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The BWS Standard

We carry out extensive research and every piece in our collection meets the following standard. 

 

1.DESIGN

Products that look good and perform the jobs they were created to do.  For a product to be truly sustainable it must invite you to wear it again and again.

 

2. QUALITY

We select clothes that are built to last and be enjoyed for many years. We believe fast fashion is rubbish.

 

3. STAND OUT ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR

To get into our collections products must have a social or environmental impact that sets them apart from the mainstream. This could be that a t-shirt is made in a wind-powered factory with a carbon footprint 90% lower than that of a conventional tee or it could be that a bag was handmade by Bolivian artisans working in family based groups.

Sustainability and ethical production is a journey but every product in our collections has a clearly demonstrated positive impact on people or planet that goes beyond the norm.

Examples of stand-out social impact: Schemes for worker engagement with decision making, working to fair trade criteria, programmes of worker training and capacity building, clear examples of how workers are valued and their needs prioritised.

Examples of game changing environmental impact:  the use of more sustainable materials, upcycling, comprehensive waste management schemes, energy efficiency in manufacturing and transportation.

 

4. TRANSPARENCY

We require the designers and brands that manufacture products in our collection to provide us with a full breakdown of their supply chains. We then summarise this and share it in our product ‘footprint’ tabs.

Partner brands are required to provide clear evidence of the added value their processes or suppliers offer to communities and to the environment.

 

5. LABOUR STANDARDS

We only work with brands that as well as having stand-out social or environmental impact have systems in place that are designed to ensure the following minimum labour standards are met:

- No use of child labour

- No use of forced labour

- Safe and healthy working conditions

- Legal labour contracts

- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining

- No discrimination against employees

- No excessive hours of work

- Payment of living wage*

 

*We believe a living wage should be calculated with an assessment of living costs however we currently consider brands that pay the legal minimum wage and above in recognition that it can be hard for designers to find manufacturers that pay a living wage.

 

6. COMMITMENT TO PROGRESS

We believe that a commitment to progress is absolutely crucial. Ethical practice and sustainability is an on-going journey and we require those at the top of our partner brands to display a genuine commitment to continued innovation in this area.

There may be good reasons why a certain standard or certification has not been attained and we ask for these reasons to be communicated along with the company’s strategy towards continually improving social and environmental standards.

 

 

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