With last week being fashion revolution week, we have paused and reflected on our practices and responsibilities as a manufacturer. Fashion Revolution is in it’s 6th year and was established after the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh. On the 24th April 2013, a factory producing throw away fashion for many of the high streets biggest brands collapsed killing 1138 people and injuring more than 2500. Just the day before, fears were voiced about the safety of the building as cracks had started to appear but the garment workers were forced to attend work that day. No one should die for fashion and Fashion Revolution was established to shine a light on the fashion industry and it’s practices. The fashion industry needs more transparency and more brands need to take responsibility for their actions and their impact.
It is something that I am passionate about and one of the driving forces behind me setting up Love & Squalor. I aim to be as conscious of my impact on the environment as possible and hope to create a safe and secure place to work. Love & Squalor has been founded with a strict ethical code and my strive to adhere to that every day.
We design and make all of our Love & Squalor pieces in store. All of our staff are paid above the national living wage and are valued and respected. It is so important to create a calm working environment and I hope we have achieved that at Love & Squalor.
In our instagram Q&A our main question was about our fabric choices. There are a number of factors in us choosing which fabrics to use for each collection.
We always go for natural fibres as they are much kinder on the environment. We tend to use mainly cotton and linen although we have worked with bamboo and wool too.
We try to choose hard wearing fabric as we believe that by making clothes that are built to last, we are not producing disposable pieces that will only last one season before having to be replaced.
We have started using more linen than cotton as it is, generally speaking, a more sustainable material.
We aim to use organic cotton where possible as pesticides used in cotton production have had a catastrophic effect on the environment and human life.
We use some knitted organic cottons which are produced in Britain
We have sourced some tweed from Irish mills and we are hoping to visit some other weavers in Ireland this summer to source some other cloth.
We do try as hard as possible to be mindful of where our fabric is coming from but there is always room for improvement. We would love to get to the point where all the cotton we used was organic. We would also like to explore other fibres such as modal, rayon, tencel and cupro as some other natural alternatives.
We do stock some other pieces in store at Love & Squalor but we ensure that they share our principles and ethos. All of the pieces we stock are made using natural materials and are made ethically. Many are produced in Britain and we believe that all these pieces are built to last.
Fashion Revolution Week has achieved so much but there is still a long way to go. We hope that by promoting transparency in our industry that people will start to ask ‘Who Made My Clothes?’. If you have any further questions about what we do at Love & Squalor then please ask!