How We Stay Sustainable
Here at The Fashion Alchemist we take great care to ensure everything we do from sourcing materials and packaging, we reduce as much carbon footprint as we can by sourcing everything locally when possible, eliminating plastic usage and replacing with something recyclable.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding our sustainable practises. We are more than happy to talk about it :)
Where We Source Our Main Fabric (aka Second Hand Clothes)
Our clothes are sourced from a mixture of people's donated clothes - this can range from family, friends, strangers or our founder's personal wardrobe. If it's a customised piece, likelihood is, it will come directly from the buyer's wardrobe. All clothing is washed thoroughly before the deconstruction process.
We also get donations from old, unsold stock at a local retro vintage shop which is really nice! Thanks Ravs :)
Occasionally, we'll see some potential clothes in charity shops or carboot sales and we'll use that. We also use fabric remnants from businesses that sell/handle fabric; lately we have been using Contrado.
By sourcing our main fabric this way, we actually save 82% of carbon footprint :)
Our Design & Production Process
We take apart the clothes, then we cut out our designs from them. Yes, this means sitting there unpicking seams over and over again, then stitching them back together! Think of it like patchwork. Our founder, Justine, does all this work from the ready-to-buy and customised orders. It's a very time consuming process, but we wouldn't have it any other way because it bridges the relationship of the maker to the end buyer. So, anytime you need to ask about your product and how it's been made, who made it, you know exactly who to contact.
We have a small home based studio in Wales where all of our products are hand made. Nothing is outsourced unless absolutely necessary.
By keeping all of our production and designing within the UK, and our production team small, we can easily regulate and over-see any problems that could arise. If we expanded our production outside of the UK, it could potentially be harder to regulate and overlook at how workers are being treated; which can easily contribute to unfair, and cheap labour practices.
How much stock do we make?
We only make what we intend to sell. We also keep our range small to avoid overwhelming you all with too many things that you don't need (because fast fashion already does that). By doing this, we avoid producing excess waste. So we keep our product range with items that are designed to last long. Our custom orders are made-to-order, which gives the option to only buy what is wanted and needed. If you'd like to get a custom done by us, head over to our Custom Orders page :).
Nothing is mass produced. This is a massive no no for us as it does not benefit anyone - the business, me, you, or Earth. By doing things this way, we avoid overproduction which is one of the main causes of pollution. Did you know that the fashion industry is the second biggest contributor to pollution?
Where we source our Packaging & Branding Materials
Most of our packaging are sourced locally within the UK. We try our best to support local businesses within the UK, who are sustainable as much as possible and ensure that majority of our packaging and branding are recyclable, and plastic free. We aren't perfect with our packaging, and in some last minute cases we still purchase from Amazon or Ebay if we can't source anywhere else. However, this is a last minute option for us. We are always on the hunt for finding alternatives to the packaging and branding materials we use, so please bare with us whilst we continue to improve :). If you have any suggestions on how to improve our packaging, please don't hesitate to contact us.
For smaller orders, we use 100% compostable shipping mailers from No Issue. Our tissue paper is made from 99% recycled pulp fibres from Tiny Box Company. We use a custom hand made wood and rubber stamp to brand our tissue paper from Get Stamped. Our boxes for bigger orders are sourced from businesses that sell on Ebay - Polly Packaging and Well Pack Europe. Our printed swing tags and thank you cards are from Banana Print which are made from recycled card. The cord and safety pins for our swing tags are items that we already have - once we use them up we will be looking to source these from a local UK business.
Where to Start with Sustainable Fashion Research
We understand that embarking on a sustainable lifestyle requires unlearning old consumption habits by being educated about the problems that our consumption habits contribute to. So below, we have created a list of research material to check out, that have personally inspired us and contributed to our sustainable journey.
This list is forever growing, so we will always be updating this :). If you'd like to receive research list updates, you can subscribe to our mailing list (right at the bottom of this page).
We really enjoy talking about sustainability. If this is something that also interests you, feel free to follow us on social media and message us your thoughts to start a conversation with us :). We look forward to speaking with you! Also, if you have any other recommendations for books on sustainability, we'd love to hear it!
Broken - Netflix Series
The Minimalists Less is Now - Netflix Movie
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj: The Ugly Truth of Fast Fashion (Volume 5) - Netflix Series
Clothes Horse | All The Small Things | The Yikes Podcast