Our values are pretty simple: do less harm, do more good.
We only use organic cotton. Conventional cotton is grown using vast quantities of pesticides and insecticides. Organic cotton, on the other hand, uses agricultural methods designed to help sustain the soil it grows on, and the farmers who grow it. They don't have to handle toxic chemicals, worry about them entering their water supply or get into debt buying them. Organic cotton also commands a price premium.
Almost all our organic cotton now comes from the Pratima Organic Farmers group in Balangir, Odisha, India. Country of Origin, Place of Origin: India.
Our Wadham Oxford weave shirts also carry the Fairtrade Mark. Fairtrade certification means the farmers, again the Pratima Organic Farmers, meet the Fairtrade cotton standards and that they received the Fairtrade minimum price plus a Fairtrade premium. We are working to have all our shirts Fairtrade & organic certified, but we'll have to grow a bit first, currently we can't always access the right quality yarn or fabric in Fairtrade cotton.
The apparel industry is renowned for exploitation and poor working conditions. We want all our suppliers to follow both the labour laws of their country and to meet the criteria of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code. Easy to say, hard to check. The suppliers involved in processsing our cotton shirts have all been audited against the Global Organic Textile Standard social criteria at a minimum and the shirt factory has been audited against a variety of high criteria codes including the ETI Base Code and SA8000 as well as other codes such as BSCI.
Our shirts are produced in an amazing unit and in a small factory in Bangalore. Our tailors are amongst the most skilled in the unit and are paid the highest wages. We’ll happily share details of our suppliers with any NGOs or trade unions out there who would like to ascertain conditions for themselves. In fact we’d love to have your help. Manufacturing location.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle
It's a bit of a journey from our tailors in India to us here in the UK. Most of our shirts now come to us in compostable bio-degradeable 'poly'bags. We find them handy to re-use after in our kitchen compost buckets. Some shirts are still in plastic polybags. These can be recycled. All tissue is FSC certified or recycled. The cardboard boxes we ship out the shirts in are also FSC/recycled.
We believe in the power of business to do good. But we’re also fans of the great work done by charities. We can’t support all of them, but we pledge to give 1% of our turnover every year to charity.
We still have a way to go to solve some of the challenges in our aim to do less harm. Keep an eye on our blog for more details about what good we're currently doing and how we're constantly working to improve. And if you have any ideas that would help us do things better, please get in touch.
Find out more
We encourage people to ask us questions about where our shirts have come from. We're not perfect (yet!) but are proud of what we do and are happy to talk about it with you either casually or in mind-numbing certification details. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on +44 7712 633070 for more information.