Ethics & Sustainability

At Kat the Label we are committed to ethical and sustainable trade, manufacturing and conditions for all of our factories and supply chain. 

We integrate principled behaviour across vast aspects of our operations. From design, pattern making, grading and sampling here in our Melbourne studio, to production, fabric sourcing, development managed by our extremely talented seamstresses and suppliers in Guangzhou, China. 

While this industry we admit is far from perfect, we are constantly looking for ways to improve on our sustainable and ethical standards to reduce our carbon footprint everyday.

Here's a bit more about what we are currently doing at Kat the Label; 

PEOPLE

We work closely with our factories through regular visits to ensure we continue to work with an ethical and safe facility. Covid allowing, we can't wait to get back over to our suppliers in person again.

We find this way we can experience our production with our own eyes, experiencing where and how the garments we all love come to life. While we wait for accreditation by a third party as our business grows, we ensure conditions are abiding by our strict code of conduct for an ethical, safe and happy workplace for our entire supply chain. 

Some things we look for in our factory visits which might sound simple but make a huge difference to working conditions are good lighting, natural light and windows, temperature controlled environments with heating and cooling, clear pathways between machines clear of tripping and fire hazards, a clear safe exit, standard working day hours & living wage with regular breaks in between, necessary safety equipment for certain machines and fabric cutting. 

To do this our factories already hold relevant accreditations and certifications we request to review before commencing production with them. This is a good way to make sure what we see for ourselves in these factories is being followed through with when we are not present. While this is a good start, getting our own third party accreditation for our factories is what is most important to us, and our goal is to have 100% of production independently accredited to meet BSCI standards.

PLANET 

All of our orders are shipped with a certified Carbon Neutral Provider called South Pole, who offset of carbon emissions by supporting a renewable hydropower project in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. We proudly partner with this provider worldwide.

By working with localised warehousing in Australia as well as the US, the energy and emissions used to transport your purchases is also reduced, as we are able to use less emissions intensive transport closer to where you live. 

We aim to ensure that fabric usage is as sustainable as possible and avoid using dyes that have harmful effects on our environment. We often purchase fabrics from market that are left over from larger brand orders for our more exclusive limited run style which is a great way to keep waste to a minimum & avoid ordering huge quantities of fabric to be produced just for us - we like to use what we already can! 

For our signature styles that we always carry in stock, we work with suppliers to make sure that creating this fabric just for us has the most minimal impact it can by designing and pattern making garments in such a way that we use as much of the fabric as possible. We manipulate designs so that the centre & edge of each fabric is used, meaning less fabric is discarded into landfill . When we need to, we have the fabric woven to only the width needed for that design (because lingerie typically, is quite tiny compared to usual clothing!). 

We also keep all packaging to a minimum to avoid wastage and landfill. We now proudly ship orders in corn starch compostable shipping satchels through Grounded Packaging, that can be filled with food scraps and discarded in your green bin. 

We package and send out your garments out in reusable mesh bags to store them and protect them, and help maintain the longevity of your items but keeping them safe.

While we still need to individually package our garments in polybags for hygiene purchases and to avoid garments getting dirty in transit, we are now packing 100% of new production from our factories in biodegradable corn starch bags which will break down unlike typical plastic polybags.

You might wonder why we have to package our garments in polybags at all, and that is to avoid your new white garments getting dirty marks or damage from rain in transit, as well as intricate embroidery pulling if it's rubbing on a delicate lace style. Because the better condition we can keep the garments for you to purchase, the less faulty styles going into landfill or being sent back, reducing further carbon emissions. 

When it comes to design each piece we create with classics, quality and comfort in mind so that you keep and cherish your product as long as possible. We are not about fast fashion or following trends, so your signature pieces stand the test of time. We see our items as collectibles and keepsakes.

GIVING BACK

Kat the Label started back in 2015, and has grown exponentially the last few years. This means we are now in a position to start giving back which I feel so grateful for. With a huge focus on Breast Cancer awareness we host a Pink Ribbon event every October to raise funds for Cancer research & awareness. 
In 2020 we raised over $9,000 and in 2021 we donated $20,000 to the cause!

In 2022 so far, we've donated hundreds of new bras and underwear to flood victims in Northern NSW who sadly lost everything. We also partnered with Support the Girls and donated over 100 bras to women experiencing hardships from unemployment, domestic violence, the loss of family or other experiences out of their control.

In conjunction with our basics launch early 2021, we partnered with Pinch A Poo, who help women and children affected by domestic violence. We donated $10 from every sale for the first 10 days of launch. 

After the devastating fires in early 2020, we also donated a percentage of our Boxing Day sale funds to the Salvation Army to help those who lost their homes.

We regularly gift vouchers for localised fundraisers for door prizes and auctions, so please get in touch if there's a cause close to your heart we could help with!

We look forward to many new initiatives in 2022 and beyond!

YOU CAN HELP

How can you help? We like to remind our customers they can also do their bit to help the environment when shopping with Kat the Label. If returning items we suggest re using the satchel you received your order in so we can recycle it accordingly. We've added a second adhesive strip to our packaging, so they can be re sealed and re shipped.

Should you love your order and not need to make a return, our shipping satchels are bio degradable corn starch bags to minimise our footprint on the planet. We'd recommend using your satchel as a liner for your food scrap bin as it can be composted directly in your green bin or in the garden!  

If you're having trouble with sizes, please reach out before placing an order we are always happy to help you find the best fit first time around to avoid shipping garments back and fourth increasing carbon emissions, or we can avoid sending you an item you won't wear that will go to waste. 

If you have received a faulty item we are happy to offer vouchers or replacements while letting you keep the faulty in the hope that you can still get some wear out of the faulty item too, and to avoid it going straight into landfill.

Our commitment to the planet & people is ever ongoing, and we look forward to making improvements as we as a company grow.

If you have any questions or comments on our current practices, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at kate@katthelabel.com to discuss. And if you had any recommendations or initiatives you want to see - I'd love to hear them!

x Kate