Having a minimal impact on the environment is integral to my brand and I strive to do everything I can to ensure my practices and processes are as sustainable as possible. Sustainability in fashion is a complicated issue, with both producer and consumer having a role to play in ensuring garments have a low impact on the environment throughout their life. Here I will be transparent in the ways in which I choose to minimise the impact Collect Me has on the environment.
The fabrics used to produce Collect Me clothing are classed as vintage, second-hand or remnant. This means that they are fabrics already in circulation, rather than being bought by the meter off the roll. Some fabrics are end of roll or remnant pieces from fabric stores - these are odd size pieces leftover from the roll, or slightly damaged or dirty pieces that cannot be sold as new. The majority of fabrics are sourced either from online sellers, markets or charity shops and are sold as unwanted/unused pieces coming out of storage or older vintage pieces.
The Organic Cotton range of jumpers and accessories are made out of new cotton fleece, which is GOTS certified as organic and is produced in Turkey. The GOTS certification ensures organic processes are used from fibre production to dying processes.
The Boiled Wool range of jumpers are made using 100% boiled wool. Wool is a hardwearing and durable natural fibre that will biodegrade under the right conditions. Some jumpers are made from new wool produced in China and some are made from new wool produced in Italy - these are labelled in the product descriptions. I made the decision to buy this more expensive wool from Italy in 2019, as this textile production comes under EU regulations. Going forward from 2020, to ensure that these jumpers have a reduced environmental impact I will only be using remnant and deadstock boiled wool. Deadstock fabric is fabric that has been produced for large fashion brands but been rejected for use, either due to the colour not being right or a change in what is required for a design.
recycling and packaging
Fabric scraps that are leftover from my clothing production are used in a couple of ways:
- Creation of my accessories range.
- Contrast panels, pockets and straps in my clothing designs.
- Designs on greetings cards.
Some fabric scraps are donated to local textile recycling initiatives. My aim for 2021 is to link up with a textile recycling facility to ensure even the smallest scraps can be recycled.
All orders are wrapped in recycled tissue paper with brown paper tape and cotton twine, which can be either reused or recycled. Depending on the size of the order, they will then be posted in any of the following:
- A recyclable paper envelope.
- A recyclable cardboard box.
- A biodegradable plastic mailer bag, with can be composted either at home or used in your food waste bin.
- A recycled plastic mailer bag, reused from orders that I have received myself.
Orders come with recyclable cards with order details on.
Swing tickets for each product are printed using recycled card and environmentally friendly printing processes and hung using cotton twine.
Collect Me clothing is designed without adhering to trends, but with unique design features to ensure they can be worn and loved again and again. If you find that your Collect Me piece needs altering or repairing to ensure that you can keep wearing it and prolong its life, please do get in contact. I want to keep my garments out of landfill and can work together with you to make sure it keeps being loved.
A large part of a garments' environment impact comes after it has been purchased. How you wash and look after your garments can reduce this impact. Due to the nature of sourcing remnant and vintage fabrics, I am not always completely certain of its fibre content. Because of these factors I recommend washing your Collect Me pieces on a cool handwash cycle and air drying. Minimising the amount of times you wash a garment can also make sure that the fabric stays looking its best for longer, as well as reducing water wastage. Spot cleaning marks and stains can help with this. Thoughtfully repair any holes to keep you wearing it, or get in contact if you need help.