To be honest, the idea to be ethical was not our initial inspiration. We wanted to create a brand close to us. One sparked by the recollections of our childhood. And the most imaginative daydreams our now adult selves could muster.
To bring the brand to life we had to research fabrics. And then we realised. Equally central to our designs, we wanted to ensure our materials were ethically produced.
‘Sweatshop-free’ has been in the collective vocabulary for some time. It’s the idea that the clothes on our backs should not be made by using back-breaking, pittance-paid labour in the underdeveloped world.
The image of a miserable, cramped clothes factory is easy to conjure. Here are some facts from perhaps the most well-known nation for textile production – Bangladesh. As of 2015:
∙ There are 3.5 million workers in 4,825 garment factories. 85% of these workers are women
∙ Many work 14-16 hours a day, 7 days a week
∙ The average take-home pay for textile workers is 3000 taka (£25) a month
∙ This is vastly under the country’s living wage (the minimum required to provide a family with shelter, food and education) which is calculated at 5,000 taka (£45 approx) a month
∙ Conditions are often unsafe and crowded which can result in accidents and injuries
∙ Since 1990, over 400 workers have died and thousands more have been wounded in 50 major factory fires
(Source – War on Want)
Sweatshop labour is used throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America with equally grim circumstances for workers.
Added to the human costs, the fashion industry also takes an environmental toll.
Cotton provides the majority of the world's clothing fabric. We all own something made of it. But there’s a price the earth has to pay.
∙ Growing the crop uses 22.5% of the world's insecticides and 10% of the world's pesticides (Source - Ethical Fashion Forum)
∙ These chemicals are often hazardous to local ecosystems and dangerous to the farmers who grow it (Source - Ethical Fashion Forum)
That’s not to mention the water needed to grow cotton and other clothing materials. Currently, the water costs of clothing an average UK household is more than 200,000 litres a year. That’s the equivalent of filling over 1000 baths to capacity.
And when clothes are produced in countries where water is in short supply, the results can be environmentally devastating. (Source – Wrap.org)
There’s also an incredible amount of waste to contend with too. An estimated £140 million worth (350,000 tonnes) of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year. (Source – Wrap.org)
Our research led us to these facts and we didn’t want to contribute to any more human or environmental woe.
We have sourced our materials carefully to ensure they are produced in humane conditions.
∙ No use of child labour
∙ No use of forced labour
∙ Safe and healthy working conditions
∙ Legal labour contracts
∙ Payment of living wage
We also want to add the least environmental strain possible. Our products use:
∙ Certified pesticide free cotton from organisations allied to the ‘Clean Cotton Campaign’
∙ Minimal impact dyes
∙ Low-water and controlled waste discharge methods
∙ Climate-neutral production processes
∙ Recycled textile waste
This is not a guilt trip into buying what we sell. It’s just easy to forget the hidden costs of what we wear. We did for years and don't want to any more.
If you like our designs and get some, we'll be Boom Done delighted. Even if you don't, please try to buy ethical or recycled whenever you can.
Some of the organisations we ensure our materials are sanctioned by:
If you want to know more, here's a film that had a big impact on us.