We understand that sustainability is not an end-goal that can be met or achieved; it is an enduring commitment to responsible practises and continuous education, and it is something that can always be improved upon. Read on to learn more about our actions and progress across our social and environmental commitments as listed on our Sustainability page.
Craft & Manufacturing: Where and how our collections are made
Where are your clothes and accessories made?
We work with suppliers in Italy, Portugal, Scotland, India and England to produce the majority (98%) of our clothing and accessories collections, with the remaining 2% of the collection produced in Nepal and Madagascar.
On our website you will find our ‘Made in’ icons on all clothing product pages, so you clearly can see where each item has been manufactured.
How does Bamford select the suppliers and artisans it works with?
We have worked with most of our suppliers for many years - a handful of them we've worked with since Bamford started making clothing. We work with highly skilled makers, craftspeople and manufacturers, choosing to develop longstanding relationships rather than alternating suppliers with each collection, so that we can provide a continuous support for their craft.
How does Bamford monitor and audit its suppliers?
The Bamford Code of Conduct stipulates the high standards of Social and Environmental compliance that we expect our suppliers to adhere to. These Codes of Conduct are based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. As of April 2021, 70% of our suppliers across all categories have signed the Bamford Code of Conduct and 93% of our clothing and accessories suppliers have signed.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a production certification that applies to 25% of our clothing collection, including our entire Wellness Yogawear Collection. The GOTS certification covers the entire manufacturing process, and strictly controls the dyestuff used, and ensures the highest human welfare standards for all workers throughout the supply chain.
How is Bamford investing in its suppliers and supply chain to implement sustainable practices?
With the valuable assistance of a Technical Head at Nila, we are embarking on a process to source indigenous organic cotton for our handwoven fabrics in India, through collaborating with our main Indian supplier for the Bamford collection. Our aim is to focus on regional, regenerative cotton, where every village will benefit from the crop, spinning, weaving and stitching it within the same community. These indigenous farming methods are naturally organic and will build a resilient crop, support the local community, reduce their carbon footprint, and in turn care for both people and planet. We are very much at the pilot stage for this project but are excited to see it move forward.
We are also liasing with our suppliers to find if there are joint targets we can move towards, such as fully traceable and certified cashmere. While these are just a few examples, we are identifying where our largest footprint lies in our collections and how we can collaborate with our suppliers to move forward.
How does Bamford support traditional skills and craft techniques?
The value of ancestral craft techniques is most evident in communities where their continued practise provides a vital source of income and security to the craftspeople.
One example is the women’s associations in Madagascar we work with to produce our raffia bags. The crocheted bags are skilfully crafted by women, usually single mother’s, and the factories in which they work are also women-owned resulting in a predominantly female workforce that provides access to income and security for many women in the community.
We are also dedicated to seeing the future of Scottish knitwear survive. The knowledge and understanding of wool and cashmere that Scottish producers have, and their intricacies and fluctuations is unique. We believe there is a value in the traditional means of spinning yarn, hand-linking garments and the choice of timeless stitches that allows us to create long-lasting, inherently beautiful knitwear. For 2021, half of our knitwear is made in Scotland and the other half is produced by small-scale manufacturers in Italy.
Social responsibility: Supporting the communities we work with
How does Bamford support the artisans and craft communities it works with?
We are reliant on these close-knit artisan communities of skilled makers to bring our collections to life, who in turn are dependent on their craft to sustain their livelihoods and to support their families. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we were determined to collaborate even more closely with our suppliers in India and produced a collection of upcycled accessories to provide them with a source of income and productivity.
Each season, we also collaborate with a variety of skilled artists and craftspeople who product objects and artworks for the home, including ceramicists, glassblowers, woodworkers and weavers. These Home Collaborations rotate seasonally across our stores and website to extend the platform and community.
What is included in the assessment to achieve The Butterfly Mark powered by Positive Luxury?
The Butterfly Mark awarded by Positive Luxury verifies a company-wide commitment to sustainability. It is a holistic assessment that considers the environmental and social governance as well as the innovation of a business. Bamford achieved The Butterfly Mark in 2020 and the assessment must be repeated every two years to retain the certification - our next assessment will take place in Spring 2022. Learn more
How does Bamford support the health and well-being of its employees?
In 2021, Bamford implemented a team of Wellbeing Champions across the business who have been formally trained as Mental Health First Aiders. Their work is supported with internal wellbeing-focused emails sent to all employees, as well as regular educational sessions being run with wellbeing experts such as our in-house nutritionist.
Employee well-being benefits include free classes at our Bamford Wellness Spas, complimentary spa treatments and discounted private medical insurance.
What steps is Bamford taking to ensure there is Diversity + Inclusion across the company?
In 2020, Bamford created a dedicated Diversity + Inclusion Committee of people from across the business to address and push the agenda for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in the business. Progress of the committee is shared with all employees through internal communications.
Materials, sourcing and resource management
What certifications does Bamford have for the main fibres used in its clothing collection?
COTTON For 2021, 79% of cotton fibres used in our collection are fully traceable from source and 64% is GOTS Certified Organic Cotton. We have increased our usage of traceable cotton by 12% from 2020, and are commited to growing this number each season. In addition, 11% of cotton styles are made with handspun and handwoven cotton providing a source of livelihood to artisanal communities, mostly based in India.
