At LOCLAIRE, we understand that there needs to be fundamental changes to the way we produce and consume. Pushing for a sustainable future is an overwhelming and never-ending task, so big that it can often stunt action rather than promote it. Our approach is value-driven, ensuring ethical and sustainable considerations inform our processes and decisions across all aspects of our business, rather than being tacked on as an afterthought.
On this page, we break down some of the steps we are taking, in as straight-forward language as possible. We acknowledge that we are not perfect, and we won’t always get it right. If you have any suggestions on how we might be able to improve our practices, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.
In October 2020, increasingly feeling burdened by both the state of our industry and the world as a whole, we took a leap of faith and changed our whole business model to be made-to-order. Zero waste, completely inclusive sizing, transparent pricing, and locally-made - this has given us an entirely new sense of purpose, and personally - has restored hope and optimism that together, we can truly change the world for the better.
ZERO WASTE: To be zero waste in a world where cheap, disposable fashion and fashion waste has become a complete monster, is probably our hugest accomplishment as a brand.
INCLUSIVE SIZING: As pieces are made-to-order, every single item is hand cut, and therefore can be customised to YOUR body. We have come to realise that traditional sizing standards are truly archaic and so restrictive. We want to make pieces that arrive in your wardrobe, made just for you, to fit you.
TRANSPARENT PRICING: Fast fashion has completely distorted our perspective on pricing, and what a product should or shouldn't cost. Because made-to-order is zero waste and direct to consumer, we don't need to inflate margins to account for discounting unsold stock or wholesale, and can offer fair and stable pricing. To be completely transparent, we are now sharing our pricing breakdowns online - so you can see exactly what goes into each style and how we have come to our decided retail price. You can view this on our made-to-order product pages, under Cost Breakdown.
Finally, made-to-order completely removes us from the hamster wheel of the relentless fashion season calendar - no longer do we design full collections looking to fill a gap, or based on the pressure to meet industry timelines. Instead, our creativity truly fuels us and our timelines - we design only when we are feeling our most creative, making sure that everything we put out into the world is our absolute best work.
LOCLAIRE With Purpose
We have created LOCLAIRE With Purpose, a special initiative that aims to put aside the business of fashion, and look into some of our industry’s big issues at a finer detail. These will be small, considered projects and collaborations that aim to educate, inspire and give back to others.
Our first LOCLAIRE With Purpose project is all about waste, and will launch in September 2019. Up to an estimated 15% of all fabric produced for clothing is wasted in the manufacturing stage. This is a huge amount of potential value that goes straight to landfill without any prior use! Most of this waste is created in the cutting process, where our differently shaped clothing patterns of course won’t fit perfectly within a rectangular piece of fabric. This first project will explore our own waste and what potential it has.
Made in New Zealand
All of our clothes are made locally – within half an hour’s drive of our office, in Auckland, New Zealand. This heavily reduces our carbon footprint within our supply chain. We visit our fabric suppliers, pattern-makers, cutters and makers weekly. It’s incredibly important to us to have open and kind relationships with them, know their names, and see their working conditions. We have also recently created a LOCLAIRE Code of Conduct, which sets a minimum standard in how all of our suppliers must act in their relationship with us.
We are super proud to have no polyester textiles in our collection, virgin or recycled, not in any blends or any linings. This was really important example for us to set right from the start.
Almost half of our entire collection and around 75% of our cotton styles use organic cotton. Compared with conventional cotton, organic cotton has the potential to see up to 46% reduced global warming, 70% reduced acidification, 91% reduced blue water consumption, and 62% reduced primary energy demand.* Importantly, organic cotton farming does not allow the use of toxic chemicals or GMOs, instead combining tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote a good quality of life for both the farmers and the land. We aim for 100% of our cotton pieces to be organic cotton by the end of 2020.
We are constantly researching more environmentally friendly compositions that could be a part of our collections. Collection One includes our Reefs Shirt, which is made from 42% hemp, one of the most sustainable natural textiles. It grows rapidly, has the highest fiber yield of all natural textiles (more than twice that of cotton in the same amount of land), and is able to be grown without pesticides and chemicals. It is the least water-intensive of all natural fibers, and in the right climate and conditions can be completely rain-fed. Hemp can also have a beneficial effect on soil by replenishing vital nutrients. Its root system minimises soil erosion, and it is often used as a ‘rotation crop’ to heal and replenish soil between growing other crops. Hemp is also naturally durable, antibacterial, and resistant to UV light, mould and mildew.** We’re really excited to continue looking into using this amazing fiber.
A few of our styles use deadstock fabric. Deadstock is existing fabric, usually surplus from a mill’s production run, that is unwanted or needed by the designer or brand that originally commissioned the fabric. Deadstock fabric is not the end goal for us – we acknowledge that there are some benefits: quantities are usually small and accessible, and there is an environmental benefit of using up what already exists. We see deadstock as a helpful stepping stone in our environmental strategy but eventually aim to stop using this.
Fabric dying is a very chemically intensive part of the fabric supply chain, and without regulations can result in detrimental impacts, such as hazardous carcinogenic chemicals going into the fabrics, and if waste water is not managed – going into our waterways and polluting the environment. Several of our mills currently use low impact non-azo dyes with waste water treatments and recycling in place, including our main silk mill that is Bluesign certified. This is something we are looking to make more traceable and aim to have all of our fabric mills using low impact or natural dyes by 2021. Another solution around this is to use undyed fabric in its natural colour, thus eliminating the dying chemicals completely. Our Oyster Shirtdress and Plankton Shirt proudly fall under this category – both made from an undyed Turkish organic cotton shirting.
To preserve and best take care of your LOCLAIRE garments, please see our Garment Care Guide.
Please find out more about our fabrics specific to each garment on each product page.
Trims are slightly harder to obtain without polyester, but we try to manage this as consciously as possible:
-Our LOCLAIRE labels are made with 100% recycled polyester, and our swing tags are made with 100% recycled card.
-Currently, zip tapes still need to be made from virgin polyester in order to pass garment strength tests. As we haven’t found a suitable alternative, we try and reduce our use of zips as much as possible.
-We mostly use natural buttons – including Italian shell, corozo nut, and sustainably farmed horn.
In sending out our purchases, we use minimal packaging. We use recycled, unprinted acid-free tissue paper, and include a LOCLAIRE postcard made from 100% recycled paper.
Our domestic couriers are 100% compostable through our friends at GoSweetSpot – find out more here.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a compostable option yet for overseas shipments, however we are working to find a solution for this.
*Statistics from The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Organic Cotton Fiber, commissioned by the Textile Exchange in 2014.
**Information from the CFDA Materials Index
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