Sustainable practices

We’re a small, family run business. We don’t have any investors. We’re not under pressure to put profits and growth over our values. As big believers in Karma, the way we impact the lives of the people we work with is our highest priority. From August 2020, we'll donate £1 from every online order we receive to a chosen charity that supports either environmental or social change. 

Fashion is the second biggest polluting industry in the world. We know we’re a part of this, and while we don’t believe we can ever call ourselves ‘sustainable’ for producing new product, we intend to do the best we possibly can to improve our sustainability credentials year on year. Underwear isn't the type of product you can easily buy vintage or second hand, due to obvious hygiene reasons. And so, we encourage you to buy less, and buy better.

Fabrics

Fashion must become more circular. Less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing. We've started introducing laces into our collections that are produced using recycled yarns. These yarns are GRS-approved and are created from textile waste, fishing nets and other plastic waste. The cotton in our knicker gussets is also 100% organic and GOTS certified.

We'll continue to source either recycled or natural and organic fabrics and trims for all of our pieces.

Any excess fabric is either sold or donated to another organisation.

We use fabrics and trims sourced locally to the factory, which helps to reduce our carbon footprint. This is critical in achieving a more sustainable supply chain. If fabrics aren't sourced locally to the factory, this can result in multiple flights just to transport the fabrics to the production facility. This isn't something the consumer typically has much transparency over, as the “Made in” we see on the label is simply the location of the final manufacturing facility.

Our fabrics and trims meet REACH standards and are OEKO-TEX certified, which means they're non-toxic and free from harmful chemicals.

Our sustainable practices. AW20 Autumn Winter 2020 Collection - Dora Larsen | Colourful Lingerie
Our sustainable practices. AW20 Autumn Winter 2020 Collection - Dora Larsen | Colourful Lingerie

Production volumes

We’re often asked why we sell out of certain styles and sizes so quickly. The reason being, we never over-produce or intentionally buy additional stock for sale periods. We order product in very limited quantities, ensuring there's no wastage at the end of a season.

We minimise excess stock as much as possible, but, if we are left with any unsold items or samples, we either sell these at a sample sale or donate them to a charity.

Our sustainable practices. AW20 Autumn Winter 2020 Collection - Dora Larsen | Colourful Lingerie

Packaging

Producing recycled paper generates between 20-50% fewer carbon dioxide emissions than paper produced from virgin fibres. Recycled paper production also uses up to 50% less water than virgin paper, and fewer chemical processes. All of our paper and cardboard packaging is made from at least 75% recycled materials, and is also fully recyclable. 

Our plastic bags used for wholesale deliveries are fully compostable.

Our sustainable practices. AW20 Autumn Winter 2020 Collection - Dora Larsen | Colourful Lingerie

Design and marketing

We’re changing the way we market our collections to our wholesale stockists, by focusing on a more digital strategy. We're moving away from international trade shows, business trips and printed lookbooks. Instead, we’ll be operating with the use of virtual showrooms and Zoom meetings.

We’ve never considered ourselves to be a brand that centred our design on trends or seasonality. And, increasing the longevity of our products becomes an even bigger priority for us. We’ll continue to focus our designs on classic as opposed to trend-driven, as well as introducing sustainably sourced fabrics which can stand the test of time.

Our sustainable practices. AW20 Autumn Winter 2020 Collection - Dora Larsen | Colourful Lingerie

Our suppliers

One of the fashion industry’s greatest challenges to becoming more sustainable lies in the traceability of its supply chains. The number of actors involved in creating clothing at the scale required to serve the global population is substantial, from the raw material producers, to the mills creating yarns and fabrics, dye houses and component manufacturers, right the way through to the final garment manufacturers. This has been an opaque and broken system for decades and is something we have been acutely aware of inheriting since entering the fashion industry four years ago. Our team are currently in the process of obtaining greater visibility through our own supply chain, by building direct relationships with both Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers. We currently have strong relationships and clear visibility of our Tier 1 manufacturers (manufacturers of our end product), and perform a robust assessment of their ethical credentials prior to working with them.

Our sustainable practices. AW20 Autumn Winter 2020 Collection - Dora Larsen | Colourful Lingerie

Our factory

We work on small production runs with a certified and independently audited factory in China. We use a British third party production team, who also have a base in China. The China-based arm of the production team has a strong relationship with the factory based on day-to-day interaction. This way of working also helps to minimise long-haul flight travel.

Our factory follows the Ethical Trading Initiative, ensuring all social and environmental standards are met.

The employees are 70% female, with roles ranging from machinist to senior management.

All employees are employed on a permanent basis.

The factory employees are all paid at least the regional living wage, and higher, depending on skill set.