Since we first started creating OBLIVIOUS? it was clear to us that we wanted to be more sustainable (& ethical!) than the standard in the industry. Not just because it has become more and more important within the fashion industry and with consumers, but more so because we wanted to ensure that by putting something new into the world, we would do so in a more responsible manner.
As a brand focused on questions, it felt natural to question the processes within the fashion industry and try and do better. One of the main things we've tried to achieve is minimising the use of plastic as much as possible at all stages.
Knowing the creative direction we were aiming for, we knew we wanted to work with 100% GOTS Organic Cotton. The Global Organic Textile Standard certifies that certain standards need to be kept during the production of the fabric, which pertain to both the environment, as well as the ethical side of the process.
Organic Cotton needs less water during production than conventional cotton, as it is mostly grown on small-scale farms, which are mostly rainfed. Adding to that,no synthetic pesticides or other toxic substances are used, which also lessens its impact on the environment (water pollution) and the employees involved - not using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides also reduces green-house gas emissions and makes the soil act as a 'carbon sink', which can absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. In terms of circularity, there are ways to recycle Cotton right now, however it usually shortens the fibre lengths, making it less strong. However, research in this area is on-going and we are hoping to see more improved of this in the future.
We only produce in small quantities and are soon switching over to demand-driven printing of our garments, to avoid overproduction and unwanted stock.
As we've grown our brand, we've introduced a new approach to being more sustainable: using pre-owned items that we rework and alter to breathe new life into them, ensuring that instead of going to land-fill, they can go to a new home.
Our first project within this space are our Upcycled Blazers, where we source pre-owned Blazers from various sources & then check every each one of them to ensure they are of great quality and have no obvious faults. This makes every item unique, as no two Blazer's are exactly alike. We then get these embroidered with different questions using plastic-free threads (viscose rayon) - we'd love to embroider with organic cotton threads, however have been advised that this is currently not possible as the threads would break and we do want you to have a long-lasting product. Adding to that, we could have worked with recycled polyester threads, but as we try to avoid plastics and only want to make use of them when they have an actual function (e.g. water-repellent, sportswear etc.), this wasn't our first choice. We are continuing to look for better options when they become available.
These Blazers are currently produced / altered in Germany, as well as the UK, which is why we can offer some of them to be shipped from either country.
We create limited drops of these Blazers, as well as offering a Pre-Order option that gives you more control over the end product.
With our Upcycled Blazerswe've introduced the option of pre-orders and thus on-demand production: not only does this help us minimise over-production, but it also means every items is uniquely produced for you, ensures that you have more choice when it comes to your orders and enables you to be a part of a more sustainable production process.
While we do give options in terms of colour of the Blazer and questions used, we are always open for special requests and try to accommodate these when possible.
More info on our cut & sew production
We now work with a clothing manufacturer in Portugal that as been in business since 1998. They specialise on the production of high-quality and sustainable garments and try to minimise their own ecological impact e.g.: by offering plastic-free packaging solutions. Our 100% GOTS certified Organic Cotton fabric is made by a partner of theirs, also located in Portugal, which helps reduce the distance the fabric has to travel and also ensures ethical working conditions based on Portugal's laws.
Our manufacturer produces our pieces in their facility and prints our inside labels on using a screen printing technique with water-based inks. While this technique was also used for all of our main prints for our first collection, we will be using a digital printing technique for any new items. Our new Hoodies will not have printed labels, but cotton labels attached on the inside.
Packaging & extras
As we wanted to weave sustainability throughout the whole brand, we wanted to make sure that all other things needed e.g.: hangtags, tissue paper, packaging etc. are also more sustainable and plastic-free. For example: Our hangtags are made from FSC recycled paper and our packaging is made from at least 90% recycled corrugated cardboard and printed with water-based inks. We also encourage customers to keep the box for their own private use or use it for their own postal needs. All of our packaging & extras are thus either recyclable or made from recycled materials - or both.
While we know there is no way to be a 100% sustainable, we are trying our best to be MORE sustainable and hope to improve our efforts while we grow.
If you have any questions - please send us a message by clicking on the 'chat with us' button in the left hand corner or alternatively, contact us here.
BEHIND THE BRAND: JACQUIE & Romi
We are a mother and daughter duo, based in Germany and the UK, who share a seemingly never-ending sense of curiosity.
OBLIVIOUS? was created after an in-depth conversation about the power of questions and how we can bring this power closer to you.