We built Folktribe on a solid foundation of humanitarian and environmental values, they’re our unwavering commitments that every decision we make come back to. It is our mission to create a more sustainable fashion industry and our philosophy is simple; ‘do no harm’. The environmental impact of fashion has become so devastating that as an industry, it contributes one of the largest amounts of pollution globally.
Beautiful fashion needn't cost the Earth, and we're here to prove it.
Fighting water pollution
The largest pollutant of clean water globally is agriculture, the origin of where natural fibres come from to make our clothes. We have chosen to use hemp fibre as it produces 200- 250% more fibre in the same amount of land compared to cotton, using around half the amount of water.
Textile dyeing comes in second of the largest pollutants and according to WaterAid, 1 in 9 people do not have clean water close to home. It is paramount for us not to contribute to this water contamination so we use rainwater run off and organic plant matter to make our dyes, the whole process is completed by hand, by us so we know exactly what goes into the process. Having full control over the process gives us the ability to monitor and minimise any waste and the only byproduct of our process is completely safe and compostable.
Reducing chemical use
Many commonly used agricultural chemicals, once believed to be harmless, are being proven as toxic, carcinogenic substances and are fast becoming banned in many EU countries. Another amazing benefit of using hemp fibre is that the plant itself does not require chemicals during its growth process. Combining this with our botanical dye process means there are no toxic chemicals being dumped into our precious environment and no toxic chemicals on your body when you wear our clothes.
Combating fast fashion
Excessive and saturated wardrobes have become the norm and the result is that retailers must entice shoppers into newness and convince them what they already have is no longer fashionable, seasonal releases and sales mean clothes have a disposable feel.
Our response to the fast fashion mentality is to only manufacture and dye our products in small batch quantities to meet demand, ensuring no waste from excess stock, we design timeless, versatile garments that can be worn casually or dressed up, at home or while traveling and we do not release seasonally but rather when our designs are ready. Our aim is to continually build on our efforts to educate our customers on the importance of keeping their clothes for a long time, with long-term plans to offer ongoing styling, care and repair support for our customers.
Tackling textile waste
Alongside our efforts to change the mentality around disposable clothing, therefore reducing the clothing that ends up in landfill, we use upcycled fabrics and offcuts to create packaging and other small products in order to divert fabric destined for landfill into a new and useful life.
Saying no to slave labour
While the financial costs of clothing have plummeted, the environmental and humanitarian costs of the fashion industry have been devastating.
Let's think about this, if you're buying a new t-shirt for $10 and taking into consideration transportation, wages for sales staff, shopfront upkeep costs and profits, how much is left to pay the person that cuts the pieces for that shirt, for the person that dyed the fabric, for the person that made the pattern or the person that actually sewed the shirt?
This doesn’t add up, we need to be paying a fair and honourable wage to the people that make our clothes. We work with the incredible team at Austhai Garment Co. to produce our clothing. They are regularly audited by the external body, Li & Fung. Li & Fung have strict criteria around management systems, health and safety practices, labour practices, environmental practices and accountability, transparency and ethics. You can see their supplier code of conduct here.
Making a stand against plastic
Polyester is the most popular fibre used in the fashion industry, when the fibre is washed it sheds tiny plastic microfibers into the water. These plastic microfibers present a huge threat to aquatic marine life. Hemp is a natural fibre that eventually will break down and degrade, therefore does not pose this threat to aquatic ecosystems.
We also say no to plastic in our supply chain, business operations, and personal lives. We have worked with our manufacturer to ensure that our pieces were not individually wrapped, rather that they are sent all together in one cardboard box that we could then reuse or recycle. Garments are packaged in upcycled fabric produce bags that our customers can then reuse to combat their own plastic consumption, we use 100% recycled paper and stickers printed with eco-friendly ink to finish the product and finally we send it in a post-consumer recycled paper postage bag.
Giving rise to transparency
'Greenwashing' is a term that now, unfortunately, has its own Wikipedia page as it has become so commonplace, the page defines it as "a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization's products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly." We are working to establish complete transparency around our sustainability claims and will continue to be dynamic in providing information to customers and the public about our processes. We believe that the future of sustainability relies on being clear and honest with our work and we hope that other businesses will follow suit.
If you have a question about something that we do or something you want us to do better, please get in touch via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or message us on Instagram or Facebook.
Sustainability in Business Coaching
Interested in what we do? Want to create more sustainability in your business or work place?
We can help you to create a truly sustainable business, one that supports long-term growth and meets the needs of your modern, environmentally minded clients and customers. Get in touch to book a free consult via email (email@example.com) or message us on Instagram or Facebook.
Notes on our past practices and production:
Our Tees are certified by:
Our Aurora Collection:
Manufactured in Bali, all team members are paid a monthly wage, four weeks annual leave and sick leave. They are provided with food and support through personal hurdles that may arise.
The garments are Rayon which is a fabric produced using a closed loop production method (meaning wastes and by-products aren't used and then discarded into the environment, they are recycled and used again).