The focus of the fashion industry has shifted: from haute couture to prêt-à-porter, from made-to-last to made-really-fast, and from quality to quantity. While this has certainly made fashion more accessible, it has come at a significant cost to the planet and those living on it, with the current model of the fashion industry being described by UK Parliament as both environmentally damaging and exploitative.
ELLISS Powered by Sustainability
Sustainability has been and will always be integral to the ELLISS brand — the team are passionate about making beautiful, unique clothes that don’t harm the planet. After working in the world of mainstream fashion, our founder, Elliss Solomon, knew that she wouldn’t be able to create her own label without putting sustainability at the forefront. She worked hard to design a creative process that maximised sustainability:
- We only work with organic and/recycled fabrics and materials: This reduces garment and water wastage, and reduces the pollution and suffering associated with conventional cotton farming. The majority of our pieces are made with organic cotton but we are in the process of sourcing and sampling with semi-synthetic fibres with a low environmental impact like Tencel and Ecovero. Tencel is derived from renewable wood sources in a sustainable closed loop process and Ecovero fibres are derived from sustainable wood and pulp, coming from certified and controlled sources.
- Our studio and one of our manufacturers share the same building: This removes the need for transportation usually required when brands move materials and finished garments between premises, thereby lessening our carbon footprint.
- All of our production processes ensure minimal environmental damage: In some cases, with mindful and organised local producers, local fashion production can be an environmentally responsible choice. However, it is not the sole option and it is worth weighing up the other factors. Raw fibres are grown and spun all over the world — from India to Turkey — so with proper transport systems in place the carbon footprint of the fabric can be managed by shipping fabrics and trims directly from supplier to factory.
- ELLISS and European production: We work with a small family-run factory in Slovenia that recycle all fabric offcuts which are then used to make filler for mattresses and insulation for the construction industry. We believe that it is important to work with manufacturers with proper systems in place to manage waste. Slovenian legislation ensures fair working wages and benefits including paid sick and maternity leave, travel costs and 24 day holidays. With the recycling programme and well managed ‘carbon neutral’ air miles our Slovenian factory is a great option.
At ELLISS we factor in sourcing, transportation as well as waste management. We feel confident in the benefits of this broad view of the cycle of production. We like to think of ourselves as one of fashion’s sustainable beacons, by ensuring that conscious and ethical practices are at the very forefront of what we do as a brand; from sourcing organic and recycled fabrics, to mindful production processes, with a constant commitment to adhering to the appropriate human element in the production of every garment we make. ELLISS stands to fight against the wasteful and damaging throw-away fashion trends that have proliferated our high streets and online recently, which have contributed not just to our planet’s global warming crisis, but have irreversibly impacted on thousands of exploited workers in the process.
So when you purchase an ELLISS garment, you’re not just purchasing a beautiful piece of clothing – you’re also rebelling against industry norms which promote excess and waste for profit at the expense of future generations. You’re making the conscious decision to buy something that has been made to create the least impact possible on the earth.