The environmental footprint of the fashion and textiles industry is very large and one of the leading causes of climate change. As a brand this is a problem that we take extremely seriously. We have recently launched ‘No frills’, our sustainable, core classic’s line, in an attempt to reimagine our product and to provide an alternative to fast fashion. From supply chains, to the way we run the office, to whom we partner with, we promote sustainability where we can.
What is happening in the fashion industry is very similar to what is happening in the food industry. Heavy chemicals and pesticides are being used and have a huge impact on the environment. Throughout the supply chain we are committed to using as many organic and natural fibres, with minimal chemicals, as possible.
For Summer 2020 only 5% of our fabrics are synthetic and we only use them where absolutely necessary, such as in pleating, and we are working hard to phase them out entirely. 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 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 cotton, wool, Lyocell and viscose make up the majority of our collections. All our cotton is bought under the GOTS certification ensuring every worker is paid a living wage. Our denim originates from Isko and then produced within small artisan manufacturers whom are certified with GOTS, Nordic SWAN Ecolabel, EU Ecolabel and FWF. The bulk of our wool is from the company Lanas Trinidad and then produced with weavers in Austria. And our fabric supplier, Burel completes every stage of their production within Portugal. Our lyocel is from Tencel and a large quantity of our viscose is from Enka.
Wastage is an issue at all stages of a garments life span and we do what we can to reduce waste at our point in the process. We work very hard to keep our cutting as tight as possible, not only to ensure we reduce our footprint but to also minimise costs which is always passed on to you, the customer.
For a full list of all our environmental attributes explained, see transparency here.
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.