How We Source Garments

How We Source Garments

Since setting up Merch Service in 2020, we’ve set out to learn as much as we can about sustainable fashion. The main thing we’ve learnt is that sustainability is a journey, you can’t just claim to be ‘sustainable’, given the global complexity of how clothes are created.  Here, we’ll share how we approach sourcing blank garments for KHMS.

Toxic Clothes

Conventional cotton which is commonly used by mainstream fashion retailers is grown using many pesticides which end up sticking to the finished cotton clothes. That sucks, because pesticides are toxic (and not in the fun Britney way) and according to clean-fashion experts and the Agricultural Health Study , they’ve been linked to a list of long-term health issues. Safe to say that it’s not safe out here, not even for the garms.

What we’ve also learnt is the damages of toxic colouring when it comes to dying clothes. What makes it even worse is that textile dyes aren’t just harmful to consumers but they are guilty of water pollution on a global scale. ‘Azo’ dyes are commonly used to dye clothes because they’re cheap and they do a good job of producing bright colours. These dyes are so toxic that they are banned in the EU, but they’re still found in all areas of the world and can too easily make their way to the UK without customers knowing of their toxicity.

What can we do about it?

Fortunately, there are forward-thinking suppliers and global bodies who are making fashion cleaner.   We currently exclusively use AS Colour and Stanley/Stella for our blank garments, who are leading the charge , and we’ll be holding any future garment additions to the same standards.

AS Colour have an ethos of “doing the right thing” and have shaped their practises around this idea. Tees are sourced from a factory in Narayanganj, central Bangladesh and hoodies from Ningbo in Eastern China. AS Colour supports the Better Cotton initiative that works with farmers and other stakeholders with the shared goal of encouraging safe farming.

Stanley/Stella only use Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton and recycled polyester. And their supply chain is certified by a number of independent bodies, such as PETA and Textile Exchange. Both AS colour and Stanley/Stella are OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified, which means the fabrics are free from dangerous substances like pesticides and heavy metals.

To sum it up

A lot of big words to learn there, but to sum it up, we only use suppliers that actively support non-toxic cotton farming.

We’re always on the lookout for blank garment suppliers leading the way in susta­­ina­­bility and ethical practices.­  If you get word of any new ones, get in touch.

– Stella & The KH Team
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