GINGER & SMART IS A COMMITTED ADVOCATE OF SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS INITIATIVES.
BELOW WE HAVE OUTLINED SOME OF THE AREAS THAT WE ARE FOCUSING ON TO EMBED ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES INTO OUR BUSINESS.
Disposable fast fashion is the second dirtiest global industry after oil. GINGER & SMART strives to differentiate from low quality fast-fashion garments that are disposed of within a season. Our purpose is to create beautifully considered timeless pieces, designed to be worn many times - high quality fashion that is socially responsible and with a low impact on our global environment.
Sustainable fashion is about sourcing and choosing fabrics that consider the environment. And it’s about smart wardrobe choices; quality over quantity. At GINGER & SMART, where possible, we source fabrics that are recyclable and biodegradable. We minimise the use of harmful chemicals and excessive water usage and waste in the production of our garments and milling of our fabrications.
We favor fibres that are eco-friendly in their composition and construction. We actively source textiles that have the following criteria;
- Created using renewable resources
- Reduced energy and water input required in processing
- Less chemical usage and consequently less toxic to humans and the land
- Can be washed less frequently and at lower temperatures
We use fibres such as Tencel, which is more absorbent that cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen. It is of botanical origin, extracted from renewable eucalyptus forests. Eucalyptus grows quickly and without irrigation, pesticides, fertilizers or genetic manipulation; it can also be planted on marginal land that cannot be used for food crops. The fibre yield per acre from the trees used is up to ten times higher than that of cotton. The fibre production itself received the “European Award for the Environment” from the European Union due to the closed loop production system that recycles almost 100% of the solvent used.
We also source organic cotton, silk, wool and modal and along with using sustainable textiles, we engage low waste practices, with careful management of materials. All surplus fabrics and trims are utilized into new designs at the end of each season to be sold instore.
PRINTING AND DYING
DIGITAL PRINTING OVER SCREEN PRINTING
Digital textile printing eliminates a substantial amount of water and electrical energy required for rotary screen preparation, printing and clean up. Digital textile printing efficiently produces designs at run lengths as low as one yard of fabric without the need for screen changes and results in significantly less ink usage and waste relative to screen-printing. Taking into account the additional chemistry and chemical waste from screen production, printing digitally offers a greener advantage for printing.
A gentle and ecologically sustainable alternative to synthetic dyes, botanical dying uses the natural colour in plants such as roses, blueberries and sunflowers. Alternatively, the synthetic dying procedure can produce pollutants and certain diazo dyes are carcinogenic.
For all our demi-couture pieces we subscribe to a slow fashion ethos that concentrates on quality and longevity over quantity. Our garments are designed in high quality fabrications with quality make and finishes, and designs are flattering and long lasting.
By encouraging slower production schedules and fair wages, Slow Fashion aims to leave a lower carbon footprint and zero waste.
We feel a moral obligation to the people who make our garments. Adequate wages, healthy working hours, a safe hygienic workplace, protection of the environment, prohibition of forced labour, elimination of child labour are all vital to our social responsibility.
We have personally visited and inspected our off-shore manufacturers. They have also been inspected independently receiving high ratings for worker’s conditions, pay and practices.
For example: our t-shirting is in collaboration with Mecilla Limited, a direct farm owner and developer. They engage 800 farming households and provide training on farming organically. Only non-GM cotton seeds, bio fertilizers and non-chemical pest management are used.
Where possible we work with manufactures who are ethically accredited as audited by Qualspec.
We aim to minimise our logistical footprint by reducing the amount of transport required in freighting fabrications, trims and garments. Where possible we purchase materials locally to our manufacturing location and group shipments together to avoid unnecessary greenhouse emissions caused by the aviation industry.
Our boutiques are the place we connect with our customers and build our community. Where possible we use the mantra of refresh, reuse, recycle when making interiors choices. We repurpose spaces with our design visions and brand personality whilst respecting the materials and space and look for ways to support Australian designers and manufacturers.
GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
GINGER & SMART HAS PARTNERED WITH SYDNEY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION’S SYDNEY (SCFS) WOMEN’S FUND TO HELP TRANSFORM ONE OF THEIR PLACE BASED SOCIAL ENTERPRISE PROGRAMS IN FAIRFIELD, THE WOMEN’S FRIENDSHIP SEWING CIRCLE.
The program, which started three years ago, is for migrant and refugee women in Fairfield, mainly of Syrian and Iraqi background. The program brings women together to share stories and skills, across generations and to learn about working life in Australia .
The collaboration with GINGER & SMART makes the program into a wage paying social enterprise. A group of women managed by retail store and not for profit The Social Outfit in Newtown, are being paid to produce the tote bag designed by GINGER & SMART.
The dramatic graphic bag bears the words KIND & STRONG and is inspired by Sydney Community Foundation’s umbrella Be Kind Sydney, a fund everyone can give to assist those in need in our city.
“Giving back to those less fortunate we believe is a social responsibility of business. The fashion industry has given us both so many opportunities and we feel it is important to mentor and assist where we can. These fantastic women come together after unbelievable personal hardships and start to make friends and talk and bond over a sewing circle. It’s a reminder of the power of a new start.” says Genevieve and Alexandra Smart.
As well as designing the bag, Genevieve and Alexandra Smart are running mentoring masterclasses with the women at Fairfield who plan to design their own products to sell to grow their enterprise. The girls will teach them how to make the bag, about material and design choices, their insights as an enduring Australian fashion brand and financial management in a fashion business.
GINGER & SMART SUPPORTS: