Cloth and Co. - Ethically Made Organic Clothing

Cloth and Co

VISIT WEBSITE

Location

Australia

Made In

India

Values

  • Certified Organic Certified Organic
  • Circularity Circularity
  • Fair Fair
  • Gender Equality Gender Equality
  • Give Back Give Back
  • Transparent Transparent
  • Vegan Vegan

Made for good.

Cloth & Co. is an Australian fashion company that ethically and sustainably crafts comfortable, versatile and timeless basics, though there is absolutely nothing basic about this incredible company. The Cloth & Co. team understands how detrimental the conventional fashion industry is to both the environment and garment workers, which is why they are doing absolutely everything in their power to change this narrative. 

Take a look for yourself:

Empowerment

Cloth & Co. is proud to partner with artisan communities in India to craft their beautiful garments, with a specific focus on empowering women and marginalised communities. Through the partnerships developed and the relationships formed, Cloth & Co. aims to empower the artisans who bring their clothing to life by preserving traditional crafts and bringing consistent work and fair wages to these communities and, in turn, to help them become financially independent.

Ethics

Supporting artisans is at the core of Cloth & Co.’s processes, and this is obvious in their (freely available to read) Standard for Working with Artisans. Cloth & Co. does not make use of child labour in any form, nor forced or compulsory labour, and all artisans work in a healthy and safe environment. The workplace is abuse and discrimination-free, meets industry standards in regards to working hours, breaks, public holidays and overtime, and all artisans receive a living wage. Music to our ears.

Fabrics 

Cloth & Co. does everything sustainably and the way in which they source their fabric of choice, GOTS certified organic cotton, is no different. Organic cotton farming involves using untreated, non-GMO seeds, makes use of frequent crop rotations for healthy soil, encourages biological diversity for a natural pest control, and is guided by the principle of the farmer working with the land rather than against it, and as for the manufacturing, organic clothing manufacturers do not use inauthentic materials, chlorine bleaches or formaldehyde.

Practices

Cloth & Co also takes as many steps as necessary to reduce their negative environmental impact by minimising waste and reducing their energy and water consumption wherever possible. They’re also dedicated to achieving a net-zero carbon commission reduction, are working to achieve zero-waste production, and only use OEKO-TEX certified dyes.

Oh, and just when we thought we couldn’t love Cloth & Co. any more, they tell us that they have partnered with Ecologi – an organisation working with The Eden Reforestation Projects – to plant one tree for every purchase. 

Cloth & Co. is completely focused on ethical production by preserving traditional crafts, ensuring positive impacts on people and the environment, and by providing living wages to the incredibly talented artisans who bring the Cloth & Co. garments to life. Through the use of natural materials, a sustainable business model, and ethical sourcing and supply chain management, Cloth & Co. is most certainly helping to set Tomorrow’s Standard in what it means to do good business. 

Want to know where Cloth and Co sits and what they’re working on in terms of these 5 values? Hover over these values to find out.

Behind the Brand

“We specifically work with small organisations that provide women with equal opportunities and dignified employment with a living wage, along with other benefits to provide a better standard of living. All of our suppliers are independently audited and require certifications including SEDEX, SA8000, GOT’s and Fair Trade ensuring they meet the highest social and environmental standards”.

Caroline Poiner

What made you start Cloth & Co.?

My love of travel and working with communities in India. It was the women we were working with in a village outside Jaipur and our desire to uplift them in an empowering way.

They are so resilient and watching them find their voice and confidence through our designs and their new found skills was what inspired us to contribute to this through a business; providing a market and supporting their training and education to create products with meaning and purpose.
Our goal was always to be more than just a fashion label, we never set out to produce more stuff, it was to use business as a force for good.

 

Do you have a morning routine? If so what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?

I find walking the best way to set myself up for the day. Being in nature inspires me, makes me feel grateful no matter what else is going on in our world. It’s grounding, literally.

 

What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?

I think the biggest barrier has been finding the right alignment with our suppliers/artisans/women’s cooperatives in creating products that meet our quality, environmental and delivery time expectations. But also just teething issues and finding our way as a small business that doesn’t want to compromise on what we believe in.

Competing in a market where there’s a lot of competition in the sustainable and ethical space with brands with big marketing budgets that leverage ‘organic’ and ‘ethical’ without any real substance or transparency to greenwash confuses the consumer when it comes to their expectations of price.

 

Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Cloth & Co., who made your garments? Can you tell us a bit about them?

We specifically work with small organisations that provide women with equal opportunities and dignified employment with a living wage, along with other benefits to provide a better standard of living. All of our suppliers are independently audited and require certifications including SEDEX, SA8000, GOTs and Fair Trade ensuring they meet the highest social and environmental standards.

Our passion projects are with a number of small women’s cooperatives and Self Help Groups (SHGs) where we specifically design products that we know will sell all year round and we can just introduce them to the market when they’re ready.

 

Why did you pick the fabrics you have chosen to work with?

We love natural fibres and have never considered using anything else. Cloth & Co. has a strong environmental agenda and have focused on circularity in our product designs from the outset to minimise our carbon impact. We only work with natural fibres with a low impact on the environment such as linen and for our cotton, we only use certified organic.

 

Best piece of advice you have ever received?

A woman I worked with in India for 9 years had this quote as her email footer, it was a good reminder:

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

 

What’s next for you and Cloth & Co.?

We are always looking to improve, how we can positively impact the people we work with and how we can not only minimise our impact on the environment but to do something to make it better.

We are working on a partnership with Regenerative Cotton farmers that we hope to be launching in Summer 22 – we are literally planting the seeds this month so it’s very exciting! More on that soon.

 

One book and/or documentary everyone should read/watch? Why?

Although there have been many since, The True Cost is a game changer and I truly believe it should be screened in every school & university – it is something that just can’t be ignored.

 

Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?

I’m inspired every day and just read an interview with Greta Thunberg in the Guardian – Greta Thunberg: ethical fast fashion is ‘pure greenwashing’ it’s a must-read.

Bandana Tewari – Watch Woven Threads: Conversations On Slowness, Sustaining Culture and Creativity with Bandana Tewari for Lagos Fashion Week.

Vandana Shiva – An Indian Scholar and environmentalist who just makes so much sense.

Grace Forrest – founding director of Walk Free, an international human rights organisation working to eradicate modern slavery, which affects over 40 million people globally. She is awesome!!



Shop Cloth & Co. here

X

What's your location?