LET'S CHOOSE SUSTAINABILITY AS A CORE VALUE - CONSCIOUS LIVING
We are far from perfect, but we are continuously trying and learning.
In an ideal world, the supply chain in producing a fabric should be exploitation free - everyone is treated fairly and respected; there are no toxic chemicals used throughout the production that may harm workers or wildlife; and every thing is reused or recycled, creating no waste.
In this real world where we seek convenience, single-use disposables mean the demand for supply is high, thus creating environments for exploitation. The ideal world will take a while to achieve - we have to be conscious, we have to try; as long as people can change, the world can change.
What 'A Kind Cloth' is doing to help the planet:
- Energy supplied in the building we operate from is powered by renewable sources.
- Paper for stationery and packaging: we source recycled materials which must be also be recyclable. Any virgin materials must be FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified.
- Where possible, we avoid compostable/biodegradable as most of these products are not suitable for home composting, and require commercial environments that are not easily accessible - this would mean the products would end up in landfill unable to break down.
- We do reuse packaging we receive from our suppliers to pack up our orders to you. In this instance, this reused packaging could be plastic.
- Minimising packaging when sending out our orders to you: receipts will not be printed and sent out with your order but you will receive an email receipt at time of purchase.
- Sourcing fabric: we look for suppliers who have a similar ethos. Asking questions about the manufacturing process and only supporting the suppliers who are open to these questions and are willing to be transparent in what they are doing.
- Fabrics that don’t harm the planet in production: fabrics are selected due to their green credentials. Though there may be no such thing as a zero impact fabric, we try our best to source fabrics that have as little impact to the environment as possible. We aim to source fabrics that are GOTS (Global Organic Textiles Standard) or 'Oeko-Tex Standard 100' certified. Cottons should ideally at least be part of the BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) scheme. Read 'Certifications / Green Credentials' for further information about what they stand for.
- We aim for 100% content in fabrics to ensure that natural fibres can be recycled.
- Where possible we try not to source Recycled PET Polyester fabrics as they cannot be recycled and its fibres are still made from petroleum-based chemicals or petrochemical products. However, in some instances where polyester fibres are a necessity for the handle of the fabric, we will attempt to make sure that that portion is derived from recycled materials.
- We do not source any ‘deadstock’ fabrics, as we feel that companies that have excess amounts of deadstock will assume there is a demand for it, and therefore no longer attempt to produce less of it in the first instance. There are already plenty of companies that do purchase deadstock to help eliminate existing waste.
- We actively monitor sales activity to calculate and estimate minimal quantities to purchase, in order to avoid excess stock that may go to waste; a fine balance of trying to minimise frequent/multiple deliveries.
- Fabric scraps: decent size pieces are sold at discounted prices on the Sale page; smaller scraps are donated to local community centres for use in crafting sessions; tiny scraps not deemed suitable for projects are recycled at the local recycling facilities where they can be sold in weight, generating money for charities.
- Carbon emissions created from our deliveries to our customers are offset by cost, to neutralise by funding forest protection. Learn more about it by clicking here and at: https://www.shopify.com/climate/sustainability-fund/partners
- Creating a blog to help educate about fabrics and fibres: just because the fabric is made of natural fibres, it does not necessary mean it is sustainable; no fibre is perfect. You can gain knowledge to make a choice about what matters to you. Read here: 'Fabrics and Fibres'.
- We will continue to question, research and learn at every opportunity.
It’s all the small actions building a mass collective that make a difference. Sharing is caring!
How individuals can help too:
- Mend any holes in your clothes, even your socks. You’ll be surprised how many more wears you can get out of them. If you need any advice, email email@example.com and we’ll be more than happy to help!
- If you no longer like a garment in your wardrobe: before donating it, think about modifying it. By adding a trim, a new panel, or changing its shape, it could feel like a new garment! Feel free to email for advice.
- Choose more sustainable fabrics when buying new clothes, click here for info about fabrics and fibres.
- No matter how hard you try, you’ll most likely have synthetic fabric of some form within your laundry basket. These fabrics release plastic microfibres into the water as you launder. There are products which can capture these microfibres to prevent them finding their way into the ocean. I personally use a Cora Ball, which is as simple as throwing it into the washing machine drum with a wash (delicates and strappy garments should be placed inside a net laundry bag first/hand-washed separately, so they won’t get tangled in the ball). The ball both catches microfibres in the washing machine water as well as reducing the amount of microfibres released from fabrics in the wash, thus increasing the life of your garments.
- Add your voice to this petition: Stop Ocean Threads - Microfibres Campaign, to call for legislation that will see washing machine manufacturers fit microfibre filters in all new domestic and commercial machines, by law, by 2023 and retrofitted in commercial machines by 2024.
Rethink how often you wash your clothes. It it's only been worn once, does it really need to be added to the laundry basket or can you wear it again after an air, perhaps? And when you do wash, use a non-bio detergent and wash at lower temperatures like 30℃.
Start with one small change and watch your mindset evolve.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
- Live by the mantra of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Start by asking yourself if you really need something before you buy it. Then keep using it. If you or someone else can no longer use it, then recycle it!
- Recycle as best you can. Check your local authorities instructions about what you can recycle: some want lids on, some want them without, some only take certain plastics etc!
- Use a search engine such as Ecosia who use their income to plant trees.
- Think about subscribing to a toilet paper supplier. You can buy in bulk for less deliveries. The products can be unbleached, be less harmful to the environment, and the company may even give some of their profit to those who do not have access to our modern day sanitation. Do your research though, there are now lots of companies to choose from!
- Learn more about what you are buying before deciding if you really need it. A lot of greenwashing around at the moment may trick you into buying something you do not actually need!
- Do you know a company who treats their employees or their clients unfairly or badly? Speak up for them: contact the company yourself via social media or email; kindly ask about what can be done to stop it/prevent it from happening again.
- Check your energy suppliers at home to see if you can switch to a renewable energy supplier. There are quite a few options nowadays that make it possible to do so.
- Ditch single-use disposables for reusables, i.e. if you’re always a grabbing a coffee on the way to work, buy a reusable coffee cup and make the effort to remember to take it out with you. If you use face wipes to remove make-up, swap to washable flannels instead (you can use a carrier oil to massage your skin, which not only cleans away even waterproof make-up but will help to moisturise your skin!).
- Make the effort but don’t be too hard on yourself. If, for example, you forget your reusable coffee cup when grabbing that coffee, just try to remember next time. Remember Anne Marie Bonneau’s quote: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly."
Have you any tips you would like to share? Any suggestions, recommendations, feedback will be gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org
2001: (Moore et al) studies showed that “…the mass of plastic was approximately six times that of plankton.”
A Comparison of Plastic and Plankton in the North Pacific Central Gyre, Dec 2001. C.J. Moore, S.L. Moore, M.K. Leecaster, S.B. Weisberg www.algalita.org/research/publications
2015: “…if everyone on the planet lived like someone in the UK we would need between three and five planets’ worth of resources to sustain us.”
www.sustainability.bam.co.uk/insights/2015-06-01-this-world-environment-day-do-more-with-less Kris Karslake 01 June 2015