector’s environmental performance and to strengthen its global competitiveness.
Two current research projects funded by Mistra Future Fashion: to separate and recycle elastane; to minimise the release of microparticles from fleece.
Customers can also send Boob their discarded clothing and they make sure it stays in the loop-continuing the lifecycle of the clothing!
5. Lucy and Yak
The system is whatever we all decide to make it, so let’s make a system where everyone wins.
Lucy and Yak have worked tirelessly to ensure their clothing is ethically produced, with everyone involved in the production of Lucy & Yaks treated fairly and in the highest standard of working conditions. They are absolutely passionate about ensuring fair treatment of all involved in the manufacture of their clothing and working to reduce their impact on the environment; from their long standing working relationships to the packaging you receive your Lucy & Yaks in. They strive to “give back more than they take out”
Who made my clothes?
Lucy and Yak try to visit as many of the factories that make their fabrics as they can; so that you know the full journey of your Lucy & Yaks and can see who made them and appreciate the incredible work by the talented individuals.
The organic yarn is dyed using low impact dyes to create the unique coloured fabrics for their lush Lucy & Yak dungarees.
They are also working on some new fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles, this is already available in some of their gorgeous fleece coats!
Lucy & Yak’s have visited every factory in India that they use in the final garment making process of each Lucy & Yak product. They know the factory owners, have personally inspected the factories and have met the workers on the ground. This hugely i,portant them to ensure everyone is treated absolutely fairly.
In the beginning… they found a region in North India renowned for its tailors, they met Ismail and his factory and the rest is history. They had a good starting point with Ismail but there were still improvements to be made to the working conditions. They have worked hard to achieve high factory standards and working conditions and now have a brand new factory that has more space to work comfortably, it is clean, well lit and there is air conditioning for the hot season. They are even fitting solar panels to the roof!
The tailors in India are also paid ‘fairly’. Lucy & Yak knew they wanted to pay more than the minimum wage, and then some, negotiating the pay upwards rather than down! But they also had to find a nice balance; to make sure they respect the culture and the people who live and work in the area. They want to make sure all of their workers are treated with the respect that they deserve and earn enough to support their families without having to work too hard, everyone should have a work/life balance.
Lucy & Yak are also committed to ensuring fair pay for their staff in the UK, paying a real Living Wage. Lucy & Yak are a small family business with everyone at Lucy & Yak being paid above the living wage as per livingwage.org.uk.
Every package sent out will only contain items that are either biodegradable, re-usable and recycled.
When you receive your new Lucy & Yaks, they come in a fabulous handmade material bag. This bag is 100% recycled and beautiful – so you can totally re-use them, from shopping bags to plant pot covers!
They have also switched entirely to 100% biodegradable mailing bags with the aim of eradicating plastic from use at any point in the production and distribution of Lucy & Yaks.
Lucy & Yak’s also use 100% recycled card for Thank You cards and returns slip.
Further Ethical Credentials
That’s a lot of ethical credentials right there!
Lucy & Yak are working to be sustainable and their full range to be organic. We have also been told that going forward they will no longer be buying and selling non-organic cotton dungarees!
Molke make totally unique breastfeeding bras and are passionate about women (and their boobs!). They want to empower, enable and encourage women with their products.
For us, creating products that do that and are sustainable is really important.
Organic cotton is used for all of their funky products.
Everything is handmade by their team in their UK premises in Scone, Perthshire.
Molke have ditched all unnecessary packaging, only using recycled tissue paper, paper mailing bags and reducing their plastic use as much.
Further Ethical Credentials
Molke collect every scrap of spare fabric from the cutting room floor and donate them to local schools, craft groups and also to Remake Scotland, who reuse them in various ways, so leaving nothing to waste.
In November 2018 Molke won the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Contribution to Sustainability Award for their commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices.
Molke also passionately focuses on producing body positive clothing to suit all women.
7. Chico Jack’s
It is important to us that every stage of our process from sourcing fabrics and manufacturing to packaging and shipping, we are using ethical practices and paving the way for fashion to have a more sustainable future.
