· By Scarlett Poppies
BUSINESS ETHICS. What does it mean and why we chose to be ethic?
Business ethics have a significant influence on the corporate world: not only changes the way that companies operate every day, it also influences on the legislation on corporate regulations. This means that working with business ethics ensure that a certain basic level of trust exists between consumers, workers and various forms of market participants.
Our intention is to create long-lasting products, keepsakes to be treasured for many years and, transcending the trend cycles that are normally associated with fast fashion. And always keeping long-term relationships in mind – with both customers and the various tiers in our vertical supply chain.
Sustainability – a Holistic Approach
We see sustainability as a process and not just the product. It is about integrating the entire supply chain and their wellbeing, being transparent, and teaming up with the right partners. Together we’ll make a difference!
Different certifications define to what an extent a fabric is classified as a sustainable fabric, a better choice than a conventional fabric.
For cotton, we aim for GOTS-certified fabrics. GOTS is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. For viscose and all other fibers generated from cellulosic pulp, we aim for FSC; Forest Stewardship Council certification. FSC is an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible forestry.
FSC certifies forests all over the world to ensure they meet the highest environmental and social standards and for every cut tree, three new trees will be planted.
Sustainability Beyond Certifications
Sustainable and better choices of fabric is however not just a question about certificates. There is a far broader picture to keep in mind when sourcing fabrics.
We always ask ourselves: What impact does the choice of this specific fabric have on the environment? Is there a better option with lesser impact?
A. LOCAL FABRIC SOURCING
Responsibly sourced fabrics are as important as procuring the fabrics with the most suitable sustainability certificates tagged to them.
From the very first day, we have taken a very clear standpoint on opting for local sourcing of fabric in the market we produce. And for three primary reasons:
- To avoid excess carbon emissions while transporting a fabric from one country to another to manufacture the garments. Transportation of fabrics normally takes place by air to manage delivery time.
- To give back maximum to the community where we have teamed up with partners in the supply chain. We believe in going local while thinking global.
- To minimize wastage whenever possible. We try to source left-over fabrics and we pay the market prices to encourage factory owners to make use of it rather than just disposing it off. We acknowledge that the industry is severely challenged when it comes to waste / excess material handling. We often design products based on what is available and have been very successful with many of those designs.
B. INDUSTRY PACKAGING
When goods are being finished and finally folded and packed on the packing floors in the factories, the garments go straight into poly bags.
While we emphasize the need for individual poly bags for each garment to ensure it reaches the end destination in pristine and clean condition, we are fully aware of its negative environmental impact.
Scarlett Poppies uses only biodegradable poly bags for all product packing, however as much as these bags degrade into organic compounds, they still emit greenhouse gases in the breakdown process.
As a solution to this, we are now exploring the option of implementing glassine bags instead. These are clear bags made from paper but at a far higher cost. We still believe that there is no better sustainable option.
- All our hangtags and disclaimer tags are made from FSC certified paper. From Chapter 7 collection and onwards, all hangtag strings will be changed to unbleached cotton strings.
- All internal sampling/ salesmen samples are wrapped in unbleached tissue paper instead of using poly bags.
- Care labels are printed on 100% cotton unbleached tape, instead of traditional industry standard which is polyester or nylon.
- Boxes used for shipping are FSC certified.
As a relatively young brand and smaller production runs, we are sometimes challenged meeting minimum requirements for GOTS and FSC certified fabrics. We prefer to be transparent and open about this, rather than greenwashing the consumer with wrong facts.
Only when we acknowledge the challenge for what it is, are we sure that we will take the right actions to achieve what our sustainability goal is.
We are fully committed to using only audited, certified vendors who are socially compliant and work strategically on a holistic view of sustainability.
We produce primarily in India, as a strategic choice and to resonate with our vision and mission for what we would like to achieve with Scarlett Poppies, apart from creating mindfully crafted, stunning garments.
India resonates with the fabrics we build our collections around, the kind of resort wear brand we are with a focus on light woven, often intricate garments requiring highly skilled tailors and all unique craftsman skills that only India has.
By designing such products, we hope that talented, skilled artisans get future opportunities; that the new, young generation find meaning and will be able to make a living from these unique, inherited skillsets. And that far more women will be offered work opportunities, to be independent of their husbands.
OUR PARTNERS IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN
We are currently working with a dozen of factories in India and Asia. In 2021 we are looking at adding more partnerships led by women and teaming up with NGOs within the crafts sector, with the aim to rejuvenate ailing handloom clusters across India.
ALL FACTORIES IN SCARLETT POPPIES SUPPLY CHAIN HAVE AT LEAST ONE OR MORE AUDIT CERTIFICATIONS.
The certifications assure that health and safety is in place, minimum wages and correct overtime is also paid and on time, there is no discrimination of any gender or religion etc, no underaged workers, ESCI and pension funds, fresh water available for everyone, maternity leave is provided as per law, and that local laws and regulations are adhered to.
- Bureau Veritas
Which kind of certification a factory would have depends on primarily which market they produce for and what the customers ask for.
In addition to third-party audits, we also collaborate very closely with a Scandinavian agent, based just outside Delhi.
Their clear vision and mission, their transparency and integrity are instrumental for ensuring that all factories are not only monitored but that they also get expertise and the local help they need. Not least now in Covid-times when we have not been able to travel monthly, as we used to in the past to meet all factories frequently.
We believe in building deep and long-standing relationships with all partners in the supply chain.
We pledge to always conduct best practices and selecting collaboration partners mindfully and carefully.