The environmental footprint of the fashion and textiles industry is huge and sadly one of the leading causes of climate change. As a brand, we take this problem extremely seriously. We promote sustainability at every touchpoint of the business, from our supply chains to the way we run the office.
What’s happening in the fashion industry is very similar to what is happening in the food industry. Heavy chemicals and pesticides are being used, having a great impact on the environment. Throughout the supply chain we are committed to using as many organic and natural fibres, with minimal chemicals, as possible.
We launched our first fully sustainable line, ‘No Frills’, back in 2018. No Frills is our core collection; the pieces that form your everyday Mother of Pearl wardrobe. Born out of our duty to create a collection with a transparent supply chain, the pieces are made from organic and natural materials, and have a socially responsible ethos. Never compromising on design or quality, the No Frills collection embodies all of our most loved pieces made as ethically as possible.
But our mission to slow fast fashion down didn’t end there. We gathered all the knowledge from our No Frills journey and applied it to Mother of Pearl too. Since our Pre AW21 collection, 100% of the materials used have been responsible. This means that every fabric adheres to the strict criteria that Amy Powney, our Creative Director, has set out and ensures she is making the best possible choices for people and planet.
Synthetic fibres, most commonly polyester, need industrial circulation to manage recycling and re-recycling and we don’t believe that there is the appropriate infrastructure in place for this. Furthermore, when they are washed, synthetic fibres shed tiny particles of plastic into the water system that end up in our oceans. Plastic is already a huge issue for our planet, and tiny particles like this are currently impossible to catch. They therefore end up polluting our water, causing damage to the environment and contaminating fish and other marine life. So until innovation and development gets to the level where we believe synthetics are a safe option, we remain committed to virgin and recycled natural fibres.
Natural fibres such as organic cotton, wool and botanic fibres such as TENCEL™ branded lyocell fibres make up the vast majority of our collections. Our cotton is bought under the GOTS certification, ensuring every worker is paid a living wage. Our denim originates from Isko and is then produced within small artisan manufacturers who are certified with GOTS, Nordic SWAN Ecolabel, EU Ecolabel and FWF. We buy our TENCEL™ Lyocell from Lenzing Group who ensure the fibres are from sustainably grown wood and produced in a closed loop process.
The next phase for our development as a responsible brand is to use less and less organic cotton in our collections. Although organic is a lot less damaging to the planet than conventional cotton, it is still a strain on our earth's resources.
Whilst we are focusing on ensuring the best environmental standards of producing your garments, you can make a big difference too on what you do with your garment once you own it.
Washing your clothes uses an awful lot of water. We’re not suggesting we stop washing altogether, but you probably don’t need to be washing your clothes as much as you think you do. You can spot clean, try airing them, or hand washing to cut down on water consumption. Also where possible hang dry your clothes rather than tumble drying them.
Most dry cleaners use a dangerous chemical called Perchloroethylene (Perc) - this is not only dangerous for the environment but for the dry cleaners themselves.
Laundry Republic use environmentally friendly dry cleaning alternatives, which in turn are better for your clothes. They also use biodegradeable plastic bags to send your clothes back home in.
Repairing your clothes is an easy and effective way of giving your garment’s life an extension. You don’t need to be a fashion graduate to fix a tear or replace a button, and these small things could mean you and your garment have many more happy years together. There’s research into hand stitching triggering a serotonin release in the brain too, so what’s not to love!
Don’t leave me hanging! When you have fallen out of love with any of your clothes, please donate them to someone who is in need. There are loads of charities set up to take your unwanted clothes away from you, but one of the local charities we believe in is Smart Works: "Smart Works is a UK charity that provides high quality interview clothes, styling advice and interview training to women in need. We give women the confidence, the self-belief and the practical tools they require to succeed at interview and start a new chapter of their life."
Whether that’s sending your pre loved garments to a recycling plant to be broken down and used for something new or giving your unwanted garments to a new home, recycling is a very essential part that we can all play in trying to clean up the fashion world.
We have made a conscious effort to use as many natural fibres in our collections as we know these will biodegrade much faster and in a less damaging way than synthetic fibres (synthetic fibres release methane when breaking down on landfill, a harmful greenhouse gas). However, it is not possible to make all fabrics using natural fibres. There is more and more research being done into recycling synthetic fibres, but we haven’t quite got there yet, on a small scale.
loveyourclothes.org.uk has loads of information on what to do with unwanted clothes, including a recycling locator to find your nearest textiles recycling bank.