At the heart of Chico Jack’s clothing is the consideration of ethical production, quality materials and practical design.
All their chosen fabrics are certified to ensure they are produced without the use of any harsh chemicals or substances. Fabrics used include OEKO-TEX® certified and GOTS, such as their lovely soft organic bamboo. They are also working on projects to substantially increase their use of organic fabrics including GOTS certified fabric.
Chico Jack’s hold a strong relationship with their manufacturers, having contact with them on a daily basis. They are clear on working conditions, pay and processes within their factories, all of which meet their exceptionally high standards.
Chico Jack’s only use mailing bags and packaging made from 100% recycled materials and that are 100% biodegradable
Further Ethical credentials
They have a number of projects set to take place this year to further improve both social and environmental impacts they have as a business. This includes plans Chico Jack’s to reduce the amount of plastic they generate as well as introducing a programme to re-use Chico Jack’s items. By working with reputable, high quality factories they reduce the number of ‘faulty’ garments they receive; however if a garment does have an unrepairable fault, it is recycled at a local clothing bank. If the item can be saved, they repair it and sell it on in their Member’s group with 100% of funds being donated to their chosen charity which is currently MacMillan or MIND – charities supporting those affected by cancer and mental health illnesses.
We are 100% organic, ethical and sustainable
The BShirt is run differently to most other brands in that it is not only a social enterprise supporting breastfeeding, but they donate their profits to charity. TheBShirt is a Social Enterprise; which means they have a Social Lock- if anyone were to buy them out they’d have to make improving breastfeeding rates their mission too! Last year they donated their profits to charities that support breastfeeding women and/or critical research in an area that benefits breastfeeding women.
The BShirt design also helps make many items of clothing in your existing wardrobe more breastfeeding friendly, therefore not requiring a whole new wardrobe!
9. Tiny Vikings
Tiny Vikings want to make clothes fun for everyone with their aim to bring fun, colour and practicality into clothing. The garments are handmade in very small quantities, thereby producing unique pieces of clothing.
They only use fabrics classified as GOTS or OEKO-TEX® sourced from Anna’a native Sweden or from the Far East.
Tiny Viking clothes are all handmade at home as the result of two women, they have not only great working conditions but good fun too, many a biscuit consumed!
The next planned development!
Further Ethical Credentials
Any waste fabric is sold on to eliminate waste.
10. Golden B
Golden B is all about high quality clothing designed by a breastfeeding mum for breastfeeding mums.
Our aim is to be a quality, British made breastfeeding clothing brand.
Ethically sourced fabric and OEKO-TEX® certified – free of harmful chemicals. All the fabric is designed and printed in the UK to achieve OEKO-TEX®.
Golden B are passionate about supporting British manufacturing. All their garments are designed by trained costumier and business owner Sophie, Sophie also works very closely with the UK manufacturer which she is proud to be supporting.
Currently moving to low impact, environmentally friendly packaging.
11. Tiffany Rose
Tiffany Rose are passionate about quality clothes, made locally and believe in slow fashion. Their designs that are well made, classic in style and can be worn from season to season therefore reducing the need to replace and waste.
Our passion for creating in Britain comes from a genuine desire to bring you authenticity and heritage but most importantly to play a part in restoring something wonderful and valuable, which was so nearly lost to this country.
The Naomi nursing dress is fabricated from British Mill sourced jersey fabric.
Every Tiffany Rose dress is designed and made in the UK, they have a commitment to help restore the UK manufacturing industry and have a happy and fulfilled team. The dresses also have only a very short distance to travel from the manufacturers to the UK fulfilment centre, thereby reducing fuel consumption.
The UK manufacturing partners are reputable businesses who invest in their staff, offer excellent working conditions and are socially responsible. Their business philosophy includes training younger generations, prioritising health and safety standards as well embracing overall excellent working practices from actively reducing wastage to providing full transparency on all business operations.
Packaging has recently been reviewed and is now 100% recyclable.
Further Ethical Credentials
Tiffany Rose have relationships with local colleges and charities that are always looking for supplies and regularly donate any fabric off-cuts, samples etc they can to help. Helping the society as well as preventing unnecessary waste.
