What is an Ethical Brand
To be honest this is one of those types of questions we have no idea how to answer. Ethical, sustainable, Eco are all now buzz words attached to many things with many meanings. Ethical is finally cool- which is fantastic news for the planet but also means it is being used in lots of different ways not always with the purest of hearts.
AFRORETRO an Ethical Brand…
At AfroRetro HQ we have always wanted to create a fashion brand that doesn’t harm or exploit the world and its inhabitants but empowers both the wearers and people we do business with. Are we doing this 100% NOT YET. Are we working 100% for this be our aim YES.
We have discovered all the complexities of being truly ethical and how hard it is for small brands like us to get the answers we want to ensure our products are not harming the world and its inhabitants. But it is not impossible and we are continually working to ensure this to better our business practices.
What Are We Doing NOW
We Manufacture all our products in the UK working with a Factory that has a strong ethical policy. All their workers are paid above the London Living Wage. The factory is beautiful, spacious, clean, with lots of natural light and air. We visit our factory on a weekly basis when we are in production, some times by appointment sometimes on the fly. So we can safely say this is a Happy Factory.
All our Packaging is made from recycled materials and is biodegradable.
We are proud to say we have organic and ethically made garment labels on all our products. (After a 6-month hunt!)
Our Jewellery range uses all the left over fabrics from our collections and natural materials sourced from our homeland in Uganda. We visit Uganda and buy directly from the artisans who created the materials paying a fair and living wage.
Our Creative Kits are made from a reuse, recycle, upcycle philosophy. All the packaging is made from recycled and biodegradable materials. Everything in the kits can be reused, repurposed or recycled. All our fabrics are sourced from scrap fabric from our collections or unloved items of clothing destined for landfill.
What Are We working Towards:
At present the fabric we use is manufactured either in UK factories (British Spun Jersey) or Dutch Factories (our African Prints). Though these factories legally have to adhere to EU regulations we haven’t yet been able to trace where they source their raw materials. This is our next venture for 2016. As a small brand buying small quantities of stock getting these questions answered is sometimes tough. But we are determined and are hitting the road, boat and plane this year to get the answers we need.
Watch this space for more. As we are always striving to do more.