ETHICAL & SUSTAINABLE
'CRADLE-TO-CRADLE' DESIGN PHILOSOPHYA ‘cradle to cradle’ design philosophy means treating the materials we produce from our earth - our cradle - as valued nutrients and ensuring the extraction and processing of these materials causes minimal harm and can be recycled or are fully biodegradable. Translated to knitwear making, this means sourcing, processing, dyeing, and knitting natural fibre yarns with minimal waste and exploitation of earth, growers & knitters and then, at the end of life, the item must circulate back to the earth as an organic nutrient, leaving no trace.
Taking a ‘cradle-to-cradle’ approach to knitwear means seeking out natural fibre cashmere, alpaca and wool yarns produced to high standards of land management and animal welfare, cleaner processing and dyeing than conventional methods, and full end-of-life biodegradability. It means making a product of treasured keepsake quality, intended to live well beyond one season. It means minimising packaging, plastic usage and office waste and continually seeking out the most innovative ‘beyond compliance’ materials.
FAIR MAKING & WORKER'S RIGHTS
Ethical & sustainable values are at the core of Ally Bee. Garments are produced with fair reward to the makers. All machine-knitted pieces in the Ally Bee collection are designed in London and made in limited volumes in small factories in Scotland and England. Our manufacturers do not engage in 'piece' work, which can significantly undervalue the work of makers.
The small line of luxury hand-knitted garments are made by a fairly managed knitting team based in Tamil Nadu India. Fair labour standards were essential when sourcing production for this new strand in the Ally Bee story.
" Employing the services of knitters in a B Corporation certified studio in Tamil Nadu gave me the assurances in these standards. And when I visited the facility this year I saw what a difference this employment opportunity means for the women trained and invested in this venture. Knitting for this company means not only fair pay and a safe working environment, but also new opportunities for illiterate and semi-literate women in these local Tamil communities, and their kids.”
~ Alison Baker, Founder, Ally Bee Knitwear
Each woman apprenticed to the knitting hub is given 7 months paid training and mentoring. When her knitting is perfected and flawless she is assigned to a design and takes ownership of the making. Illiteracy is common in this region of India, so most women receive a basic education in reading, and maths for the first time in their lives, while also learning the skill of knitting. The training and employment offered through this studio is supportive, nurturing and stimulating in a safe environment. As a norm, work is 6 hours per day in a well-lit, spacious and clean studio. As a B Corp registered organisation, worker’s rights are are held in the highest regard in this knitwear studio.
LOW WASTE & SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING
Ally Bee uses plastic-free packaging for shipping of recycled kraft cardboard packing boxes, water soluble packaging tape and no plastic bags.
ETHICAL FASHION FORUM
Ally Bee is a member of the Ethical Fashion Forum and Common Objective.
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