At Kat the Label we are committed to ethical trade, manufacturing and working conditions for all of our factories.
We integrate principled behaviour in all aspects of our operations, from design, pattern making and sampling here in Melbourne, to production, fabric sourcing and our extremely talented seamstresses in Guangzhou, China.
While this industry we admit isn't perfect, we are constantly looking for ways to improve on our sustainable and ethical standards continuously.
Here's a bit more about what we are currently doing;
We work closely with our factories through regular visits to ensure we continue to work with an ethical and safe facility. We find this is a great way to see with our own eyes where the garments we all love are coming from. 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 factories 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 hazards and a safe exit, standard working day hours & living wage with regular breaks in between, necessary safety equipment for certain machines and fabric cutting.
I can honestly say that the happier and safer the staff in our factories, the better quality pieces we can provide our customers. We do not work with a new factory until we have visited the facility ourselves and met the staff face to face.
We currently produce in 5 factories who all specialise in different areas, each factory I have an excellent working relationship with and my goal for 2021 is to have a third party accredit each factory, especially with the pandemic and not being able to visit regularly myself anymore.
We aim to ensure that fabric usage is as sustainable as possible and avoid using dyes that have harmful effects on our environment. We purchase fabrics from market that are left over from larger brand orders, so we 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!
This is why many Kat pieces are limited editions and are rarely created again.
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 out 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.
We also keep all packaging to a minimum to avoid wastage and landfill.
We send 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 excitedly packing 75% of our stock from China in biodegradable corn starch bags which will break down much quicker than the plastic option.
You might wonder why we have to package in polybags at all, and that is to avoid your lovely 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.
The better condition we can keep the garments in to sell, the less faulty styles going into landfill.
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.
Kat the Label started back in 2015, and has grown exponentially the last few years. This means excitedly we are in a position to start giving back. 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 to the cause and excited to raise more in 2021!
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 look forward to many new initiatives in 2021!
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.
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 which does happen every now and then, we are happy to offer vouchers or replacements and hope that you can still get some wear out of the faulty item too, to avoid it going straight into landfill.
Our commitment to the planet & people is ever ongoing, and we look forward to making improvements.
If you have any questions or comments on our current practices, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.