What are your values when it comes to sustainability?
At Phemke we believe in preserving nature’s beauty, which is why we ensure that our products don’t harm the earth.
We use sustainable, natural, fabrics such as organic bamboo, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) organic cotton and materials made from quickly regenerating plants such as linen, hemp, jute and raffia straw.
We are also always on the look-out for innovative and premium fabrics that further minimise our impact on the environment. And we are working with our suppliers to reduce the amount of plastic used for packaging and to combine shipments where possible to minimise our carbon footprint.
From raw materials, to production, to transport, to packaging and even down to our business cards, we’re slowly improving every aspect of the business to make it more sustainable.
Where does Phemke source their products and materials?
We source our products and materials from all over the world - as we see it the world truly is our oyster, and we are always looking for the most authentic, natural, ethical and pure products. As an example is our panama hats; a genuine panama hat is hand-woven in Ecuador, so that’s where we get our hats made. Our towels are hand-loomed in Turkey. We have hats and bags hand-woven by women in rural villages near Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. And for our jute bags, we collaborate with an NGO in Bangladesh, working with a group of widowed and divorced women, who were taught the trade of weaving in order to become financially independent.
Our clothes are made from sustainable fibers such as organic cotton, modal and linen, in factories that are SA8000 certified and produces clothes under ethical conditions. These are just a few examples of how and where we source our products. We attempt to be as transparent as possible, ensuring that all products are ethically made and sourced as sustainably as possible. Throughout our site and blog we share stories about our products and the amazing artisans who make them, and if you have any questions, we happily welcome those - just pop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I see you support the slow fashion trend, what do you mean by “slow fashion”?
We live in a world where consumption is extremely high. Big brands constantly come out with new collections and “fast” trends, with mass production of garments that are transformed from the design stage to the retail floor in only a few weeks. This is not sustainable.
Slow fashion encourages education about the garment industry's connection and impact on the environment and depleting resources. It attempts to slow down the supply chain to reduce the number of trends and seasons, encouraging quality production and giving greater value to garments, thus removing the image of disposability of fashion.
Slow fashion encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, a lower carbon footprint, and higher quality end products. Phrases you will hear repeated are “quality over quantity” and “less but better”.
Supporters of slow fashion wish for the consumer to buy higher quality clothing and accessories, which has been ethically produced, ideally sustainable, with timeless designs that can be worn more than one season.
What do you mean with GOTS certified cotton?
Phemke uses only the best, certified Organic Cotton - GOTS (The Global Organic Textile Standard). GOTS is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers. Simply put, by having our cotton certified, we know that the cotton production has been regulated – and regulated means that we “know”, know that the product is what it markets itself as being. You can read about GOTS ecological and social criteria on their website, www.global-standard.org
Why should I choose organic cotton?
Conventionally grown cotton uses more pesticides than any other crop in the world. These toxic chemicals are harmful to those who work with the crop as well as the environment. Choosing certified organic cotton is socially, ethically and environmentally responsible. It protects rivers and streams, creating an unpolluted environment. It protects and cares for the wellbeing and health of the farmer. And it soft and beautiful and pure against your skin.
The benefits of organic cotton are:
- Certified Organic Cotton farming introduces no chemicals into the environment and is GMO free.
- Certified Organic Cotton is free from toxic dyes & fabric treatments including formaldehyde, heavy metals & aromatic solvents.
- People with chemical sensitivity and allergies can wear organic cotton safely.
- Certified Organic Cotton has a notably lower carbon footprint, using less fuel, water and energy to produce.
- Certified Organic farming is safer for workers on cotton plantations, avoiding exposure to harmful chemicals.
- Certified Organic Cotton promotes a sustainable supply chain.
- Factories must abide by strict manufacturing criteria, fair working conditions & use no child labor.
What about the dresses and cover-ups that are not made from GOTS certified cotton, to what extent are they sustainable?
We use the Environmental Benchmark for Fibers from the non-profit organisation MADE-BY (http://www.made-by.org), this helps us to ensure that the fabrics we use are eco-friendly and sustainable. Made By is an award-winning organization, working to make sustainable fashion common practice, thus improving environmental and social conditions in the fashion industry.
Our dresses are made from either GOTS certified cotton, linen or Lenzing ®Modal.
Modal is an exciting forward thinking fiber, sourced from sustainably harvested beech trees. Read more about modal here: http://www.lenzing-fibers.com/en/lenzing-modal/
Do you collaborate with other designers and brands?
Yes! We welcome any opportunity to work with likeminded designers and companies. For example Ways of Change, an ethical fashion brand working with refugee artisans living on the Thailand Burma border. The women in this area have unique traditional skills in hand making jewelry and accessories, but no access to a marketplace. Ways of change has helped them create such a marketplace.
If you would like to collaborate with us, or have a great idea we should look into, then please don’t hesitate to send us a message at email@example.com or contact us through our contact form.