"Cloth and Co. was founded on the basis of providing dignified employment and creating quality products that were designed for the international market and are as sustainable as possible."
Cloth & Co. Snapshot
Where: India and Nepal
Co-Founders: Mother and daughter duo, Caroline and Daisy
Products: Clothing basics, loungewear and accessories
Materials: Organic cotton, linen, silk and wool
Values: Fair Trade, sustainability, empowering women, slow fashion and preserving traditional craft skills. Many products are vegan.
Certifications: GOTS (Global Organic Textiles Standard) certified, SA8000 Standard
"You may pay a premium but there’s a whole story behind the product and you’re supporting a community."
Cloth & Co partners directly with artisan groups in India and focuses on empowering women and creating sustainable, regular work with fair wages.
They ensure all of their artisans receive a living wage, that there is no child labor or forced labor, and that there is no discrimination in the workplace.
From seed to stitch, the business works with farmers, artisans and women's co-ops throughout India and Nepal to create their clothing and accessories. The cotton is grown in rural India and then woven in two small factories in Southern India. Finally, the garments come together at the stitching unit which is located just outside Tiruppur in Southern India. The workshop is close to the artisans homes so they don't have to commute too far to work. Cloth & Co's collection of Linen Scarves are hand loomed, dyed, cut and hand-combed by artisans in Nepal.
Cloth & Co's GOTS Certification means that the business has met specific social and environmental criteria throughout their cotton supply chain. The social criteria includes stringent standards for wages and work conditions, ensuring employees are treated with dignity and respect.
You can read Cloth & Co's complete Standard for Working with Artisans here.
"We learn from the artisans what the possibilities are and the artisans learn about contemporary design aesthetics and what’s marketable - that’s a really beautiful exchange of ideas and skills."
Organic Cotton Jersey Garments
Most of the cotton used to make clothing in the fashion industry is conventional cotton, which relies heavily on the use of harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. The overuse of such chemicals and their impact on the environment and people's health is concerning to say the least. Pesticide and fertiliser use on cotton has been linked to ground and surface water contamination, and drinking water pollution. At high enough levels in drinking water, nitrates from nitrogen fertilizer are known to cause methemoglobinemia, or "blue baby syndrome," in newborns. Pesticides have also been linked to declining numbers of endangered species.
Cloth & Co's garments are made from organic cotton and linen. Organic cotton is far more sustainable than conventional cotton because it uses natural growing systems to cultivate crops, rather than relying on the use of chemicals. While conventional cotton farmers are reacting to ecological problems that have been caused by Western farming practices, organic farmers work with the land to prevent environmental issues before they occur.
You can support the Cloth & Co artisans by purchasing their clothing and accessories here.