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The path to treading lightly:

the story of our face masks

It is through close collaboration with our suppliers that we have been able to create face masks that are comfortable to wear, whilst also staying true to our philosophy of treading lightly.

MADE WITH MINIMAL WASTE

We rely on the earth’s generous resources to create our collections, and with this comes the responsibility to treat every ingredient or material that we use with the utmost care and respect. One part of this is avoiding waste where possible at every stage of the production journey.

When we place our orders with the mills that create the fabric for our clothing, we are scrupulous with our calculations and order only the meters of fabric we need. Even with great care taken at this initial stage, there tend to be a few cuttings left over that we store for the future.

In March, as the demand for personal protection in the form of masks and other equipment steadily rose, we felt a responsibility to contribute in whatever way possible to meet this need and so we decided to use these off-cuts to turn them into non-medical face covers.

RESPONSIBLY CRAFTED

Using off-cuts from our current Autumn-Winter collection, we have been able to produce a selection of zero waste face masks in varying colours and styles. The latest additions include our earth green and elderberry navy masks made from sustainably sourced soft brush cotton, leftover from the Sandy Shirt.

To be effective, face coverings must be washed regularly so it is useful to have more than one mask per person to allow for changeover and washing days.

Breathable wool denim

Wool denim is a refined and sustainable alternative to the traditional cotton version. Made from merino wool, it is incredibly breathable and wears lightly on the skin. We have repurposed off-cuts of our innovative wool denim fabric used in our Blaine Pant and Jean Jacket into a pleated face mask.

SUPPORTING ARTISAN COMMUNITIES

During the lockdown period, Artisan communities in India who rely on the support of brands and designers have felt the impact of cancelled orders and unfulfilled payments. We have been determined to support our partners throughout this trying period, and we’re pleased to have been able to provide a source of productivity to our block printers in Bagru, Jaipur who have developed masks for us using spare material from our AW20 collection.

The studio had only recently been safely working on production for the clothing collection and they had a small amount of block-printed organic cotton left over - just enough to skillfully turn into masks.

STAYING CONNECTED

The power of digital communication has enabled us to work with these more remote factories in India during a time when travel has not been possible - demonstrating that global collaboration is possible without needlessly adding to our carbon footprint. Our in-house design team, who have been working from home here in the UK, and the studio in India have been sending photos back and forth to discuss samples of the masks to ensure they are fit for purpose.

‘I have seen photos of them tried on various people in the factory so that we can be happy with the fit,’ comments our Head Designer. ‘It also means I have seen evidence of all of the hand sanitisation stations in the factory, so I know that all of our makers are not putting themselves at risk, which is really important to us.’

A sustainable solution

We make clothing and create products, and to do so we use the earth’s resources, but there are things we can to do lessen our environmental impact. This needs to start with a careful assessment of our entire supply chain – to trace it right back to the raw materials and to look at where those products may end up – and when. We are constantly examining our path and striving towards treading even more lightly.

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