Ethical Manufacturing in China
By keeping our band small our supply chain is small too. This mean's we can ensure the people making our active-wear remain happy, healthy and fairly paid. We do this with regular audits and requiring certificates with all suppliers.
Why did we choose China?
When we began sourcing recycled fabric in early 2018, there wasn't many options available for this non-conventional fabric. China is one of the biggest recyclers in the world and when we found an amazing quality fabric made from plastic waste, it made sense to keep full production there. Fast forward to today and we're really happy with the positive relationship we have built with our suppliers over the past year.
Our Supply Chain
We have two main suppliers - we don't own the factories we work with and make up only a very small slice of their full production output. Our first supplier is the company who creates our recycled fabric. They hold a GRS certification which uses tracking and tracing to monitor the full supply chain. This also verifies the recycled contents in the fabric whilst ensuring responsible social, environmental and chemical practices. The GRS addresses the full supply chain from beginning to end: sourcing and collection of waste, handling, storage, shipping, recycling, manufacturing and final sale. Final sale is when it gets sent to our second supplier.
Our second supplier is where our active-wear is made. Here the fabric is cut, printed, sewn and finished, before being boxed and sent directly to us in the UK. Audits ensure the factory is consistently in full compliance with the BSCI Code Of Conduct which addresses everything from; workers rights, pay, working hours, health and safety, child labour, bonded/slave labour, discrimination, ethical business practice and environmental protection. These audits are always announced and openly discussed with the factory. If areas of dissatisfaction are found, then plans are put in place and follow-ups are made to asses the improvements throughout the year. It's important to educate and empower not only the factory owners and managers, but the entire workforce who are interviewed to ensure they are always aware of their full rights. There are no employees under the age of 21 years and health and safety training is provided to everyone, along with a safe and clean working environment. All employees are aware of their rights of freedom and collective bargaining and there is no bonded or precarious labour, no child labour or discrimination. There is no work on Sundays or public holidays and there is no more than 6 consecutive working days at any time. Employees also receive holiday pay and annual leave.
We specifically use sublimation printing for our leggings as it allows for precision, which means we can use the correct amount of ink required for each piece. This method of printing is particularly ideal for small-scale manufacturing, it uses less energy and water, producing less waste overall.
By producing our active-wear in small runs, it also ensures that we never over-produce. Over-producing means supply outweighs demand - in the fashion industry this can result in masses of unsold, unworn clothing either being incinerated or sent to landfill. Not only is this a huge waste physically, but it essentially undermines the entire supply chain and energy used to make it. Every piece of clothing has a carbon footprint, but the more we love, wear and care for that item, the less wasteful it becomes.