Their express international courier also has a carbon neutral policy.
12. Wandering Eve
Wandering Eve believe strongly in the quality of the fabrics used to make each garment, spending time searching for the perfect ‘bohemian’ printed fabrics.
Manufacturing is done ethically here within the UK by a reputable manufacturer.
The Wandering Eve boho inspired clothing is sent out in recycled plastic packaging.
The Human Milk contemporary clothes are easy to breastfeed in, and all adorned with designs inspired by the composition of human milk.
Human Milk are a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting parents and infants globally by promoting the science of human milk and breastfeeding. Profits from Human Milk will be reinvested into funding the production and screening of further adverts for the science of human milk and breastfeeding on mainstream TV globally, and to continue to build a comprehensive, easy to understand database of multi-media resources that anyone anywhere can access and use for free. Human Milk will also be supporting a small number of organisations and projects working on the ground to help families to breastfeed, and access donor milk where needed.
The majority of Human Milk clothing is from the EarthPositive® collection which uses cotton which adheres to the Organic Content Standard and are also dyed and finished to reach OEKO-TEX® Standard 100. All elements of the supply chain are approved by Fair Wear Foundation FWF.
EarthPositive® is produced exclusively from organic Indian cotton, and the entire production process is controlled and certified in accordance with the latest version of GOTS. All products are labelled as Organic. All production are verified to be Ethically Manufactured.
100% of the EarthPositive® production undergoes annual audits to comply with the FWF Code of Labour Practices in accordance with the International Labour Organisation’s conventions.
EarthPositive® is made in manufacturing facilities powered by green renewable energy, from low-impact raw materials. The carbon footprint of EarthPositive® products has been reduced by some 90%.
Human Milk send everything without plastic, they also ask all suppliers to ship to them with no individual polybags.
We want every mother who wants to breastfeed, alongside her family, to receive all the support they need, in an atmosphere where everyone understands the importance of what she’s doing. Breastfeeding support is chronically underfunded. Mothers everywhere need more support and more recognition.
Here we have some further ethical and sustainable brands you may like to check out for breastfeeding friendly clothing.
For us, organic is not a trend but a conviction. To assume responsibility for our environment is not an option but an obligation. This is why we opt for renewable resources and recycled materials.
Armed Angels have outstanding ethical and sustainable credentials. It is their mission to combine fair working conditions and sustainable, high quality materials with beautiful design. Instead of chasing the latest trends they focus on modern, contemporary collections. Fair Fashion instead of Fast Fashion.
They use the highest standard of ethical and sustainable fabrics, including PETA-Approve Vegan products; using organic cotton, organic wool, LENZING™ ECOVERO™ (ecological and clean viscose) , recycled plastic, organic linen and TENCEL™Lyocell (made from wood).
Their packaging is even made using grass paper. When your order arrives at your place, the grass for a new grass box has already regrown.-love this!
“Wear me, love me, mend me, pass me on.”
Thought are proud supporters of slow fashion, designing clothing intended to last.
Their thoughtful way of working includes the use of natural, organic and recycled fabrics. 100% of their cotton is certified organic, whilst their dyes are Azo-free, and the finishes are as gentle on the environment as possible thanks to Oeko Tex®. They use bamboo, hemp, sustainable wool, organic cotton, polyester made from recycled plastic, rayon from recycled tree pulp and tencel made from wood.
Thought create thoughtful clothing and value doing the right thing, wanting to feel good about everything they touch. Working ethically through the full stream from the fabrics they use, to how they design, make and deliver their garments. With the greater aim of minimising their environmental footprint.
We believe the simple actions we make today can have a huge and positive impact on the future.
Komodo’s small team are based in north London, designing collections with contemporary and timeless style. They source the finest quality natural fibres and innovative eco fabrics, to provide a tangible alternative to the culture of fast fashion.
They trade fairly with factories in Nepal, China, Indonesia and Turkey, which their designers visit regularly, and work closely with the myriad of talented people who bring their ideas to life.
