From our early beginnings we have always taken seriously our responsibility to do our best to ensure fair conditions for the manufacturing of our products.
Although our intentions have always been in the right place we understand that the fashion industry is changing and customers are demanding a clearer understanding in who is making their clothing. We believe that our customers deserve 100% transparency in knowing where their garments are made and we are striving to achieve this. We are taking steps in the right direction to improve this now and into the future.
Meeting the responsibilities of ethical business is central to our beliefs. We have made a commitment to continue to seek out such opportunities for improvements that will help the ongoing wellbeing of the people and places that produce our goods. This includes auditing processes to supplement our own compliance measures and local regulation. We also make a commitment to business practices within Australia that ensure our customers, staff and the environment are taken care of responsibly.
No Plastic Bags
From our beginnings in the early 1990s, we made a conscious decision to not use plastic bags for customers in store, something we still uphold some 25+ years on. For the past 3 years, we’ve used recycled sari fabrics and natural cotton bags to send out online orders to our customers. We continue to look for ways to reduce our environmental impact, whether it be investigating sustainable production practices for our company or thinking a little closer to home and encouraging our staff to use reusable coffee cups and food containers.
We Avoid 'Fast Fashion' and Celebrate Tradition
Unfortunately many fast fashion companies abuse their overseas garment workers by demanding extremely large quantities of garments in very short time frames - resulting in employees working unreasonable hours and in unreasonable conditions. We have avoid these “fast fashion” pressures by extending the lead times for our collections, which are now usually in development for 6 months before they arrive in our stores. We stick to our roots and are long-term champions of traditional Indian handicrafts. These traditional textile techniques used in creating our garments are the antithesis of mass production as they take time and skill.
We Visit Our Makers
We have made it a policy to trace down into our supply chain and wherever possible visit all units involved in our production. In the past year we have made numerous trips to India and Nepal with the specific purpose of investigating more of our supply chain and are working with suppliers to trace down our supply chain and any outsourced specialist components. We are getting down to the nitty-gritty, investigating even the smallest details such as tie-dying, tassel making, embroidered patches, etc. In many cases the work is either sub-contracted to other companies, or outsourced cottage industry work performed at home by women. We are using this information to develop policies and procedures to deal with these smaller arrangements and organisations which include women's collectives.
Tree of Life upholds an Ethical Sourcing Manual to ensure all sourcing is done both ethically and responsibly. You can view our full Supplier Code of Ethics here.