We have launched our profit share supply chain!!
Last week, after two years of hard work we have finally launched our pioneering new ethical supply chain in Africa which will prove how fashion should be done.
As you know, we already use all of our profits to fund social impact projects. This new model will now divide the profits into thirds and equally distributes to these funds fabric makers, garments workers and finally, social business start ups.
We have partnered with two incredible organisations; ethical textile producer Tosheka and fair-paying garment factory SOKO Kenya to create this ‘farm to fabric’ supply chain - focusing on complete transparency and producing high quality, slow fashion garments while ensuring the highest standards for workers are met.
In the last four years, human rights violations within clothing supply chains - such as forced labour, modern slavery and child labour - have increased. Famous brands like H&M have even been linked to labour abuses as recently as 2020.
And even now some 80% of apparel companies still lack supply chain transparency, which is simply not right. This appears to be a disappointing trend at a time when, according to a Valassis 2021 report, ‘54% of consumers said they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that shares its efforts to be environmentally responsible or has sustainable/ethical business practices.’
By partnering with these inspiring businesses in Kenya to create a supply chain where nobody suffers, we want to show how fashion can provide opportunity rather than perpetuate the poverty trap.
We wanted to create something we could truly be proud of and two years of hard work and due diligence has led to what we truly believe is a completely ethical supply chain that we can celebrate.
The new shirts will be made from unbleached rainfed cotton, which has a reduced environmental footprint and promotes safer work and better livelihoods.
This cotton will then be spun and weaved into beautiful fabric by wonderful small business Tosheka, based in Wote, and run by inspiring female founder Lucy Lau-Bingham.
Kenyan-born Lucy has spent her career campaigning for fair pay for cotton farmers and is passionate about keeping the skill of hand looming alive and creating eco-friendly fabrics. Lucy said,
“I am really happy to work with Origin because they are willing to share their own profits with us, to give back one third to us, I’ve never seen anyone like that... that just makes me feel like crying. It’s incredible.”
The new garments will then be made by SOKO Kenya, a small factory nestled among the mango trees in the village of Kikambala, north of Mombasa. Unlike most fashion houses in developing countries, SOKO pays above the living wage, offers maternity and paternity leave, and ensures a working week of no longer than 42 hours. SOKO also helps the wider community through skills training, academy scholarships to gain employment and health education.
As Orsola de Castro, Co-Founder of Fashion Revolution, recently explained, “‘Who made my clothes?’ is a question that very few people can answer,” and yet “you cannot talk about safeguarding the planet without talking about safeguarding its people. Garment workers cannot be left behind”.