At Hope & Ivy, our affinity with nature and our love of the environment inspires us to take a strong stance on creating a sustainable future. We are committed to making small changes that will have a big impact and guide the way for us to become a more environmentally friendly brand. We are committed to providing our customers with full transparency and to reducing our ecological footprint on this wonderful planet.
PLASTIC POSTAGE AND PACKAGING
Currently, like most fashion brands, we package our postal orders in a plastic postage bag and use a clear plastic garment bag. Plastic bags can take 10-1000 years to naturally decompose if not recycled properly or kept for reuse. This causes a massive impact on the environment especially marine life. Going forwards, we are hoping to introduce recyclable card wrapping and boxes to package Hope & Ivy orders and we are considering biodegradable options for our garment bags. We hope to reach a point in the very near future where we can conclusively offer eco-friendly postage and packaging at Hope & Ivy.
Hope & Ivy actively consider the importance of animal welfare in the fashion industry. Animal farming itself can be extremely damaging to the environment in addition to the unethical practice that of using animals for clothing materials. Many materials such as fur, feathers, mohair, cashmere, silk, shell and bone are used for fashion purposes and involve harmful production processes causing distress to animals. As a brand Hope & Ivy disagrees with using materials that contribute to the exploitation or harm of animals. For example, we take a stance against using silk in the making of our dresses and consider it an unethical product. There are a few reasons for this; Silk is hugely impactful on the environment and holds the second highest score on the Higg Materials Sustainability Index – https://msi.higg.org/-a great guide for finding out some facts about textiles and the environment. Silk is also hard to trace to its origins giving us no background into the production line and those employed within it. This restricts us from providing a guarantee that it was sourced within ethical guidelines and that workers’ rights were upheld. Finally, silk also causes harm to the worms that produce it - The process involves boiling or steaming cocoons alive and we believe this is not in line with animal welfare standards.
A lot of waste within the fashion industry is down to unused fabrics – the challenge here is ordering the right amount for production. At Hope & Ivy we aim to offer a large size range and offer varying fits across our products – to do this we buy our fabric by the kilo. This sometimes makes it difficult to get the order exactly fit for purpose resulting in a slight amount of waste. We do not take ANY waste lightly. To resolve this issue, in our production, we use all of our offcuts to make product gift bags. We send these out with our clothing orders in the hope that they will find a new and better use. They could be recreated into anything you desire. For example, a new make up or toiletries bag or even to put your packed lunch in. As long as it keeps it out of landfill we are happy and encourage our customers to keep the cycle going.
Our garments are made from a polyester mix that can be harmful to the environment if it is sent to landfill taking 20-200 years to fully decompose. It is an integral part of our brand philosophy that no item we produce is left behind. Hope & Ivy’s mission is to create beautiful clothes to be enjoyed by everyone and not only is this part of our stance on sustainability, but we truly want our clothes to have a long fulfilling life of wear. We regularly hold sample sales to redistribute our stock and offer it at discounted prices to our lovely and loyal customers.
Another part of our mission at Hope & Ivy is ultimately to have a positive impact not just on the planet but also the immediate communities around us. We charge a small entry fee to our sample sales that is donated to local charities close to our East London studio. As part of our promise to make sure all of our clothes are worn, we donate any remaining samples to charities including our maternity samples that find new homes with budding mums to be.
To be a perfectly sustainable brand is an impossible task, but it is at the heart of our values to do our very best to minimise any negative impact we may have on this beautiful planet. We also nurture the concept of growth – we’ve all got to start somewhere right? This is just the beginning of our sustainability journey and our own personal education. It is our responsibility to be reactive to the world around us and leave a positive influence here too! We welcome you to find more sustainable options in your life and help us with our journey too – please get in touch if you have any ideas for a more sustainable Hope & Ivy – we would LOVE to hear from you.