Along the way they have supported numerous environmental and social projects at home and in the countries where they manufacture. From sheltering London’s homeless, to building schools high in the Himalayas and reforestation programs on the side of volcanos.
Komodo is GOTS certified, a partner brand of the Ethical Fashion Forum and supports the Fashion Revolution movement.
Ultimately, we aim to design and make beautiful clothes that increase the awareness of the need to shop responsibly, and to prove that it is more than possible to live a stylish, sustainable life.
Nomads are committed to doing their best to deliver a high standard of ethical conduct in the UK and abroad, constantly looking for new ways to improve their relationships, and work closely with everyone involved in the Nomads’ journey.
They require complete transparency in their production process, and all suppliers hold certificates for social and ethical audits. All except the very smallest also have SEDEX certification (organisation dedicated to driving improvements in ethical and responsible business practices). They visit suppliers in India regularly throughout the year to ensure standards are being met. They personally know where their products are made and have a good relationship with each factory, one of which they have worked with for 25 years.
Nomads have a detailed fair trade policy that ensures workers are treated fairly and justly. They also consider the impact on the environment that each step of the journey and actively seek to use environmentally friendly materials and methods at every opportunity.
They use GOTS certified organic cotton and viscose made from sustainable wood pulp-a natural fibre that is both breathable and biodegradable. They ensure that the dyeing units and fabric manufacturing units have a water treatment plant, so that the processing water is treated before being released back into the environment. Also they do not use Formaldehyde, Azo, Phthalates, Alkylphenols or PVC in any form ( harmful chemicals commonly used in the fast fashion industry). Their suppliers use environmentally approved Azo free dyes – no animal products are used in the making of the dyes, and they are not tested on animals.
The wool used is mulesing free merino wool from Australia, meaning it is cruelty free. Interestingly they also use buttons made from mother of pearl shells as they feel this is better than using plastic as they are bio-degradable. Nomads also use fully biodegradable packing. They inevitably end up with some garments that cannot be sold, for one reason or another and these garments are donated to Newlife, a charity that provides help and support to children with disabilities or terminal illnesses and their families.
Nomads are members of Common Objective, an innovative online platform to take sustainable fashion from niche to norm by building businesses that have a positive impact on people and the environment, and working together to provide complete transparency in production and supply chains. Nomads are also a BAFTS member (set up to increase awareness of fair trade groups and products that are developed and sourced through ethical trade) and they support TAMWED – Linking communities in the UK and India with the objective of helping to overcome poverty in areas of southern India that have the greatest need.
At Birdsong, we want to revolutionise the way you dress. We work under the promise of no sweatshop and no photoshop
Birdsong sell lovely things. Lovely things that are made in partnership with women’s organisations and charities and you feel lovely as a result. You can delve deeper and look at the incredible women’s knitting groups or impoverished migrant women’s circles that create these things.
Being environmentally conscious is an important part of our brand. We are committed to providing a positive impact.
The Isabella Oliver designs and the majority of samples are done in-house in the London studio, and over 90% of their collection is manufactured in Europe, miles per garment matter. Isabella Oliver select which factories they work with carefully, many being family-run businesses. They are spacious and clean environments punctuated with a lively atmosphere and hardworking people who are committed to the product they are making. They make regular visits to all of their factories and have a strong and committed relationship with all the owners, with all manufacturers signing their code of conduct.
Isabella Oliver also source and use high quality materials that will last and can be worn for many seasons to come. Quality, “slow” fashion. Isabella Oliver don’t over produce their clothes and there is no disposing of samples-they are all donated to charities. Plus all packaging is fully recyclable.
People Tree have been a pioneer in sustainable Fair Trade fashion since 1991. Every product is made to the highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish. Contemporary, versatile designs create stylish, innovative and affordable fashion while respecting people and the planet. Collections featuring organic cotton, TENCEL™ Lyocell and responsible wool, are made using traditional artisan skills such as hand weaving, hand knitting, hand embroidery and hand block printing.
