When I started Easterkins I was well aware of how fast fashion was negatively impacting the environment. I really wanted to do my bit to help reduce the harm done to our planet in the name of fashion! Knowing that I wanted to be a sustainable brand I started to research and better educate myself and look at ways in which I could make it happen.
As a zero waste business, I pride myself on using sustainable and recycled fabrics but also those that have been sourced from ethical companies. I’ve worked really hard to ensure that the choices I make don’t harm the environment. I repurpose and reuse as much of the fabric as humanly possible, with fabric that’s simply too small to be reused being recycled.
Initially when I started Easterkins it was really hard to find Organic custom printed fabrics that weren’t exceptionally expensive. So I started with OEKO-TEX, which tests for harmful substances within the fabric or print, however, it doesn’t look at environmental or social factors.
However, I have recently found a UK fabric printer that sources their organic cotton jersey fabric from UK mills. Thanks to this I’m now moving towards using organic only fabrics wherever possible and sourcing more fabrics from within the UK.
Whilst I don't make the t-shirts and sweatshirts I use for my birthday t-shirts at the moment, they are sourced from an ethical and eco-friendly supplier. However, this supplier is not based in the UK and thus none of my t-shirts unless they state in the description are made by me and cannot be claimed to be Made in Britain. I hope in the future to change this and work with a local manufacturer for my t-shirt and sweatshirt needs.
I work from my home based studio that was converted from an old outbuilding. It has been built to last and is very well insulated so in the summer it’s fairly cool but in winter it holds heat well. The studio is powered by solar panels which helps with my carbon footprint, whilst using anything electrical.
It did take a while to get used to what I could turn on at the same time but still remain solar powered, but I’ve now got a good workflow and have set up routines.
Also because my studio is based at home my commute is on foot so no pollution there either!
This is where things get a little harder, as some aspects are beyond my control. However, I have taken steps to be as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible here too!
All my packaging is sustainable, my tissue paper is from no issue tissue and is FSC approved, uses soy inks, is acid free and can be recycled!
My boxes and mailer bags are recyclable/reusable and the protective packaging that every order is placed into is also compostable!
There’s absolutely no plastic in my packaging and I’m really proud of that.
When I have to take your orders to the post office or deliver them to local customers, I do so in a hybrid car. Whilst this car isn’t 100% electric and does have an engine it is far cleaner that a standard car or van, further reducing my carbon footprint.
I always wanted to be able to become a climate positive workforce. So I have partnered with Ecologi, I pay monthly to plant trees, support the funding of climate responsible projects around the world, including here in the UK.
You can visit the Easterkins Forest here: https://ecologi.com/easterkins
Whilst this isn’t exactly a sustainability thing, I do believe it plays a massive role in helping others make sustainable choices. After all if you’re paid a small amount, the amount of money you have left over at the end of every month is significantly less. This doesn’t always allow individuals to make sustainable choices, when finances are tight people will buy what they can afford and there’s no shame in that!
Rhondda Cynon Taff where Easterkins is located is an old mining community and previously an industrial zone. Jobs have been lost for decades due to movement of industries like fashion to other parts of the world. As such poverty levels here are high, so I am keenly aware of the financial struggles faced by low paid workers.
I strongly believe that if everyone was paid a fair living wage then, it is possible that they will have more disposable income to make the decision between fast fashion and sustainable fashion, etc. Sustainability isn’t unfortunately the cheapest option financially but it is the best option environmentally in my opinion, which is why Easterkins will always strive to pay the living wage!
No one is prefect and there will always be things we can do to improve, me included. So I’m always going to be looking for ways to continue to improve. This page is likely to change and adapt as the business does but the core values of sustainable fashion and a fair wage will always be key!