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You want to do the right thing, you want to shop sustainably but just when you thought you were doing so good, you find out you weren't. A new article, headline or documentary came out and you realised you didn't make a great choice. And that's exactly what you've been trying SO hard to do since you found out about all this sustainability stuff, right?
You don't want to be a hypocrite, but you just spent a boatload of money on products that make you feel like one. Argh!!
I know, I've been there too and felt so frustrated for making the wrong decision. I beat myself up for not asking more questions or researching further. I vowed I'd do more research.
"How can I not be a hypocrite and buy better next time?"
Find a brand that is truly doing everything they can to be a sustainable as possible.
Now, I know that's easier said than done (because you've been trying to do that, right?). But, here's what I learnt through my own journey of becoming a woman who ACTUALLY makes good choices with her fashion choices.
This is what you need to know.
Most businesses that claim to be sustainable are following what they think they SHOULD say but not actually doing anything different.
This is what real sustainable fashion means
No child labour
Low carbon footprint
Locally sourced raw materials
Utilises recycled textiles
Waste management of reduce, reuse, recycle in a closed loop system
Supports local business and fair trade
Goes against the trend of fast fashion and consumerism
So you want to make sure that you choose businesses that do this, first and foremost.
But... it's not the only thing.
And this is where things get a little complex right? I'll show you what I mean by using the sustainable fashion business I've built as an example.
I was in your shoes when I started creating Farm to Hanger. And I wanted to make a business that I felt I could trust to do the right thing for you, for the planet, for our children's future.
We've been called Australia's #1 ethical and sustainable fashion business. And there's a really good reason for that, because it's the way I designed the business.
Certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, so you know there are no children workers and provide good working conditions and living wages to all employees.
Every garment sold offsets 100% of our carbon emissions and more, meaning you are not adding to climate change, you are helping reverse it.
That meant finding local farmers that are using industry best practices, that use the least amount of water and resources to produce the highest quality raw materials.
Our raw materials come from a beautiful sustainable farm in Queensland where they have been doing great work in resource efficiency to get recognised globally for best industry practices.
Finding a dedicated textile fabricator that produced amazing fabrics from these beautiful raw materials.
Locally sourcing sustainably grown single origin raw materials, supporting your local farmers.
You are not contributing to landfill as no textile waste has left Farm To Hanger, EVER.
A repair and recycle service for you to reduce your own carbon footprint.
Even if you don't recycle your garments, EVERYTHING is biodegradable.
100% Australian Made means you are supporting local employment, businesses and trade.
Being built on circular, regenerative principles, you are actively voting with your purchase for a greener, cleaner world.
These are the people that have made all this possible.
From the farm the cotton is spun to our sewing rooms in Daylesford, Victoria, we can tell you every step of the process and the people involved that help make our beautiful garments: .
Cotton farmer is Glenn and his family in St George, QLD
Textile fabricator is Meriel, coordinating a team from Brisbane, QLD
Postie's are Luke and Stephen
All garment construction is in-house at Daylesford, Victoria where Anna-Louise and her team work tirelessly.
All our textile waste is now split into three sections, reusable, repurposed and recycled.
Reusing scraps to make dog toys for a local charity
Recycling large pieces into new designs
We continue to work with our textile waste to produce biodegradable zero waste products and compost what we can't use.
Zero textile waste has left our factory since we started, EVER.
Not convinced? That's ok, we're so transparent.. here is every step of the way..
Every garment that we make has to be as sustainable as possible.
With that in mind we set out to find the best sustainably grown natural fibres we could.
Finding what we wanted wasn't easy, a naturally occurring raw material, that needed very little human intervention, resource efficient and sustainably grown, preferably Australian.
What we found was absolutely amazing.
The Raw Materials
Rogan Pastoral Co, a fourth generation 100% Australian Owned and Operated family farm, the home of Australian Super Cotton. They have been growing upland cotton at St George, QLD since 1976 and is now Australia’s only remaining dedicated grower of Australia’s Long Staple (ALS) cotton, since its inception in 2007.
