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Sustainable fashion – the choices we make at Molke

Sustainable fashion – the choices we make at Molke

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As you know we have always been focused on offering you a sustainable option for underwear, swimwear and clothes shopping. When we first came to designing and making our products, we had a lot of things to consider when bridging the gap between sustainable and functional. We think it’s important to remain transparent with our choices so that you can be comfortable knowing what's in your clothes and that you are shopping with a business you can trust.

Fabric

The fabric in our clothing items is all GOTS-certified organic cotton jersey, which is a more eco-friendly alternative to non-organic cotton fabrics. For our bras, the new Flexi-Size bra, plus all of the patterned fabric for the Original Molke Bra is also GOTS-Certified, with the remaining few plain colours being OEKO-TEX certified.  We are working hard to move across fully to GOTS-Certified organic and plan to have this done in the very near future.

Cotton itself uses a lot of water to grow and non-organic cotton uses a lot of pesticides – doing harm to the environment and poisoning water supplies, harming animals and people in the process. However, GOTS-certified organic cotton cuts out these harmful practices which is better for the land, farmers and local environment. GOTS work to make sure that the standards of the working environment don’t dip and that the dyes used in production are organic.

There are other sustainable fabrics out there, but GOTS certified cotton offers the support and comfort we are looking for from our bras.

The fabric in our Swimwear is made from ECONYL® yarn, a 100% regenerated nylon yarn derived from pre and post industrial waste such as discarded fishing nets, carpet fluff (the top part of Nylon carpets), tulle etc. This yarn not only keeps plastics out of landfill, but is also made without using fossil fuels during the production.

We are always on the look out for the best sustainable fabric options for any new products we have in development.

Waste

We have worked extensively on finding the best way to cut out our pattern pieces, whilst minimising any fabric waste.  Any pieces that are too small to make bras or pants from are used for making our CSP and headbands. We also use up old fabrics and scraps in the gussets of our briefs – so you may get a surprise when you drop your knickers!

Any items that are returned to us are inspected and processed back into stock.  Anything that has come back in a less than ideal state, will be lightly washed and then added to the outlet section of our website.  The outlet is also a great place to pick up any end of line items or slight seconds, as we hate to see a good bit of clothing go to waste and don't believe in sending them to landfill.

We also plan our production and our product range to be as sustainable as possible.  This means we aren’t able to keep all designs in stock, in all sizes, at all times. This helps us to reduce waste by not having lots of excess stock but might mean you have to be patient to get your hands on your perfect design!

Outsourcing and Packaging

We are always working hard to meet the demand for bras, but by doing that it’s meant that we have had to look elsewhere to make our other items. After extensive research, we now work with an amazing factory in Portugal to make our Flexi-bra, high and low rise briefs, tops and leggings and one in Romania for swimwear. We are confident that both factories align with Molke's ethical values.

All of our packaging is recycled and recyclable. We always ask suppliers to cut the amount of plastic when delivering items to us and we avoid any plastic by using stickers instead of swing tags!

Sustainable vs. ethical – Greenwashing

There has been a huge drive for business to offer more sustainable options in their product range in recent years as people are more aware of the environmental impact of fashion. You have probably seen a lot of companies advertising their new organic ranges and recycled fabrics but there is a lot more to sustainable fashion than a few organic t-shirts.

The welfare of our staff is of the highest importance to us and that’s why we are a Real Living Wage employer. We believe that sustainability should also take into consideration the ethics and transparency of the business and it is important to consider the full journey of your clothes. 

In short, we stick by our principles, are transparent in our operations and strive to create an inclusive, positive environment for our customers and staff.  We genuinely believe in what we say and conduct business based on strong values. 

As always we are happy to answer any questions or take on feedback. You can find our FAQs here but if you have a question that isn’t answered there please do get in touch!

    2 comments

    Hi Kerry, due to the elastane content in our briefs, unfortunately they can’t be composted however lots of customers have shared some great ideas on repurposing them as things such as dusters or cleaning cloths. I hope that helps, but please feel free to drop us an email to pixie@molke.co.uk for more information.

    Molke

    Hello,

    I’m looking mainly for pants for myself but also to stock in my zero waste shop. I just wondered what you recommend for end of life of your briefs please?

    Thank you,
    Kerry

    Kerry Leese
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