Slow Fashion: Choosing a Sustainable UK Clothing Brand
Here at Ivy, we know that our customers want premium quality t-shirts that fit well, feel great, hold their shape and don't break the bank. We also know that, like us, you care about how these garments are made and how they are transported and delivered.
The fashion industry as a whole has a pretty bad reputation when it comes to pollution, water use, carbon emissions, human rights, and gender inequality. Whilst the worldwide market for fast fashion is still buoyant, it is being counterbalanced by a growing consumer demand for more ethical clothing brands that prioritise social responsibility and are trying to do things differently.
Last year it was estimated that 15% of consumers were highly concerned about sustainability and consistently made purchasing decisions to lower their impact. This percentage is expected to grow to 50% in coming years, as more shoppers begin to value fair trade, sustainable practices and ethical manufacturing.
“Ivy is part of the ethical fashion movement responding to the demand for more circular production methods and the prioritisation of ethical practices at all stages of the supply chain. “
Ivy is proud to champion a more ethical and sustainable approach to fashion. As an honest and conscious clothing brand, we are acutely aware that there will always be room for improvement, but we work tirelessly to ensure that, at every stage, we are doing what we can to minimise our impact on the environment and prove our ongoing commitment to sustainability. We also endeavour to maintain a fully transparent supply chain because if we don't understand the finer details of the process, how can we reliably vouch for our products?
Here are a few more details about our supply chain and production process which demonstrate some of the things we are doing to earn our stripes as one of the UK's most sustainable fashion brands.
Our Manufacturing Partner in Portugal
All Ivy products are made at a Sedex approved and certified garment manufacturer in Portugal. Like us, the factory is constantly striving to reduce its impact on the environment and it only works with carefully selected third parties who share its core values.
Accredited by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Global Recycled Standard (GRS), the factory is subject to regular re-evaluation of quality, ethical and environmental policies and practices to ensure that it continues to achieve the required high standards.
By reducing, reusing, recovering, and recycling all kinds of materials and energy sources, our factory and its suppliers are paving the way for future generations to adopt a more conscientious approach to fashion, which can be taken up the entire industry and not limited to a small number of sustainable clothing brands.
Alongside their concern to protect the natural environment and manufacture sustainably, we are proud that the factory that makes Ivy t-shirts is also committed to prioritising the welfare of its staff. Both the factory and its suppliers pay fair wages and act in accordance with local labour and environmental standards. This ensures that they comply with national standards and EU recommendations for production processes.
Our Partner Factory's Sustainable Attributes
With the ideal of a truly circular economy always in their sights, Ivy's chosen factory demonstrates its commitment to minimising its environmental footprint at every stage of the production chain:
♻️ Striving for a circular approach to their manufacturing processes, the factory has implemented a system of automatic separation of textile waste (including fabric scraps and deadstock fabrics), cardboard, paper and plastic. All the waste is collected by companies that specialise in recycling and recovery.
💡 As part of their ongoing search to find ways of making their business model more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint, they have invested in LED lighting and installed solar panels, which allow them to directly re-use 45% of the energy they create.
💧 Their partner factory's new Bio-Laundry has been equipped with state of the art technology for reducing water usage. By reducing consumption of one of the world's most precious resources they have cemented their position as one of the leading companies in the sustainable clothing sector.
Natural Fabrics: GOTS-Certified Organic Cotton
We are proud that our entire range is made using GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certified soft organic cotton jersey. It is one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics, and doesn't undergo a harsh manufacturing process. Grown chemical-free, without pesticides or insecticides, organic cotton requires 71% less water in production, due to improved soil quality, and 62% less energy than conventional cotton.
“By using organic methods 1,982 gallons of water is saved per cotton t-shirt.”
The Global Organic Textile Standard is an organisation that ensures the validity of organic materials, from the harvesting of the raw materials to eco-friendly and socially responsible finishing and manufacturing.
Aside from the environmental benefits, organic cotton also provides the incredible softness for which you know and love Ivy t's. Not only does it feel amazing to wear, it is the ideal choice for those with sensitive skin or allergies, as fewer chemicals are used in its manufacture. Combined with longer, smoother fibres than regular cotton, organic fabrics are softer, feel better and last longer.
Responsible Fashion: Investing in Timeless Pieces
One of the cornerstones of shopping more sustainably is to find your own style and shop what suits you, rather than following fashion fads. One of the best things you can do to boost your sustainability efforts is to create a capsule wardrobe of timeless clothing that you absolutely love and that you know you will enjoy wearing until it falls apart and needs to be recycled. Offered at an accessible price to be inclusive, but expensive enough that each purchase should be a considered one, Ivy's permanent collection of t-shirts are wardrobe staples.
Thoughtfully crafted to transcend seasonal fads, Ivy t-shirts can be worn all year round. Combine them with vintage clothing finds and garments already in your wardrobe to create a wide range of different outfits that will look and feel good, and most importantly feel like you.
We have worked with the factory to develop durably made beautiful pieces that wash well and hold their shape. Whilst no clothing is indestructible, we are confident that, with proper care, you will be able to wear these basics for many seasons to come. We believe in buying less and buying better.
Our commitment to slow fashion is not just ingrained in our values, but an integral part of our ongoing communication with our customers. We send out regular emails demonstrating how we combine our own Ivy t's with items already in our wardrobe, with the intention of inspiring people to make informed choices and to wear their existing Ivy garments in new ways.
Combined with our social media initiative that encourages followers to tag our brand in images that feature Ivy t's, we aim to extend the lifespan of our products by maintaining interest in past purchases and not focusing exclusively on new sales.
Sustainable Packaging Information
Like most sustainable brands who deliver products directly to their customers' doors, we are trying hard to do this in an eco-friendly manner and to eliminate plastics from our packaging, using recycled and recyclable elements wherever we can.
We currently incorporate a number of more eco-friendly materials in the product packaging we use to get our t-shirts safely from our warehouse to your door; The boxes, envelopes, recycled tissue paper and parcel tape we use are all biodegradable packaging, but they are also 100% recyclable and wherever possible, we encourage our customers to re-use or pop them in the recycling bin rather than throwing them in general waste.
If there is ever any more specific information you would like to know about our processes, we are only ever more than happy to endeavour to pass this on. You can email us here.