Sustainable fashion...it has become a hot topic.
Fashion and beyond, 'sustainability' can be integrated to every aspect of our lives.
But what does it really mean though?
Many brands are taking the initiative, but many seem to have different definitions of being 'sustainable'.
The word 'sustainable' became such a buzz word, it's often used as a marketing exercise.
So then it leads to the question: what does sustainable mean to you?
To truely be sustainable as a brand, it's a work in progress.
We've dissected sustainability in small chunks. Scroll down to learn more.
We believe sustainability is all about not harming the environment and the workers.
Raw materials alone involve countless hours of work behind the scenes.
Our goal is to establish a sustainable supply chain without costing the earth.
Efficient Supply Chain
Turning our main focus on environmental sustainability, we looked into using eco-friendly and low impact fibres like organic cotton and hemp.
Most of our designs are cut & sewn in Australia. To help minimise mileage and carbon emissions from transport, we keep majority of production local.
We realise it’s not just about designing and creating using eco-friendly materials.
Fibre farming, fabric production and other processes required in between like washing and dyeing are other things to consider.
We need to know who made it, where was it made and how was it made?
To be clear and transparent in our supply chain and be able to pass on that information to you is crucial.
Complete history of fibre farming to the finished material are not the kind of information that are readily available.
This is one of our challenges.
Our ultimate goal is to establish a zero-waste and a sustainable operation with complete transparency with tracking system (of each item).
It might be a long journey, but we are committed to take up the challenge.
Fabrics & Trims
We select best materials available on the market that is also as biodegradable as possible.
And we are always on a look out for better, alternative fibres that will better the environment.
Our buttons are made from Tagua nut - 100% natural and biodegradable.
We avoid using synthetic fibres wherever possible.
However, we are open to recycled synthetics like recycled polyester or nylon - in an effort to reduce existing waste.
We are continuously looking for a better, eco-friendly alternatives.
To make sure our garments can be appreciated across multiple of seasons, we make conscious choices through out our designing process.
Quality over quantity, we want to make sure we create each item as long-lasting as possible to prolong the life cycle of clothing.
According to WRAP UK, increasing life cycle of all clothing by 9 months can reduce annual carbon, water and waste footprints of clothing by 20-30%. that goes to show how much resources can be saved just by this simple act.
It also means we all need to treat our clothes with care and maintain its quality that it deserves.
Textile waste is one of the many environmental damages in fashion industry.
Even making every effort to lay out our patterns in a way that minimises wastage, there are always off-cut materials.
This is why it's important for us to use our creativity and reduce by collecting off-cut materials from our sampling/garment productions.
These are consolidated to create new one-off items.
Having created small goods like bucket hats and tote bags, we are exploring new styles including apparel, which we are so excited about.
Mixing these off-cut fabrics with other off cut materials (Natsuko's personal materials) to create small accessory goods. You can see more of her personal work on Etsy.
All online orders are wrapped in brown butcher paper and tied with a jute string. No sticky tapes!
Items are posted using recyclable cardboard shipping boxes.
Standard packing tape is used to secure the parcel - but soon we will be making a shift to bio-degradable packing tapes.
Off-cut papers from pattern making and unwanted papers from administration use are recycled to our favourite local store - Dodgy Paper.
These papers are recycled to create a custom paper batch, which are currently used for our 'thank you' cards for all online orders.
Manufacturing & Supplys
We source materials from local and overseas distributors who shares the same vision and goal on sustainability.
Our basic range includes Earthpositive blanks, which are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) certified organic cotton and ethically produced under Fairwear Foundation.
These are also sustainably made through Carbon Footprint Standard using renewable energy and rainwater to minimise carbon and water footprint as much as possible.
We design and have them printed or embroidered in Melbourne.
Cut & Sew styles like Shogun Unisex Overcoat, we work with local manufacturers or make them in-house.
We create an initial pattern draft and sample at our Melbourne studio.
Then, they are handed over to our local pattern maker and have them altered, digitised and printed.
Sometimes this process is also done in-house.
Following the updated patterns, we remake the samples - to ensure the fit and make further changes (if necessary).
Final patterns, fabrics and trims are sent to our local factory or our in-house studio for small run production.
Repair, Re-wear, Recycle
Rather than having a wasteful fast fashion mindset, we believe in a minimalistic lifestyle.
Surround yourself with quality products that you can cherish forever.
We invite you to take this sustainable approach.
Repair if something breaks.
Re-wear your mended clothes to prolong its life.
Swap with friends, donate to op shops or resell at your local marketplace.
If it's absolutely worn to death, you can recycle for other home purposes (eg. old worn out t shirts can be reused as a cleaning rag).
Throwing out in the bin is last thing you want to do - we all know where that's heading.
We are looking to introduce 'Life Time Repairing Service'. A program which enables us to receive your old Kodama Apparel clothes to be repaired or up-cycled - no matter how long ago you purchased it from us.