You can always find us online but this year we'll also be at the following festive fairs. Perfect for a spot of Christmas shopping. We'll have splendid shirts plus some rather fine socks and scarfs and wallets and other gentlemanly things. (Possibly even some underthings.)
Perfect for the men in your life. Or even for yourself.
Fair Christmas Fayre, 11am - 6pm, Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, London
Barbican Design Market, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London
4th December 5pm - 8.00pm
12th December 5pm - 8.00pm
14th & 15th December 12pm - 8.00pm
19th December 5pm - 8.00pm
Green & Ethical Christmas Fayre, Holy Trinity Church, Clapham Common, Clapham
Saturday 7th December, 10am - 4pm
Cocktails & Christmas Shopping, Fairly Square Bar, 51 Red Lion Street, Holborn, W1CR 4PF
Tuesday 10th December, 6pm to late
We're girding our loins here in preparation for taking to the stage. Well to a platform in London's Victoria & Albert museum where our co-founder Clare will be discussing 'the ethics of throwaway fashion' on Wednesday night in an Intelligence Squared debate.
Arthur & Henry was founded on the premise that we can make and sell good shirts - good for the men who wear them, good for the people that make them, good for the planet. We're looking forward to the conversation. Come join us
Wednesday 6th November, V&A Museum.
Ever wondered how your shirts come so crisply folded?
In April this year the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangaldesh killing over a 1,000 people, mainly female garment workers, and injuring thousands more.
Six months on what has changed in the fashion industry?
On the plus side, a hundred retailers and brands have signed up to the legally binding Accord for Fire and Building Safety, covering 1,557 garment factory.
On the downside, since April only Primark has actually paid any compensation to the injured workers and families of those killed making their clothes. There continue to be more fires and deaths of garment workers in Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi government and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Export Association appear to be taking little action to improve matters.
Not to mention that globally millions of garment workers continue to receive a wage that is not enough for them to live on. Isn't that just a slow death?
So one small step has been taken, but the industry still has a way to go.
Our Arthur & Henry shirts are ethically made in Bangalore in Southern India. We choose to produce in India not just because it's close to where our organic cotton is grown and spun and woven but also because we believe that trade, done properly, with provision of decent work can help lift people out of poverty. If we, a new, small company can do it, then why can't others?
And we're not alone. There's a growing demand that the fashion industry clean up its act. A loose coalition has formed to call for a Fashion Revolution Day to be held every April to remember the tragedy and campaign and act that things change for the better. We're proud to be part of it.
In the meantime, if you'd like to find out more about what's been happening:-
- the BBC has a report on how the survivors are doing
- ITV's Laura Kuenssberg was in Bangladesh recently and has some good points on how consumers here are linked to issues there
- the Clean Clothes Campaign have produced a short report
- The Ethical Trading Initiative has a timely reminder not just to look at Bangladesh
One reason why our cotton is organic...
EJF (2007) The Deadly Chemicals in Cotton
Williamson, S (2003) The Dependency Syndrome: Pesticide use by African smallholders. PAN UK: London.
Ok ok ok, I get it, we all need to pay tax. But why are some taxes so high? As Jean-Baptiste Colbert (treasurer to the Court of Louis XIV in the 17th century) is supposed to have said, the art of successful taxation is like plucking geese and obtaining the maximum number of feathers with the minimum amount of hissing. So here’s my question; why isn’t there more hissing when it comes to the taxation on wine? (a subject dear to my heart)
The average bottle of wine in the UK sells for £5.04 according to a report published this year by The Drinks Business. Of that a whopping £2.84 of that price is tax, that’s 56% of the total purchase price (or a tax of 129% on the bottle) going straight to the exchequer. Don’t forget that you would have already paid tax on the money that you have earned to buy that bottle in the first place. If you are a 40% tax payer you will have earn (at the margin) £8.40 (let’s ignore NI contributions) to buy something that costs just £2.20, the rest goes straight to HMRC.
Wow! So what do you get for your £6.20? Well, we could take a look at the various websites that purport to give us visibility over where our tax pound is going, but they invariable either come from the perspective of “the government takes too much of my money and gives it to the feckless poor” or “if somebody earns *that* much then they should should stop complaining about having to pair their ‘fair share’”. So let’s leave the politics to others and get back to the question at hand. Why isn’t there more hissing?
The answer presumably lies with the gradual way taxes are introduced and then increased. We don’t hiss very much for the same way that the frog doesn’t jump out of the pan of water that is gradually boiled.
So, what’s my point? Well, I think that the way we treat the people that make our clothes probably started out luke warm (to stick with the frog analogy), but with every push on costs & slightly faster turn-around, over decades, the water is now boiling. Nobody would choose this as a way to treat the person who makes their clothes, but somehow we’ve drifted into it. What’s needed now, is a way for us to collectively turn the heat down. Answers on a postcard please.
We love your vibrancy and colour. Your parathas and chapatis. Your rice and dal. Your mountains and your beaches. Your rivers and temples. Your gentleness and liveliness. Your crazy traffic and quiet backwaters. Your sheer variety.