How are we ethical?

Our Sustainable Business Processes

At Where Does It Come From? we don’t see why our products have to cost the earth. We focus on quality and functionality, using the most eco-friendly processes we can to achieve this. Many of these practices are traditional so that we are helping sustain such crafts as hand weaving and block printing too, as well as provide livelihoods for people who learned their skills from their parents and grandparents. As it happens these processes produce amazing clothes too! We couple with tradition with innovation too – in process and fabric.

Our B2B productions are custom so specified based on client requirements. This means we can find the solution that best fits your ethical values – right from the source and type of fibres to the social enterprises making your products.

Our Sustainable Production

This is how we make our products in a sustainable way:

  1. Where possible, we use fibres, most often cotton, which grows locally to our production. This means that we are supporting the local farmers and also that the fibre doesn’t travel a long way before it is processed, thus cutting down on carbon emissions.
    Our preferred cotton is certified organic cotton so we can be sure of sustainable production methods and minimal use of pesticides. However indigenous cotton varieties are pest resistent naturally and survive with just rain water so this is a top choice too.
  2. For the majority of our Indian supply chain work we choose khadi, a cotton fabric that has been handwoven and handspun in co-operatives in India. The equipment is powered by people power (pedals or handles) and even sometimes the sun. This production uses virtually no carbon.
  3. Our fabrics are all plastic free. We never mix our cottons with polyester or coat them with any plastic substances. Shirt buttons are made from wood or shell. Some of our children’s clothing that were made several years ago do have plastic buttons unfortunately but this won’t be happening again!

4. Our Indian Khadi fabrics are dyed by hand in large water vats. This technique uses approximately one fifth of the water used in more standard dyeing processes. The dyes used are a mix of Azo-free and natural dyes to ensure non-toxicity but also that colour will hold sufficiently when washed.
Our African print items are digitally printed using organic dyes.
5. Fabric – Our main Indian production partner Moral Fibre Fabrics share our sustainability values and ensure that the minimum amount of fabric is wasted during production. Design plays a key part too – for example our scarves are sized so that the fabric roll is equally split into 30 scarves. Our African partners Mayamiko are equally sustainable and zero waste. Fabric cutting is done in a way to cause maximum use of the fabric and any left over bits were used to make pocket squares and hair scrunchies. All scraps were donated to a period poverty project to create sanitary protection for local girls to ensure they can attend school when they have their period.

6. Printing – we use traditional hand block printing in many of our designs. This craft involves the skill of carving a design onto a wooden block by hand. The block is then used to repeatedly stamp the design onto the fabric. Recently we have used hand screen printing too where the design is created through spreading dyes over a screen on the fabric which has had holes created to allow the dye to create the pattern.

7. We don’t use harmful chemicals during our manufacturing process or coat our fabrics in substances to make them ‘easy iron’ or waterproof.

Processes we will not use

There are also processes which we do NOT use. We will not use sandblasting or distressing techniques to artificially age our fabrics.

Zero Waste

For more information on our zero waste plans please read about Our Journey Towards Zero Waste and how we are Going Plastic Free.

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