SUSTAINABILITY

EXPLORE THE SUSTAINABLE WORLD WE'RE CREATING BY WOMEN FOR WOMEN


Don't tell me fashion doesn't matter. it employs 18% of the global workforce [1], it's the number 2 contributor to climate change after oil and gas (more than all transport, cars, planes, freight, shipping combined) [2], it’s a $3 Trillion dollar industry [3] and it's run by 72% old white guys [4].

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CONSUMPTION

 

The planet produces 150 Billion items of clothing every year [5] (that’s 21 new pieces of clothing for each person on the planet). 

 

Over 60% is made from polyester/artificial fibers [6]. In case you didn’t know this already - polyester is made with oil. It’s just another plastic.

 

The plastic in fast fashion clothing bleeds into our ecosystem every time it’s washed, and especially when it heads to landfill after being worn on average only 7 times [7]. These microplastics end up in our water, our animals, and yeah - in us. With health effects still unknown. 

 

17 million tonnes of textile waste goes to landfill every year [8]. That’s the entire weight of the population of France, Germany, and the UK COMBINED each year.

7

AVERAGE NUMBER OF TIMES

CLOTHES ARE WORN BEFORE 

BEING THROWN AWAY

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100 MILLION TONNES - the average amount of plastic based cloths that end up in landfill every single year. It's equivalent to the great pyramid, and growing 50% YOY

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HUMAN FOR SCALE

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FABRICS

 

We’re proud to say all our fabrics are wildly natural. From the British Romney Wool, Scottish cashmere, and 18mm silks, nothing we use is ever polyester based.

 

Wool is 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable [9], and can be repurposed at the end of its life, to become - you guessed it - MORE WOOL!

 

We’re collaborating with more independent smaller mills to bring organic cottons using FoxFibre, undyed wools from Loro Piana, and hemp into our mainstream collections.

RENEWABLE MATERIALS

WHEN IN LANDFILL: BIODEGRADE

WOOL - annual shear of sheep's coat for summer

CASHMERE - annual shear of goat's coat for summer

SILK - from silk worms

HEMP, COTTON & LINEN - from plants

 

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FOSSIL FUEL MATERIALS WHEN IN LANDFILL & WITH EVERY WASH: SHED MICRO-PLASTICS

POLYESTER - PLASTIC FROM OIL & COAL

NYLON - PLASTIC FROM OIL & COAL

ACRYLIC - PLASTIC FROM OIL & COAL

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The mills we work with are the kings (and queens!) of fabric manufacturing. 

In 2012 they built the first wastewater treatment plant in Mongolia (home of cashmere goat breeding). Long before it was law, they’ve been purifying all their water before release since 1987. Their Italian alpine home mill is covered in so many solar panels that it’s entirely energy self-sufficient.

CASHMERE

 

Cashmere is causing ecological problems in the Mongolian dessert where the goats roam. We’re proud to work with Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) [10] – which through a collaboration of goat herders, national governments, conservationists and industry experts, animal welfare and land management practices are stringently set and followed ensuring that all SFA cashmere is reliably sourced.

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Goat herders 

Environmentalists

Industry Experts

Local Governments

Sustainable Cashmere's key stakeholders

WOOL

 

Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) – A fully traceable supply chain [11]. The number of wool products in our collection that are RWS registered is increasing every year. RWS is an independent organisation that addresses the welfare of sheep and the land upon which they graze. Annual audits check on protecting animal welfare ensuring they are happy, healthy, pain free and well fed, preserving land health, and supply chain traceability.

COTTON

 

We love working with organic cottons and coloured cottons, regular cottons - not so much. Infamous for using the equivalent amount of water for one person over 2.5 years for one t-shirt [14]. The colour in the tuft is a natural pesticide, and Sally Fox at FoxFiber is fine tuning these gorgeous colours without pesticides in the california mountains. 

 

You can look out for the following labels in stores to help indicate more responsible cottons -

2023 GOAL
TO ONLY USE
ORGANIC COTTON
FOR SHIRTS

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Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

Our collection includes cotton products that are GOTS certified. GOTS encompasses ecological and social criteria throughout the entire supply chain.

Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

The BCI was started by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to improve how cotton is farmed making it more sustainable with consideration given to land and soil management.

OEKO TEX Standard 100

An increasing number of our cotton products are certified by OEKO TEX Standard 100 which promotes the non-use of over 100 substances known to be harmful to human health.

HOW MOST FASHION BUSINESSES ARE RUN

 

Most fashion businesses have to predict trends 3-ish months in advance, guess(!) what will sell, and guess how many to order in which sizes. The manufacturing is done in far away lands, contracted out again and again, with middle men being paid more than the factory workers.

 

It’s a race to the bottom for price, with little thought to quality, and if the big businesses forget to pay - these little factories are just a rounding error - and the bills forgotten (see unpaid factory workers contracts in covid [16]).

 

Hundreds of thousands of items head over in containers full of clothes, sit in warehouses, and hopefully get sold. Want to know something scary? 30% of clothes produced are NEVER sold [17]. 50% get sold on sale, meaning only 20% of the clothes made end up being purchased at the price intended. [18]

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$1,643,835 PER DAY

OWNER SALARY

HIGH ST CHAIN 

MIDDLEMEN

BONUS FOR LOWEST

POSSIBLE PRODUCTION PRICE

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AVERAGE SALARY OF GARMENT WORKER IN BANGLADESH

$31 PER DAY

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MCKINSEY ESTIMATES 71% OF ALL RETURNS ARE A RESULT OF POOR FIT

Let’s say you order 3 sizes to try on and intend to keep only one size, harmless - right? Wrong - depending on the order value, it’s cheaper for businesses to just throw the item away than bother to have someone re-package it and re-stock it.  And don’t even get us started on if you have a little make up stain or deodorant stain on something while trying it on - straight to the incinerator or landfill. 

 

5 billion pounds worth of waste is generated through returns, only 20% are actually defective [20].

WHAT REALLY HAPPNS TO RETURNS
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Re-packed in more plastic and ordered again

Landfill/incinerate - quality control issues eg missing button

Landfill/incinerate - last season / too late to sell

Landfill/incinerate - damaged during try on eg make up

Re-sold to discount distributors in developing countries - destroying local culture. Eg Oxfam sends 35% of donations to Senegal, Africa

Made to order wins! Because we only ever make what you ask us to, we’re almost never left with waste garments. We hold zero inventory & therefore zero waste. We only create orders when customers place them. On the rare occasion we do have a leftover garment or two - we either do a charity sample sale (see £10k raised for Ukraine), or we donate them to a charity helping women from disadvantaged backgrounds prep for a first job interview by providing them with professional clothing.

EMPLOYEES & TRAINING

 

The fashion industry employs 18% of people globally and the majority of those people are women [21]. 

 

G&G ensures all of its makers work in safe, supportive and ethical environments because being sustainable means working in ways that are ethical for the planet but also for its people. Everyone gets 4 weeks holiday a year, pension contributions, health and safety guarantees and sick pay.

 

Our London workshop is a sedex approved [22] social enterprise, which strives to be a centre of excellence learning and development of skills within the tailoring industry, hosting training courses for young people to master tailoring and ensure these skills are passed on to the next generations. 

 

In our office, more than half are mums. For returning mums, we worked on totally flexible hours to help employees fit work in around nap times, tantrums and helpful inlaws. 

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1/6
of the global workforce is employed in fashion

4 weeks holiday, sick pay, pension contributions, and health and safety information

are essential requirements for employees of G&G suppliers

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PACKAGING & RECYCLING
 

G&G wants nothing to do with the single use plastic packaging that makes up 26% of total plastic production every year! Our orders are sent from manufacturer to store in reusable suit bags (unlimited reuse), our fitting jackets are sent to customers in reusable deadstock fabric suit covers and reusable shipping crates.

