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.
The cotton in our Chislet range of shirts is also fairly traded. We've bought the cotton on fair trade terms from farmers certified by FLO-Cert to the Fairtrade seed cotton standard. This means the farmers get paid a fair price for their cotton, one that covers the cost of production and gives them some extra. And then the farming group gets a little bit extra to invest in improving their communal livelihood.
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 factory in Bangalore. Our tailors are amongst the most skilled in the factory 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.
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. We haven’t yet found a viable alternative to packing the shirts in polybags to protect them, although we have hopefully reduced the amount of annoying plastic clips and pins. 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 (0)20 7043 3043 for more information.