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Sustainability & Ethical Trade

Sustainable and ethical practices are at the heart of what we do. We started this business as much to address the social and environmental problems in the fashion industry, as to provide beautiful shirts to you lovely folk. 

Our values are pretty simple; do less harm, do more good. So what does this look like in practice?

Organic Cotton

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.

Our organic cotton now comes from the farmers of the Chetna Organic group in Telangana, India.

Fairtrade

Our Oxford weave shirts also carry the FAIRTRADE Cotton Mark. Fairtrade certification means the farmers meet Fairtrade Standards and that they received the Fairtrade Minimum Price plus the 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 certified cotton. 

Ethical Trade

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 processing 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,SA8000, FairWear Foundation 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.

Packaging

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 biodegradable polybags.

We find them handy to re-use after in our kitchen compost buckets. Some shirts are still in plastic polybags and these can be recycled.  

All tissue is FSC certified or recycled. 

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 clare@arthurandhenry.com for more information.