The drive for businesses to be more sustainable is in full swing. Increasingly, companies of every size and all sectors, from big utility companies to boutique hotels, want their uniforms and promotional clothing to have sustainability credentials that reflect their brand values and aspirations.
Brands that demonstrate a commitment to protecting the environment are benefitting in all areas, from gaining new business to retaining the customers they already have. Companies with strong values and ethics may also find it easier to recruit staff as this is something that is more and more sought after when choosing a workplace.
We look at how ethical clothing and merchandise can benefit every business and help drive social and environmental change.
The business of sustainability
We know your business and reputation depends on having quality uniforms or PPE to safely go about your work. But if sustainable uniforms, corporate clothing or other workwear form part of your
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) charter you will also want to know the clothing was responsibly made.
Are the working conditions safe and hygienic? What about the makers, are they paid a fair wage? As members of Sedex, we are able to monitor ethical and responsible business practices such as labour rights and health and safety across our supply chain. This enables us to reassure our customers they are making the right sustainable choices when buying clothing and apparel.
Clothing for Events are also ISO14001 (environmental management system) and ISO9001 (quality management system) accredited. These international standards are proof of our commitment to protect the environment and deliver the best products and services.
Other accreditations to look out for are the quality and ethical standards held by responsible, ethical clothing brands.
Ethical standards to look out for
It’s not always easy to determine whether a manufacturer’s practices, supply chains and products are ethical. To further confuse matters there are a myriad of different accreditation and compliance
standards. The ethical clothing brands that we work with, both in the UK and overseas are leaders in sustainable fashion, adhering to standards including:
OEKO-TEX – OEKO-TEX certified fabric is free from harmful substances, such as formaldehyde, chlorine and dyes.
Fairtrade – the Fairtrade certification mark is assurance the Fairtrade clothing is sustainably produced. It guarantees farmers are paid a decent price, and that factories processing Fairtrade cotton into Fairtrade t-shirts and other apparel comply with International Labour Organisation standards.
OCS – clothing with the OCS 100 logo contain 95% or more organic material. Organic hoodies, sweatshirts and other clothing bearing the organic content standard logo contain 5% or more organic material.
GOTS –the Global Organic Textile Standard is the leading processing standard for organic fibres. Clothing with the GOTS logo have had their entire manufacturing and production process tracked, from farm to factory, to ensure it meets GOTS strict environment and social standards.
GRS – the Global Recycled Standard label certifies that the materials used are recyclable. GRS also ensures compliance with social and environmental criteria such as the treatment of wastewater, the absence of certain toxic additives and worker rights
PETA-Approved Vegan – the PETA cruelty-free logo ensures your ethical and organic clothing is made of vegan alternatives to animal materials such as leather, fur or silk.
EU Ecolabel – the EU Ecolabel applies to products that are kind to the environment. Products carrying this label meet the highest environmental and performance standards throughout their lifecycle. Some of our suppliers are also members of the Better Cotton Initiative. This non-profit organisation trains cotton farmers in water efficiency, caring for natural habitats and reducing the use of harmful chemicals. It also respects workers’ rights.