 

Our finished products are shipped to clients in reusable rain-proof, cycle-proof life proof suit bag covers that are indestructible, in fully recyclable cardboard boxes (sealed with 100% recyclable tape).

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"IF IT CAN'T BE REUSED, REPAIRED, REBUILT, REFURBISHED, RECYCLED OR COMPOSTED, THEN IT SHOULD BE RESTRICTED, REDESIGNED OR REMOVED FROM PRODUCTION"

PETE SEEGER

PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE

It costs more to repair fast-fashion clothes than it does to buy them, and this planned obsolescence [23]

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PERCEIVED OBSOLESCENCE

whereby fast-changing trends render previous styles obsolete, driving unnecessary consumption [24]. 

REPAIR 

 

Both of these teach consumers to continue this cycle of ‘it’s broken, I’ll throw it away, or ‘It’s a new week, I need something new’. This makes them billions of dollars - in fact, their business is optimised to encourage consumers to replace their entire wardrobe every two weeks, then throw it all away two weeks later. It might not cost you much, but it’s the planet footing the bill. 

 

Our clothes are constructed with careful craftsmanship. They last, maybe longer than you will. But, if you love your suit a little too much and it begins to see some wear and tear, we will fix it for you! A broken zip, a lost button or a torn seam - we’ve got you. 

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END OF LIFE

 

Globally less than 1% of clothes are recycled as clothing [25]. 

 

If you donate a piece of clothing to a charity shop, and it has a small stain, a small rip, make up, deodorant mark, a name tag, or it can’t be sold and goes to textile waste. 

 

Textile waste recycling is currently a nascent technology that’s developing rapidly. Currently fabrics that can be recycled are only pure blends, eg pure wool, pure cashmere, pure polyester, pure linen - see this cool government funded machine that sorts it [26]! Any mixed fibres cannot currently be recycled.

At the end of a G&G suit’s life, if it’s been overworn, stained or irreparably ripped, the fibres will naturally decompose. Some businesses think that’s enough - not for us. We’ve pledged to collect any unsellable G&G items into textile recycling the right way - by separating the fabrics, eg removing the silk lining from the wool outer fabric.

 

But crucially removing the parts that stop the machine functioning - taking off the buttons, the care labels and the zips, so the raw fibres can be mulched into future magic. We then re-purchase it from incredible mills like IINOUIIO in Huddersfield and keep creating, keeping the raw fibers in a circular economy as much as possible.

2022 GOAL
streamline this process &
info card in all 
dispatches
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IN OFFICE G&G HQ

 

To manage our impact, we adopted Environmentally Preferred Purchasing policies across all our operations for things like office and cleaning supplies, shipping materials, cleaning materials, and manufacturing equipment. 

 

If it exists second hand - we buy second hand, like the camera tripod we needed for shoots in June, or the refurbished iPad for the NYC office, the 6kgs of mismatched buttons for the fitting jackets from eBay’s hoarders. We donate uneaten food from shoots to Olio. Before plastic was recyclable from our office’s borough’s Phoebe personally took home to recycle in her home recycling. 

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FLOW

NONPROFIT CHANGING MAKETS FOUNDATION'S NEW REPORT FINDS 60% OF ALL GREEN CLAIMS BY EU AND UK FASHION BRANDS MISLEADING

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References:

 

[1] The Impact of Fast Fashion, Good on you 2021 https://goodonyou.eco/impact-fast-fashion-garment-workers/ 

 

[2] Fast Fashion and Its Impacts, Geneco 2022 https://www.geneco.uk.com/news/fast-fashion-and-its-impacts 

 

[3] Fashion United 2022 https://fashionunited.uk/news/fashion/infographic-the-extent-of-overproduction-in-the-fashion-industry/2018121240500 

 

[4] Women in the workplace, McKinsey 2019

https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Featured%20Insights/Gender%20Equality/Women%20in%20the%20Workplace%202019/Women-in-the-workplace-2019.ashx 

 

[5] Why Do we Need a Fashion Revolution, Fashion Revolution 2015 

https://www.fashionrevolution.org/about/why-do-we-need-a-fashion-revolution/

 

[6] Fashion’s Tiny Hidden Secret, UN Environment Programme 2022

https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/fashions-tiny-hidden-secret 

 

[7] The High Price of Fast Fashion, The Wall Street Journal 2019 https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-high-price-of-fast-fashion-11567096637 

 

[8] Textiles: Material-Specific Data, United States Environmental Protection Agency 2018

https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/textiles-material-specific-data#:~:text=Table%20and%20Graph-,Overview,total%20MSW%20generation%20that%20year

 

[9] The Woolmark Company 2022

https://www.woolmark.com/ 

 

[10] Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) 2022

https://sustainablefibre.org/ 

 

[11] RWS, Textile Exchange 2020

https://textileexchange.org/standards/responsible-wool/ 

 

[12] European Chemicals Agency 2022

https://echa.europa.eu/substances-restricted-under-reach

 

[13] Sustainability Mission Statement, Holland & Sherry 2022

https://cdn.iagapparel.com/resource//eaa69328-c9ab-474a-8cec-7fd66eb59304.pdf 

 

[14] The Apparel’s Industry Environmental Impact, World Resource Institute 2017

https://www.wri.org/insights/apparel-industrys-environmental-impact-6-graphics

 

[15] Why clothes are so hard to recycle, BBC Futures 2020

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200710-why-clothes-are-so-hard-to-recycle

 

[16] Arcadia Group cancels ‘over £100m’ of orders as garment industry faces ruin, The Guardian 2020

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/apr/15/arcadia-group-cancels-over-100m-of-orders-as-garment-industry-faces-ruin 

 

[17] The Extent of Overproduction in the Fashion Industry, Fashion United 2018 https://fashionunited.uk/news/fashion/infographic-the-extent-of-overproduction-in-the-fashion-industry/2018121240500 

 

[18] PG to find link 

 

[19] Returning to order: Improving returns management for apparel companies, Mckinsey 2021

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/returning-to-order-improving-returns-management-for-apparel-companies

 

[20] Your brand new returns end up in landfill, BBC Earth 2022

https://www.bbcearth.com/news/your-brand-new-returns-end-up-in-landfill 

 

[21] The industry needs to break with its gender and women’s rights problems, Fashion Revolution 2021

https://www.fashionrevolution.org/the-fashion-industry-needs-to-break-with-its-gender-and-womens-rights-problems/ 

 

[22] Sedex 2022

https://www.sedex.com/our-services/smeta-audit/ 

 

[23] Sustainability, User Experience, and Design, Kramer 2012

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/computer-science/planned-obsolescence 

 

[24] Planned Obsolescence, and Other Open Secrets of the Fashion Industry, Jumpstart 2020 

https://www.jumpstartmag.com/planned-obsolescence-fast-fashion/ 

 

[25] Why clothes are so hard to recycle, BBC Future 2020

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200710-why-clothes-are-so-hard-to-recycle 

 

[26] The salvation of your tatty old clothes, The Times 2022

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-salvation-of-your-tatty-old-clothes-0d6mc8jxq 

 

[27] License to greenwash, Changing Markets Foundation 2022 http://changingmarkets.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/LICENCE-TO-GREENWASH-FULL-REPORT.pdf 

References:

 

[1] The Impact of Fast Fashion, Good on you 2021 https://goodonyou.eco/impact-fast-fashion-garment-workers/ 

 

[2] Fast Fashion and Its Impacts, Geneco 2022 https://www.geneco.uk.com/news/fast-fashion-and-its-impacts 

 

[3] Fashion United 2022 https://fashionunited.uk/news/fashion/infographic-the-extent-of-overproduction-in-the-fashion-industry/2018121240500 

 

[4] Women in the workplace, McKinsey 2019

https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Featured%20Insights/Gender%20Equality/Women%20in%20the%20Workplace%202019/Women-in-the-workplace-2019.ashx 

 

[5] Why Do we Need a Fashion Revolution, Fashion Revolution 2015 

https://www.fashionrevolution.org/about/why-do-we-need-a-fashion-revolution/

 

