Gather&See is built around our 5 founding PHILOSOPHIES that help us to distinguish how our brands work ethically or sustainably and why they are special. Each of our brands fits into at least two of our Philosophies - many fit into more. We hope that by using these key pillars of sustainability as guides it will help you to make your own mind up about what aspects matter most to you. Read on to discover what each one means.
Our ORGANIC brands choose to use organically grown materials (primarily cotton) in the production of their collections. Many of us already choose to eat organic so it makes complete sense that we should start to opt for organic apparel as well. Here's why organic matters to us:
- The skin is the body's largest organ. So why would we put clothing that has been made with potentially hazardous and cancer causing chemicals in direct contact with it?
- Organic fibres are produced without the use of harmful chemicals and hazardous fertilizers. Up to 77 million cotton workers suffer poisoning and skin reactions to pesticides every year. By emliminating pesticides organic cotton offers a safer environment for workers and their families.
- Organic farming has been shown to be 98% less polluting to water systems than traditional cotton farming. Organic cotton production helps keep drinking water and rivers safe and clean for those that live around them but also for the animals and marine life that are dependent on them.
- Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity today. The threat is real and urgent. Organic farming releases less CO2 in the air than regular farming.
Our Organic brands are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified. GOTS is recognized as the world's leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well. Only textile products that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibers can become GOTS certified so this certification gives you real peace of mind.
Our SMALL SCALE PRODUCTION brands produce limited amount of stock and all have small, personal teams. Often pieces are made from start to finish in house and there are never long supply chains involved which we believe helps to ensure transparency and a fair deal for all stakeholders. The benefits of choosing SMALL SCALE PRODUCTION pieces are as follows:
- Limited production means that less materials are used and less wastage is produced which is better for the environment
- Transparency - our small scale brands have small teams and production lines. Pieces are made by indvidual personalities rather than cogs in a machine which allows a far greater transparency. When asked 'Who Made My Clothes?', our small scale production brands can invariably tell you!
- Supporting small scale brands helps them to grow - many big retailers would not buy into small scale production brands because they demand vast quantities. By seeking out talented smaller scale producers and buying into them we are helping to ensure their survival.
- Exclusivity - what a pleasure it is to wear something that can't be found that easily, knowing that you won't be spotting it on other people everytime you go out of the door. That is something special.
FAIR TRADE is a philosophy all about respect between human beings. Our Fair Trade brands ensure that they pay their suppliers a fair price and that their employees are also paid a fair and living wage and provided with job security, development and training. Millions of garment industry workers from cotton farmers to seamstresses are not paid fairly in order to keep costs down and product prices as low as the fast fashion system demands. Our Fair Trade brands take care of their employees and pay a Living Wage whilst others also work with Fairtrade certified materials. Benefits of shopping Fair Trade:
- Ensuring that all those who have worked hard to produce your beautiful clothes have been paid fairly for their time an amount that they can actually survive on - A Living Wage.
- Ensuring your clothing has been made following Fair Trade and Living Wage principles helps to ensure no one has been exploited in order to make the clothing cheap. Exploitation is a key issue within fast fashion and the more we demand Fair Trade, the harder it will be for companies to exploit the work force.
- Farmers, garment workers and brands need to be self sufficient to maintain truly sustainable development, paying them fairly will allow them to acheive this goal.
- Domino effect- the more we demand Fair Trade practise to be incorporated into the fashion industry and the more we insist upon Living Wages being paid, the more large manufacturers will have to listen and make changes.
Fair Trade Certification - several of our brands have been awarded Fair Trade certification through the FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organization). Certification guarantees that Fairtrade principles are being met. Whilst other of our brands have not applied for certification (which can be costly) we state clearly in our designer pages how they are working to Fair Trade standards and details of how they support their employees via a Living Wage and additional benefits.
Protecting our beautiful planet is of the highest importance to Gather&See. Our ECO FRIENDLY brands lead the way in working innovatively to minimize the impact that fashion production has on the earth. Fashion and textiles is the second most polluting industry after oil - a shocking fact that should inspire more fashion brands to think about how to reduce carbon emissions, water pollution and chemical usage. How our ECO FRIENDLY brands protect the environment:
- Reducing wastage through the use of recycled materials.
- Reducing water usage. Huge amounts of water are required for textile production and much of it is contaminated by chemicals and dyes. Our eco friendly brands look to addressing this by using methods that use less water.
- Developing and using innovative materials as alternatives to traditional materials. These include Tencel, Modal and Organic Cotton.
- Reducing carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. All of our Eco Friendly brands
- Vegan production - several of our Eco Friendly brands are Vegan.
Our HERITAGE Philosophy is all about celebrating and protecting ancient techniques and know how used by craftsmen and women around the world. The fast fashion phenomenon is all about creating garments quicker, cheaper and with as little skill required as possible which has meant traditional techniques have been thrown to the wayside and the market for such products eroded. Here is why our HERITAGE brands are so important:
- They provide artisans with a market and work with them to produce exquisite and modern collectionss.
- Safeguarding of techniques that have been used by artisans for hundreds of years.
- Using traditional know-how to create sustainable employment in developing countries.
- Supporting traditional craftsmaship here in the UK.
- Celebrating handmade, small scale production.
- Providing you the customer with something truly unique and special - a reminder of the personal connection between maker and wearer.