Rights, Relationships and Revolution
This year marks the 8th anniversary of the Rana Plaza Factory Collapse in Bangladesh, which killed 1,138 people, most of whom were women. This catastrophic event sparked confronting truths of the ethical treatment of garment workers within the fashion industry.
This year Fashion Revolution Week is centred around our rights, relationships and the revolution of the fashion industry. We must dig deeper and and work together to solve the many challenges faced by the fashion industry. At Cloth & Co., we partner with artisan communities with the aim to create sustainable outcomes; with a specific focus on empowering women and marginalised communities with little access to alternative sources of income.
"We need a shift in the relationships between brands and suppliers, so that the rights of people and the rights of nature hold more of the power wherever decisions are being made"
- Fashion Revolution Foundation
Supporting artisans is part of our commitment to the key principles of ethical production methods; the preservation of traditional craft skills, being authentic, ensuring a positive impact on people and our environment. We need to each individually work together to be catalysts for change. All it takes is small steps by each of us to achieve a more circular Fashion Industry.
RELATIONSHIPS & RIGHTS
Who Made Our Clothes & Where Are They Made?
Cloth & Co. is Australian owned and designed, with organic fabrics farmed on Fairtrade Indian farms, where the highest grades of cotton have been farmed naturally for generations. All of our garments are proudly Fairtrade and GOTS (organic) certified and produced in a SA8000 production facility to ensure workers rights and environmental protection; where over 80% of the employees are local women from the surrounding villages, reinvesting into the economy of the local communities. Our garments are certified by non-profit, internationally recognised organisations. We support fair wages, no child labor, workers rights, gender equality & grower community.
We don't just rely on the certifications, we speak with our suppliers weekly on zoom meetings, we visit several times a year (during non covid times) and we have our on-the-ground team member who visits on a regular basis. Our relationships are based on trust and transparency and we regularly discuss ways we can improve our processes or work in even more sustainable ways with a particular focus on pre-consumer waste!
For our hand-loomed scarves & accessories we work with beautiful certified organic European flax, non-mulesed wool and sustainably sourced cashmere, that is all woven by hand by women’s cooperatives and rural artisans in Nepal and India who we have developed long term relationships with.
What Are Out Clothes Made With?
All of our materials are sourced directly through a GOT's and Fair Trade Certified supply chain where the cotton is traced from seed to stitch. For our flax, non-mulesed wool and cashmere we source from a mill in Italy with complete traceability back to the fields and farms.
All of our fabrics are made from natural and certified fibres. The gsm of the fabrics is important for the quality and longevity of the garment. We carefully select according to the style and what we believe to be the best weight for comfort and durability. The feel is everything for us, we love the feel of natural fibres and we only use certified organic or indigenous rain-fed cotton for our garment collections.
We work with beautiful hand-loomed or handcrafted fabrics for our 'Made By Hand' collections, that are made from ethically sourced and certified flax, non-mulesed wool and sustainably sourced cashmere.
People, Planet, Product & Purpose
Our key checkpoints are People, Planet, Product and Purpose. Each of these features in our design development stage so we can ensure we are meeting our core purpose and living up to our values.
Understanding the market and what our customers need and love is our first consideration; we want our customers to be excited by something new and we think that how it feels is one of the most important factors. Humans are tactile creatures, we love how people respond to the fabrics we use.
Cloth & Co.'s philosophy is based on creating beautiful quality wardrobe essentials, in a range of timeless styles that will suit most shapes and sizes. We aim to create sustainable collections that are accessible.
Image Source - @helloemilie
INVESTING IN SLOW FASHION
So many sustainable labels have passionate, hard working people behind them who are trying to make a difference in the world. It is much harder to work without the infrastructure and financial backing that many of the bigger brands have; we work with marginalised communities, in developing countries where people are more vulnerable; everything we do is conscious which requires extra effort, extra time and extra money.
We need people to support us so that we can continue to grow and have a much greater impact on the communities we work with and the environment we live in. We think any person or brand trying to make a difference is doing it for all humanity, if we are not doing it ourselves then we should be supporting those that do.
We are so inspired by our artisans and we want our customers to be inspired by the courage and enterprise of the people we work with. Every piece we produce tells a story, with each thread connecting us to the cultural heritage of the technique as well as the individual craftsperson.
Follow us this week to learn more about our supply chain and just how important our people and planet are to us.
Cloth & Co. xx