Andrew here (@andrew_an_drew)
A lot of people have been asking us about our fabrics; everyone loves that they are made from recycling reclaimed plastic bottles.
And Houndsditch fans have a warm glow knowing they are wearing recycled fabrics.
I sometimes get asked “wouldn’t fabric made from recycled bottles feel weird?” NOT. AT. ALL! Our shorts are made from a bi-stretch weave that is literally a dream. Houndsditch trunks are quite possibly one of the most comfortable swim shorts you will ever own; like wearing a cloud.
While our onepieces and our soon-to-be-launched bikinis use fabric from one of Italy’s premium fabric mills, which is equally awesome. Our swimwear is in fantastic company as some of the brands I respect the most source from these very mills.
But sustainable fashion isn’t all about the fabrics you choose to use. You need a sustainable production line; you need to make sure you recycle and your trimmings and packaging need to be sustainably sourced too.
A sustainable supply chain is complicated and has to be built piece by piece, so some of these questions are answered while others I’m working on. There are great things in store. Let’s dive in:
- Our fabrics
You know about these already, but here is some more detail. Our shorts use fabric from the Repreve program (http://repreve.com/) that is gaining momentum with brands worldwide. Our one pieces and bikinis have no formal accreditation attached, but the yarns used in production have been certified recycled.
- Sustainable production
We produce in Lisbon, Portugal and the majority of our products are made to order which vastly reduces waste.
The inks we use for our prints are water-based and free of noxious solvents.
A lot of our electricity consumption comes from renewables (50% of Portugal’s electricity production was from renewables in 2015, 60% in 2014). Ok, Ok, so that has nothing to do with me, but Bravo Portugal!
- Recycling waste
This is still a work in progress; we are speaking with companies that take waste fabric to use for pillow stuffing among other things. It’s not as easy as having them come round to collect your spare fabric every now and then, but we’re getting there. As soon as we have a system in place to recycle our waste we will let you know.
- Trimmings and packaging
Our packaging is made from recycled fabrics, but our trimmings are still using non-recycled raw materials; this includes the mesh for the pockets of the shorts, the draw cord and the elastic ribbon (for the waist band).
We have been speaking with our suppliers and asked them to research recycled alternatives. So far our mesh supplier has found a recycled yarn to use and so has our elastic ribbon supplier, which is great. The snag is the minimum orders are currently too high, but I promise that as we grow we will phase in these materials. It’s on the road map, so help us grow by supporting us; a like, a share, a follow; it all makes a difference.
Postage for ecommerce has many considerations; it has to be light, durable, economical and allow for customer returns. Our plan is to use re-sealable polymailer envelopes. These fall into three categories; recyclable, biodegradable and recycled.
For the time being I will be experimenting with all three and researching some more on sustainable packaging before investing in one solution. in the mean time I will keep you updated with my progress, so stay tuned.
I hope you appreciate my first attempt at transparency. Anymore questions? Whatsapp me on +44 (0) 7894432866 or contact me through @andrew_an_drew