Souten Clothing Co operates in accordance with six key principles.
We are committed to fair labour practices, and ensuring that no modern slavery exists in our supply chains.
All our garments are made by people who have a safe, supportive, working environment, and are paid a living wage. In India, they are also provided with healthcare, and life skills workshops (with topics like finance and menstrual hygiene).
The majority of our fabrics are GOTS certified, which ensures that there is no forced or child labour, and that workers are provided with ongoing employment, safe working conditions, and a living wage.
We source our other fabrics from countries like Australia, USA, Japan, the UK, and Portugal; where there are strong labour laws that protect the rights of workers.
We do not use any fabrics from from Uzbekistan, as the government has been using both forced and child labour in its cotton production.
Being transparent means that we try and trace all our items from the manufacture of the raw materials, through to our mailing bags and labels.
On each item there is a tab called 'supply chain' which gives you all the information we have about that particular item.
Sometimes it's really difficult to get complete supply chain information from our suppliers, as it is not yet the norm, and not collected. Where this occurs we are transparent with you, and reflect this in our supply chain information. We are consistently working with our suppliers to increase supply chain transparency.
The only animals we use are the cute illustrated ones in our prints, and Evie, our mascot and chief treat eater.
This means no leather, no fur, no wool, and no silk.
We don't believe that animal cruelty is simply the cost of looking awesome.
We don't compromise on quality, and are working with our suppliers to source high quality alternatives to these materials, like linen/modal silk from Herbal Fab.
Minimising waste is central to our production process. We produce small collections of items with only a few in each size, to reduce the risk of items being wasted. Unsold items are never thrown away. They will be donated to several charities, depending on which are open for donation at the time. These are Wear for Success and Fitted for Work (if they are work appropriate) or Impact for Women, Safe Steps, and the Avalon Centre.
We always cut our fabric to get the best yield out of it. For our items made in India fabric scraps are used by the ladies of Saheli women in their projects. They use all scraps, as even the smallest ones are useful for stuffing pillows and beds. for our items made in Australia, We use some offcuts and scraps in personal projects. Others of a decent size are donated to places like Sister Works and Sewing for Charity. Small scraps are currently being collected to make into dog beds and pillows for animal charities.
The really itty bitty scraps that can't be reused are composted in our garden.
All our paper and card packing is made from 100% recycled materials. Our mailing bags are made from limestone waste from the building industry or plant based and completely compostable (smaller bags) and from 100% recycled plastic (larger bags).
We are completely committed to gender equality, and empowering women and non-binary folk around the world, and believe that fashion is a feminist issue, as 80% of garment workers are women, and 75% of fashion purchases are made by women.
We are run by women, and partner with manufacturers, print designers, and fabric shops who are run by kick-ass women. We use real women in varying sizes for our photography, and introduce them to you through Meet the Models, so you can get a peek at the whole person, not just the pretty faces.
Approximately 50% of our collection is made by Saheli Women. Saheli Women is an ethical fashion social enterprise in Rajasthan, a state in North-west India, employing over 24 rural women, providing them with fair wages, health insurance coverage and a safe work environment free from gender, religious and caste discrimination.
We firmly believe that educating girls is how we change the world, as we empower them to do it. A portion of the profits from each sale are donated to One Girl, who empower girls in the developing world through education. Additionally, Saheli Women sponsors the educations of all daughters of Saheli Women members.