Our entire Wellness Collection is made with GOTS Certified Organic Cotton. The GOTS certification covers the entire manufacturing process, and strictly controls the dyestuff used, and ensures the highest human welfare standards for all workers throughout the supply chain.
WOOL 46% of our wool used in 2021 is traceable to the source, including 27% of wool fibres that are Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) certified. The Responsible Wool Standard is a voluntary standard that addresses the welfare of the sheep and the land they graze on. It ensures the farmers have a progressive approach to managing their land, and practising holistic respect for their animals’ welfare. An additional 22% of wool fibres used are sourced from mills that are transitioning to RWS in the coming years.
CASHMERE We do not currently use certified cashmere fibres, but we aim to incorporate cashmere certified by the Sustainable Fibre Alliance as soon as 2022.
A NOTE ON REGENERATIVE FIBRES A key goal for 2021 is to introduce regenerative fibres into our clothing collection. Farming regeneratively means the biodiversity in the soil is a high priority. This can ultimately contribute to sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and reversing climate change if done at scale. For the year 2021, 28% of the silk we are using is sourced from a silk farm that uses regenerative farming practices.
How does Bamford seek to minimise waste?
All of our collections are thoughtfully curated and produced in small runs to ensure that we avoid generating waste and contributing to the mounting waste problem. Our clothing made from natural fibres are capable of biodegrading in the soil, and our bath and body packaging can be safely recycled or repurposed to avoid landfill.
Our design teams are always looking for creative ways to prevent waste, and to ensure that excess materials from one supply chain can be repurposed to fulfil other needs in another. We have collaborated on several projects in 2020 and 2021 with our suppliers to upcycle deadstock from archive collections into new garments, accessories and home textiles.
We also aim to limit our use of virgin man-made materials across our collections, and currently 90% of the man-made fibres used in our clothing collections are Global Recycle Standard certified.
What is your animal welfare policy?
The Bamford Code of Conduct outlines a strict Animal Welfare policy for all of our suppliers to adhere to, working progressively towards adopting healthy and humane practices towards animals based on best available technology and standards.
Furthermore, working with certifications such as Responsible Wool Standard, GOTS and Sustainable Fibre Alliance ensures the highest of animal welfare standards to protect their 5 freedoms; from pain, hunger, fear, discomfort (shelter), and freedom to express normal behaviour.
The lambskin shearling we use is a bi-product of the meat industry.
Why do some of your Bath & Body products not have an organic certification?
We endeavour to follow the standards to qualify for COSMOS Organic or COSMOS Natural beauty products on as much new product as possible. The COSMOS-standard is guided by four core principles.
- Promoting the use of products from organic agriculture, and respecting biodiversity.
- Using natural resources responsibly, and respecting the environment.
- Using processing and manufacturing that are clean and respectful of human health and the environment.
- Integrating and developing the concept of “green chemistry”.
Where a product may not qualify for a COSMOS certification we follow ISO 16128 which provides guidelines on definitions and criteria for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients and products. The purpose of these guidelines is to encourage a wider choice of natural and organic ingredients in the formulation of a diverse variety of cosmetic products to encourage innovation.
Are your Bath & Body products suitable for vegans?
Products that are suitable for vegans are labelled with a green 'V' icon on our website product and collection pages. You can also view the full ingredients list for each product. If you are shopping in store we invite you to ask a member of our team if you have any questions.
Is your Bath & Body packaging recyclable?
Our plastic bottles all contain a 50% mix of post consumer recycled (PCR) plastic. We have opted for 50% PCR in our bottles as we believe longer term this is a more sustainable approach and ensure the packaging can be easily recycled. PCR plastic is made up from discarded items such as plastic milk and drinks bottles and is an environmentally responsible solution for reusing single-use materials that would otherwise be disposed of in landfill sites.
Our green and clear glass bottles are widely recyclable through domestic and commercial recycling systems. We don’t use opal glass, which is not widely recyclable and uses toxic substances in the manufacturing process.
Our gift boxes are constructed of recycled board and covered in papers that are FSC Certified or made of recycled materials. This packaging can be recycled or reused.
Is your store packaging recylable?
Our bags and envelopes are made out of recycled cotton paper hand-made in India. The paper is recyclable and must be separated from the linen handles, which in turn are suitable for biodegrading.
The swing tags on our products are made from FSC Certified seeded paper that has been hand-made in Italy. The garment labels are made from GOTS Certified Organic Cotton and cashmere - these are a rare and beautiful example in the industry.
Online orders are delivered in 100% recyclable boxes made from recycled cardboard; these boxes are reversible so they can be reversed and used as storage or otherwise.
Our luxury gift boxes (included in gift wrapping) are made from 100% recycled cotton paper and are sturdy, so they can be kept and re-used as storage or otherwise.
Is your supply chain packaging made from recycled or recyclable materials?
We are in the process of reviewing more responsible packaging solutions across our entire supply chain, educating ourselves and our partners on the positive impact this will have in reducing our collective environmental footprint.