“The sourcing of products and textiles is the core of our business, and it’s our mission to do that in the most responsible, ethical and environmentally conscious way possible. Supply chain transparency is vital so that we know the impact our production is having on the environment and community.”
The sourcing of products and textiles is the core of our business, and it’s important to us that we do so responsibly. We acknowledge the impact the apparel industry has on the planet and its resources, and are committed to being part of a solution rather than the problem. Supply chain transparency is vital so that we know the impact our production is having on the environment and community.
We love natural fabrics and 90% of the materials we use are made from natural fibres like cotton, wool, and linen. As these are renewable and biodegradable, they are a far more sustainable resource than synthetics derived from petrochemicals - polyester accounts for less than 2% of our range, and almost half of this is made from recycled material.
2018 % Fibre Type
We are also constantly aiming to improve our sources of these materials, with suppliers and manufacturers adhering to eco-conscious and socially responsible practices and accreditations. A key part of this strategy is working further down the supply chain with 2nd and 3rd tier fabric, fibre and trims suppliers to ensure authenticity and traceability of these materials, as well as ensuring the downstream suppliers are aligned and adhere to the same principles and Code of Conduct as our garment suppliers.
Our short term goal is to have 75% of our products environmentally responsibly sourced by 2020, and ultimately 100% of our products environmentally responsibly sourced materials by 2023. We understand the complexity of achieving these goals, however every step we take is a positive action and it is a journey that we are committed to.
To achieve this we work closely with our manufacturers and prioritise accountability, visibility and accreditation. In 2018 40% of the fibres we purchased were environmentally responsibly sourced. We are working on this area constantly and have increased the mix of environmentally responsibly sourced fibres to 58% for the Winter 2019 season, and are well on our way to achieve our goal of 75% by 2020.
% Fibre Type AW19 Purchases
Where possible we choose to use Certified Organic cotton as we believe it is the most responsible option with the least environmental impact, but also support the use of Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton where we are unable to source Certified Organic cotton.
As at January 2019 30% of our cotton is responsibly sourced, of this 55% is Certified Organic Cotton and 45% is BCI cotton (BCI stands for Better Cotton Initiative, a name that says it all really - it’s just better cotton. Clothes produced with the BCI standard are grown using more sustainable, environmentally friendly practices, while also prioritising worker wellbeing).
By 2023 we aim to use either 100% organic cotton or responsibly sourced cotton for all of our cotton knit garments, and all our woven shirts and pants.
70% of our Linen products are made with fabric produced in an OEKO-TEX certified “green” rated factory.
We love wool, especially super fine Merino, it is one of nature's super fibres with the ultimate performance benefits which is why we choose it as the fibre of choice for our Suiting and Knitwear. 71% of our wool currently is responsibly sourced, certified by Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) and Pure Woolmark standard. In 2020 we will be introducing the world's most ethical and sustainable sourced ZQ Merino. All wool used for Barkers products must come from certified non-mulesed wool growers.
100% of our Wool suiting is made from Merino under the Woolmark standard.
Our knitwear is made from Merino or Lambswool certified under the RWS and Woolmark standards.
We stock very few Down products, but where we do they are 100% certified Responsible Down Standard (RDS).
Other fibres such as polyester or nylon accounts for less than 2% of our total fibre use. Of this more than half is currently post consumer waste recycled fabrics. Whilst we don’t aim to increase the use of synthetic fibres, it is our aim in future to only use recycled synthetic fabrics.
TEXTILE REUSE PROGRAMME
We recently partnered with the Textile Reuse Programme and sit on the Steering Committee to help develop future circular models for textile re-use, because our responsibility doesn’t end when a garment leaves our store.
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