[6] Fashion’s Tiny Hidden Secret, UN Environment Programme 2022

https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/fashions-tiny-hidden-secret 

 

[7] The High Price of Fast Fashion, The Wall Street Journal 2019 https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-high-price-of-fast-fashion-11567096637 

 

[8] Textiles: Material-Specific Data, United States Environmental Protection Agency 2018

https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/textiles-material-specific-data#:~:text=Table%20and%20Graph-,Overview,total%20MSW%20generation%20that%20year

 

[9] The Woolmark Company 2022

https://www.woolmark.com/ 

 

[10] Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) 2022

https://sustainablefibre.org/ 

 

[11] RWS, Textile Exchange 2020

https://textileexchange.org/standards/responsible-wool/ 

 

[12] European Chemicals Agency 2022

https://echa.europa.eu/substances-restricted-under-reach

 

[13] Sustainability Mission Statement, Holland & Sherry 2022

https://cdn.iagapparel.com/resource//eaa69328-c9ab-474a-8cec-7fd66eb59304.pdf 

 

[14] The Apparel’s Industry Environmental Impact, World Resource Institute 2017

https://www.wri.org/insights/apparel-industrys-environmental-impact-6-graphics

 

[15] Why clothes are so hard to recycle, BBC Futures 2020

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200710-why-clothes-are-so-hard-to-recycle

 

[16] Arcadia Group cancels ‘over £100m’ of orders as garment industry faces ruin, The Guardian 2020

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/apr/15/arcadia-group-cancels-over-100m-of-orders-as-garment-industry-faces-ruin 

 

[17] The Extent of Overproduction in the Fashion Industry, Fashion United 2018 https://fashionunited.uk/news/fashion/infographic-the-extent-of-overproduction-in-the-fashion-industry/2018121240500 

 

[18] PG to find link 

 

[19] Returning to order: Improving returns management for apparel companies, Mckinsey 2021

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/returning-to-order-improving-returns-management-for-apparel-companies

 

[20] Your brand new returns end up in landfill, BBC Earth 2022

https://www.bbcearth.com/news/your-brand-new-returns-end-up-in-landfill 

 

[21] The industry needs to break with its gender and women’s rights problems, Fashion Revolution 2021

https://www.fashionrevolution.org/the-fashion-industry-needs-to-break-with-its-gender-and-womens-rights-problems/ 

 

[22] Sedex 2022

https://www.sedex.com/our-services/smeta-audit/ 

 

[23] Sustainability, User Experience, and Design, Kramer 2012

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/computer-science/planned-obsolescence 

 

[24] Planned Obsolescence, and Other Open Secrets of the Fashion Industry, Jumpstart 2020 

https://www.jumpstartmag.com/planned-obsolescence-fast-fashion/ 

 

[25] Why clothes are so hard to recycle, BBC Future 2020

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200710-why-clothes-are-so-hard-to-recycle 

 

[26] The salvation of your tatty old clothes, The Times 2022

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-salvation-of-your-tatty-old-clothes-0d6mc8jxq 

 

[27] License to greenwash, Changing Markets Foundation 2022 http://changingmarkets.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/LICENCE-TO-GREENWASH-FULL-REPORT.pdf 

Being able to design what you actually like, means you'll create a modern heirloom that lasts a lifetime, not a seasonal throw-away.

We’re redefining the classics, the wardrobe staples, and the must haves.

 

Not designing one range to suit every woman but allowing every woman to design a range that suits them. Custom-made, made to measure. Whatever makes that woman tick, we do it.

If you’ve made it this far - we hope you can see that a high-street chain just saying ‘this is cotton therefore it’s sustainable’ while doing nothing else differently simply doesn’t cut the mustard.

 

Sustainability is a multifaceted approach that needs to be taken seriously in absolutely every aspect of running any business, but particularly fashion.

 

Please join our mission to cut consumption, and make what clothes we DO buy, the right ones.

With love, 

Phoebe x