The family’s innovative farming methods has seen them recognised as industry leaders and awarded the 2013 Australian Cotton Industry High Achiever of the Year award. The Rogan’s pride themselves on producing a high quality fibre under sustainable and ethical farming practices, and are focused on continuous improvement, which is why we are so proud to be part of their legacy.
The longest, finest, strongest threads of upland cotton grown in the world [ALS]
Voluntary use of industry audited Best Management Practices ensures trace-ability and accountability; the cotton is able to be traced back to the paddock it was grown on
Grown in an environmentally friendly way.
Varieties and management practices used are at the scientific leading edge for water use efficiency.
The core of good products is caring about not only what they are made of but how they are made. 100 years ago, fabric was a luxurious trade-able item, made by people that cared about the quality of their products. Today, mass production has created a low quality, short lifecycle synthetic industry that is made in polluting factories of materials that will take hundreds of years to break down.
It's difficult to find quality circular fabrics that have transparency and traceability at their core. Our textile fabrication is done by an amazing dedicated team, producing the highest quality fabrics using industry best practices to create Full Circle Fibres. Exclusively working with Australian Super Cotton, they transparently and meticulously produce each roll of fabric with the utmost care for quality and the environment, right here in Australia.
All of our threads come from Coats Australia with their commitment to 100% cotton thread made from sustainable raw materials and Cradle to CradleTM approved dyes and chemicals. We also use their mercerised cotton that is high quality, long staple cotton specially treated under tension to provide greater lustre and higher strength that is certified to Öeko-Tex Standard 100, class I, the most stringent class covering textile items.
A first-of-its-kind biodegradable elastomer which is blended with infinito® biodegradable polymer yarn and certified Cradle To Cradle - Gold standard
Factories cause massive environmental damage, including large greenhouse gas emissions across the globe.
Our mission is to make all of our garments in our own minimalistic 100% sustainably manufacturing facility with a net-zero carbon emission target. We are very pleased to say we succeeded in this mission and all of our garments are made in-house with 100% Green-power, off -grid water and septic systems. Our new facility, due for completion by June 2020, will be a beautiful example of the future of Australian garment manufacturing.
Going The Extra Mile
Another part of the waste from the fashion industry is the machinery. As the skill base of machine mechanics deteriorates, sewing machines are being discarded faster than ever. We have been rescuing these old machines and giving them a new lease on life. These would have otherwise gone to the tip as waste and another way we are reducing the impact of the Australian fashion industry.
Everyone that works at Farm To Hanger are paid fair wages under Australian employment standards. Our ECA certification also ensures that our work environment and conditions are transparent and provide a safe and healthy work environment.
Farm To Hanger Packaging
Our minimalist packaging keeps everything classy and simple with recycled eco-friendly packaging and promotional materials. Not one piece of plastic is used in our packaging.
We use recycled card stocks, papers and stickers, even our Luxe gift boxes are 100% recycled.
Reuse - Repair and Recycle Service
We have a repair or recycle initiative for you free of charge, to increase the life span of your garments and reduce your own carbon footprint.
Textile waste is now split into three sections, reusable, repurposed and recycled. We reuse large fabric scraps to make new product lines, repurpose seams for local charity toys and recycle anything that can't be broken down. However, we haven't needed to send anything to textile recycling, EVER and continue to work with our textile waste in-house to produce zero waste products
Planting A Tree For Every Single Item We Sell
We are going another step further in our quest for a sustainable future, we are planting one tree for every garment we sell. We have partnered with Greenfleet through their biodiverse carbon offset program to plant a tree for every product we sell at a cost of $4.02 each.
We love the earth, so we are getting our hands dirty and planting more trees at our factory as well. We have now offset much more than we produce, including the shipping of our products, and are now considered 'regenerative'.
Some times actions speak louder than words.
We made your clothes. When you shop with Farm to Hanger, you’re not only getting quality clothing that reduces environmental impact and waste, you’re getting a traceable, transparent supply chain that supports local communities, farmers and families.
Fashion Revolution supports increasing the transparency of the industry