Their producers use traditional skills and combine them with new innovative technologies to support and grow their businesses. By using these skills they create employment in rural areas where work is often scarce and guarantee the production is carbon neutral. All clothes are dyed using low impact dyes, free from harmful azo chemicals which are frequently used in clothing manufacture. They use natural materials where possible, avoiding plastic and toxic substances.
People Tree were the first fashion company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation product label, guaranteeing People Tree’s dedication and compliance to the principles of fair trade, covering fair wages, good working conditions, transparency, environmental best practice and gender equality. They are a part of the WFTO community and a representative of Fair Trade, this means far more than just paying a fair price. There is a partnership between producers and traders, which aims at sustainable development for excluded and economically disadvantaged people in developing countries.
We want to do the right thing by the people we work with and the environments we operate in.
This means taking into account all aspects of work, improving the lives of the people they work with and minimising environmental impacts in a way which makes business sense. New Look have had plenty of success, working hard on everything from workers’ rights to animal testing and carbon footprint; but admit they still have a long way to go on their sustainability journey.
Marks and Spencer
I believe the targets set out in Plan A 2025 will enable us to meet the future demands of our customers. It sets bold social and environmental goals, crucially complemented by a desire to engage all our customers, colleagues, suppliers and business partners in our sustainability journey. It’s our plan for the future. A future in which a truly sustainable M&S can, in partnership with our customers and other stakeholders, have a positive impact in all that it does.
Plan A, because there is no Plan B. Marks and Spencer have a tremendous Plan A 2025 that has some amazing targets and standards to achieve. There is a huge level of detail on their website detailing their comprehensive plans.
H&M have a Conscious Exclusive collection with the latest collection featuring clothes made out of organic silk and cotton, looking fashionable and supporting sustainability.
The H&M group has a strong history in sustainability, they want to make sure that fashion continues to be enjoyed today and for generations to come. Their vision is to use their size and scale to lead the change towards a circular and renewable fashion industry, all while being a fair company.
ASOS are committed to focusing on ethical trading, sustainable sourcing and animal welfare. They have collaborated closely with suppliers, brands, governmental and non-governmental organisations to address specific social and environmental challenges, in order to support and move towards long-lasting, industry-wide change.
They also feature an Eco Edit on their website; the Eco Edit is a curated destination where customers can buy pioneering sustainable fashion that meets the ASOS sustainability criteria.
We believe in the positive, empowering, life-changing power of trade rather than aid. And we want to do right by the people who make our beautiful things.
As a founder member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), Monsoon have been at the forefront of driving sustainable improvements in working conditions and livelihoods. Each year, the Monsoon Accessorize Trust (founded in 1994) supports life-changing projects in income-generation, healthcare and education for over 10,000 women and children throughout Asia.
Monsoon don’t run their own factories or directly employ the artisans, but they do ask every supplier to commit to the Monsoon Accessorize Code Of Conduct. It aims to protect workers by setting out minimum requirements on working conditions, pay and employment rights. All suppliers are required to sign terms and conditions that includes comprehensive ethical sourcing requirements.
For Monsoon ethical trading is all about building long-standing, sustainable relationships, many they have worked with for over 20 years. However they still look to drive meaningful and enduring improvements in working conditions. They work collaboratively to resolve any issues and regularly visit suppliers’ factories. If a supplier doesn’t come up to scratch they can and will move their business elsewhere.
Their commitment also extends to the artisans and other skilled workers who help create some of their most special things-often in small local workshops or even their own homes. They strive to ensure these craftspeople receive fair rates for their wonderful work and have introduced a Worker Reference Handbook to support the artisans in India. This is closely monitored by their ethical compliance team. Working with craftspeople is a key part of Monsoon’s ethos and they are proud to help generate incomes, sustain livelihoods and preserve age-old hand-craft techniques.
We are determined to minimise our impact on the environment and society. Our pledge to you is transparency, sustainable-sourcing and innovation, whilst always delivering a quality product.
Doc Cotton ar a different brand in that they create customisable and sustainable clothing; choose your style, print (from over 400!) and finishing touches. Doc Cotton are committed to improving UK manufacturing with all garments being made in their Peckham studio. The UK production team also earn over the London Living Wage.