In recent years, the true environmental impact of mass-produced off-the-rack clothing and fast-fashion has been cause for real concern. This wasteful practice is unsustainable.
To achieve quantity price-breaks, manufacturers often knowingly create more garments than they can possibly sell at full-price in a season. As most know, at the end of a season they will mark down a good portion of a collection.
What you may not know is that this discount has already been factored into the recommended retail price (which the spend-thrifts - aka "suckers" - will pay at the start of the season).
These problematic retail practices result in many items being sold off at an unsustainably low price to clear room for the next season - and around we go. To remain competitive manufacturers must drive down costs, which leads diminished manufacturing standards and questionable ethical practices.
In short, sustainability seems to fade in direct proportion to the quality of the garments produced.
When Beg Your Pardon started out, we became exceedingly disheartened with these flaws in the system. So we rejected them outright. These practices achieved an inferior fit and inferior quality, and would eventually cost us all far more than the garment ticket price.
Environmental harm from careless manufacturing damages the ecosystems from which we derive many of our beautiful fabrics. It's economically counterproductive. Our industry depends on the health of our landscapes.
HOW WE PRIORITISE SUSTAINABILITY IN CLOTHING
In our vision, the way to a sustainable future in clothing is for the business model to change. And we want to help lead that change.
In the last decade, Beg Your Pardon has adopted a production model called mass customisation. This means making garments only when they are ordered by clients.
While this costs more per garment (surprisingly, not that much more), the reduction in environmental harm is extraordinary. This also allows us to deliver better fitting, better quality garments with considerably less waste.
You've probably heard the mantra 'buy once, buy better', and that's how we see things when it comes to clothing. You'll value your purchase more. You'll cherish an item that was made for you, while other items in your wardrobe collect dust until they no longer fit. From buttons and threads, to pockets and stitch details, a made to measure garment is a reflection of you. Your personal style.
With proper care, one great piece can outlive the numerous fast fashion items it is made to substitute. You'll develop a greater attachment to it. You'll fill it with memories, imbuing the garment with meaning. It eventually becomes a cherished part of your life. And when it's old and beaten to within an inch of its life, a loved one might adopt it and wear it out of sheer nostalgia. Out of love for you.
SUSTAINABLE FABRIC MILLS AND MERCHANTS
We prioritise working with fabric makers who engage in sustainable and ethical practices.
Fabric houses like our trusted partners Dormeuil oversee the production of cloth right from beginning to end. They oversee the farms, they own the spinning, dyeing, weaving and finishing facilities and operate them at a high standard that ensures the best is used and the rest is repurposed.
Vitale Barberis Canonico are another of our partners who emphasise sustainability, providing a full history of their practices and efforts to increase sustainability as well as providing yearly sustainability reports which are available to the public. This is how a maker puts their money where their mouth is.
Read about VBC's sustainability policies here.
Fratelli Tallia di Delfino are another Italian textile partner of ours who have a focus on sustainable and ethical cloth manufacturing.
Read about Fratelli Tallia di Felfino's sustainable and ethical practises policies here.