Our ethics and sustainability
Worker welfare and sustainability are issues that are really important to us. Currently the vast majority of our products are made by one small manufacturer in Italy which we have been working with pretty much since our inception. They're regulated under and are fully compliant with EU labour laws which are some of the most stringent in the world and include rights to fair pay, good working conditions and no forced labour. We specifically picked them because they were very open about their working conditions and we felt assured that although we'd be paying slightly more for products, we weren't being complicit in exploitation of workers.
We're very hands-on with the factory and typically go out at least once a year to work on new products and get to see how production is running. To be honest they're a pretty small-scale operation compared to lots of manufacturers, but as we're still a relatively small business ourselves we don't currently have to rely on large scale manufacturing facilities. Similarly our caps are also currently made by a neighbouring small-scale, more specialist Italian factory just down the road from our main factory and we’re also confident in the integrity of their operation and fair treatment of their workers.
Our Off Bike collection is all Fair Wear Foundation certified. The Fair Wear Foundation is an independent organisation dedicated to the promotion and certification of lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing. It means the clothing was made in vetted factories that meet the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights standards. They're then screen printed by a one-man operation in Sunderland, UK, which is about 10 miles from our office. Lastly, a small number of our more specialist on-bike items such as our bags, gloves, and socks are produced in more dedicated, specialist factories in Asia. In these cases we work with factories which have been vetted and approved by independent third party inspectors to ensure adequate working conditions.
In terms of wider sustainability, all items are sent out in craft paper bags, boxes or letters which are fully recyclable. We don’t include any other single use items such as individual plastic bags with our orders. Instead we put all of the kit inside a free fibre-filtering kit wash bag which is specially designed to catch harmful microfibres which can be shed during the washing of synthetic fabrics. These fibres are found in pretty much every garment we all own, and if not caught they end up polluting drainage, fresh water and the ocean. The bag also limits the amount of shedding in the first place, which not only helps stop ocean pollution, it also helps kit last longer as it doesn’t degrade as quickly. Our hang tags and paper receipts are also printed on recycled paper, we're also partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects and plant a tree for every order we receive.
We also run very limited stock lines and only restock items we identify as being in-demand so that we're never over-producing and being left with mountains of unsold old season stock. We'd rather sell what we have than constantly overbuy, discount and potentially create waste.
Lastly over the past 12 months we've put a huge amount of work into sourcing and testing recycled fabric technology. We'll be releasing our first recycled material range later this year, and our goal is to introduce recycled fabrics and components across all of our ranges within the next two to three years.