The most passionate arguments for the ethical and sustainable production of textile products are usually directed at the fashion industry. Seasonal trends encourage mass-consumption and a highly disposable approach to textiles. However, many of the issues discussed are relevant not only for fashion but also the textiles industry more broadly. Globalisation has created the ability to purchase materials and labour from wherever in the world costs are lowest, often coming at a environmental or social cost (hidden from the consumer).
We aim to tackle one of these issues – ensuring a fair wage and future prospects for sewers in the textile industry – and see many parallels with the wider issues that the textile industry faces. First and foremost, is the unavoidable fact that you get what you pay for. For cotton growing this can mean intensively produced cotton devastating the environment through the intensive use of water, or the heavy use of toxic chemical to soften and dye them. Further down the supply chain this can mean exploitative working conditions, with the use of forced overtime, violence and low pay. Falling high-street prices means less money to those most vulnerable along the supply chain.
As a social enterprise all our profits are invested back into our employees and their training. We provide a supportive working and training environment in our workshop and offer work to those would may otherwise find it impossible – as is so often the case with a criminal conviction. Additionally, our location in the heart of London allows designers to visit us, form a strong relationship with our workshop and ensure that we are producing soft-furnishing that are made to last (reducing the well trodden path to landfill and the incinerator) and exactly to our clients specifications.