On our 30th birthday we made some pledges, so now we thought it time to let you know how we have been doing with that.
Our aim is to be honest and
transparent with you and continue to stay true to our core values of slow
fashion, natural biodegradable fibres and plastic-free clothing. We wanted to go
further with our planet positve message and bring those values into the
workplace in every aspect, after all
“Fashion should not cost the earth."
95% of our collections are crafted from lambswool, cashmere, cotton, linen, and merino wool. Using natural fibres guarantees that we are not contributing to microplastics.
All our clothes labelling has been moved to a central supplier and will be made from RECYCLED FSC approved trees, meaning the labels will be recyclable. We are also working on using more recycled yarns for our clothing and are looking for the right supplier that suits the spirit of Woolovers while keeping the fabric soft and wearable for you.
This year WoolOvers became members of the SFA, joining the commitment to
strengthen the cashmere sector. The Sustainable Fibre Alliance supports
responsible production of cashmere. They work with herding communities and
domestic industry, providing training in rangeland stewardship, animal welfare
and clean fibre processing. With the SFA cashmere standard, we promote
production practices that are better for people, animals and the environment to
help secure the long term viability of the cashmere sector.
We have added Yak fibre to some styles which have been sourced directly from Tibetan herders, enabling them to earn a sustainable living whilst preserving their traditional lifestyle and looking after the welfare of the animals. Yak down is 30% warmer than wool and 1.6x more breathable than cashmere. We are sourcing RWS wool for the Spring/Summer 2022 collection. The Responsible Wool Standard is a voluntary standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and prohibits mulesing.
We do not and will never use Angora or other furs in our products unless they are a by-product.
All our clothing labels and tickets are recyclable. Made from RECYCLED FSC approved trees.
In a practice rooted in Soviet times, the governments of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan force their citizens to pick cotton under harsh conditions each harvest season. For these reasons, we do not work with suppliers who source their cotton from either of these countries.
We care about the people who make our clothes and forge strong partnerships based on shared ethics of honesty, transparency, trust and mutuality. Many of our key suppliers have been working with us for 10 - 15 years. All of our suppliers must meet the standards set out in our Code of Conduct which has been developed by the Ethical Trading Initiative. This base code is adopted and founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation and is an internationally recognised code of labour. In addition, regular product team visits with our suppliers keep communication levels high. We actively seek out brands that share our core values and are ethically aligned, with over 85% of our suppliers now making our products in the UK, using natural materials with sustainability at the forefront of what they do.
WoolOvers recognises the importance of creating a working environment where
Diversity and Inclusion are recognised, valued and promoted because we know it
is in the best interests of our business, our people and our community. We want
all current, former and potential employees to feel that they are properly valued
and treated equally and fairly.
We include this approach to diversity in our model choices for our catalogues.
By following the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) we are GDPR compliant which means we will not share your data with other parties.
£1 from every sale of our cashmere socks went to the Eve Appeal which funds research and raises awareness on gynaecological cancer. We are delighted to have raised £20,000, so a massive thank you to all our customers that made this happen. Through sales of our sustainable bamboo scarf with our sister label ‘Pure Collection’, we raised £10,000 for another charity close to our hearts, CNCF. The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation is dedicated to serving the health, education and emotional needs of vulnerable children in Vietnam and Mongolia, who are at risk of exploitation, trafficking and violence.
During the COVID pandemic, we were unable to get together and work as a team on this but we all made a conscious effort on our daily walks to take a bag to fill with rubbish and plastic and keep our environment and oceans clean. Now we all back together we have planned some WoolOvers team beach clean up afternoons and our joining other local teams on their cleanups.
It is important to us to explain the reasons why we are so passionate about natural,
biodegradable, sustainable, slow-fashion, and in doing so, educate our suppliers,
you, our customer and our WoolOvers teams.
Our communication lines with our suppliers are always open. We have very long relationships with the majority of them and this ensures that we can continually discuss the importance of positive clothing for the planet. The Woolovers teams work together on all areas of our catalogues, social media pages and our website. We believe in communicating with each other, from daily office chats to organising meetings which when the sun is shining take place in our gorgeous gardens. Our buyers send regular emails to us all so that we are always up to date with new sustainable processes, biodegradable fabrics and what we can do to spread the word on Woolovers’ core values of natural and sustainability.
We update our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram at least two to three times a week to keep you, our customer up-to-date on what we are doing at Woolovers and these pledges are an extra more detailed way of keeping you informed. You are important to us and we love hearing about your colourful lives and are working to build a community where we can chat together and keep each other informed about each other’s daily lives. This is your opportunity to educate us on what you love, what you do and what you want. Find us on Facebook and Instagram so that we can chat together.
When a new member of the team starts with us, they receive a booklet explaining the benefits of our natural fibres, our heritage, and our environmentally friendly views. It’s a great, informative read with a good dose of our British sense of humour.
All our garment bags are now compostable.
We are early adopters of this new compostable technology in the garment sector so the route to market has been slower than ideal. We are already using non-plastic in returns and our despatch bags are now paper.
We only use FSA approved paper bags and these are reusable for you to return any garments to us.
We have gone one better! Our garments are packed in compostable bags, made from a mixture of PLA fermented plant starch (from either corn, cassava, sugarcane or sugar beet pulp) and fully biodegradable PBAT. These are then delivered to you in reusable paper bags that are biodegradable and FSA approved.
Due to the huge pile up of plastic bags that we already had from way back, we have continued to use them in our shop so as to avoid them going in to landfill. We are close to having used them and can’t wait to introduce an environmentally friendly replacement.
The Covid pandemic has made things more difficult in reaching our goals with this. However, as life returns to normal we will be able to commit more to this pledge and so reduce our carbon footprint on our planet.
We are committed to never putting our products into landfill.
As firm believers in slow fashion, we are starting to add repair kits to our garments, with the hope that within a year all our garments will have them attached.
From chatting with you, we know you are handy with a needle and thread, so our repair kit pouches will contain spare yarn and/or buttons depending on the style. This way you can love & keep your garments for longer.
We have significantly reduced our paper usage in our Head Office. We do not have printers in the offices to ensure there is no paper wastage.
We have switched our energy supplier to a renewable energy provider in our Head Office.