Sustainability & our Ethical Values

Ethos

Couchman Bespoke is dedicated to reduce the water usage and pollution produced through the manufacture of garments made under its name.  The brand is continually evolving its best practices to become better environmentally and socially within the clothing industry, manufacturing and lifestyle outlook.  Through our practices we are helping the industry become less polluting and in turn help the world environment to grow healthy.  Our garments are of the highest quality and craftsmanship for a product that will last a life time with effortless style.  All garment manufacture is actualised within London, Britain by individual tailors.  This enables a quicker turn round on garments and allows easier access to oversee the work being carried out, to ensure good working conditions.

"The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.  They address the global challenges we face..... it is important that we achieve each goal and target by 2030."

www.un.org

Below are the SDG outlines, click on these logos to find out what Couchman Bespoke is doing to tackle the issues present and for the future.

Sustainable development goals

1. No Poverty

Living below minimum needs shouldn't happen to anyone. 

Giving people the ability to be self sufficient and live a life with food, clothing and shelter.

2. Zero Hunger

No-one should go hungry.  With a third of the worlds food wasted we must share more.

3. Good health and well being

Vaccinations are more widely available ensuring a healthier world. 

Promoting well-being for all of all ages is essential.

4. Quality Education

Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to life, showing children and adults a future gives meaning to progression.

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5. Gender equality

Gender equality is a fundamental human right and the foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

6. Clean water and sanitation

"Water scarcity affects more than 40% of the worlds population."

Clean water is an essential human right and should be accessible for all around the world for free. 

7. Affordable and clean energy

Energy is central to nearly every appliance we use.  Changing to only use energy effcient appliances, good home insulation and light bulbs will save upto 90%.

8. Decent work and economic growth

For sustainable economic growth, societies will be required to create the conditions that allow for new jobs in quality sectors.

9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Investments in infrastructure are crucial to enabling innovative changes in industry.  Recycling and creating new from old will help reduce fossil fuel usage.

10. Reduced inequalities

Policies need to be universal in principle.  Raising your voice to inequalities will highlight the fact and help reduce the discrimination against marginalized populations. 

11. Sustainable cities and communities

Clean air is another fundamental human right that was lost to the industrial revolution.  Cities should provide opportunity with the ability to walk, cycle or use public transport to discovery local business.

12. Responsible production and consumption

Reduce, reuse and recycle.

Work toward a zero waste life and business.

13. Climate action

A climate change emergency is upon the world.  We all have a role to play in helping this change, from the individual to educating a wider circle in the effects and changes that can be achieved to government making change happen at company level through laws.

14. Life below water

Water management is essential to sustaining life in our rivers, seas and that that lives around it.  Plastic has no place in the waterways around the world.  This plastic in being found more and more in our sea animals as whole bags.  Did you know that is every sip of water and piece of food you intake?  For every 5 grams of salt ( which is the max daily intake) you will be consuming 3 micro-plastics a day.

15. Life on land

Trees are the key to life so why do we cut them down so quickly?

Sustainable forest management and halt land degradation and biodiversity loss.

Plant a tree for every plane flown to offset the carbon used.

16. Peace, justice and strong institutions

Access to justice for all.  Ensure institutions are accountable for their actions and call other to account, building effective systems.

Climate Action

May 2019 and a climate emergency has been called.  The UK government has passed a commons motion to declare an Environmental and Climate Change Emergency.  This is news with legs to move forward though we the public need to push for them to keep up with a 11 year deadline of 2030.  By 2030 the world will hit a 1.5 degree temperature increase across land and in the oceans, with many species suffering during this time.  After 2030 we must not increase by a single nano degree or else the rise with increase uncontrollably and the human species will go extinct.

At Couchman Bespoke we are dedicated to sourcing sustainably so that the soil is managed well, that no peticides are used on new cloth and that the manufacturing process produces and transportation creates far less emissions or is carbon neutral.  Most of our cloth comes from pre and post consumer waste and has no trace of these facts, by us keeping these textiles from landfill and creating new garments we save 9.75 tonnes going to landfill.  Through the production process these remnant textiles would have produced 20.38 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, specifically methane which has a 75 times warming potential than CO2.  Between 1999 - 2009, post-consumer textile waste increased by 40% whilst the diversion from landfill increased by only 2%.  This is where we need you to help us fight this trend, by not only buying consciously and only when necessary but also sending any unwanted clothes our way to take apart reuse and recycle.

As a business we donate £1 in every £10 paid to us through our services, to projects doing good for people, planet and animals around the world.  See a full range of what, who and how we donate here.

Design Inspiration

Garments are inspired by lifestyle, modern fit, architecture and art with traditional tailoring techniques.  Cloth can tell a thousand stories from the hands it passes through from seed to a garment.  Often the a garment design is finalised when pattern cutting, especially when using post-consumer clothes. 

Water

A human can last only a couple of days without water, with 2.5 % of the water on earth is fresh and 1 % of this accessible for the 6.8 billion people on the planet.  " Unfortunately, humans have proved to be inefficient water users.  ( The average hamburger takes 2,400 litres, or 630 gallons of water to produce, and many water-intensive crops, such as cotton, are grown in arid regions.) "  National Geographic

For this reason Couchman Bespoke is dedicated to reducing the water usage and cutting pollution created through sustainable sourcing.  We do not use cotton as a new source and are careful able the production line of any cloth we use.

" By 2015, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world's population living in water-stressed regions as a result of use, growth and climate change. "  National Geographic

For every newsletter subscription completed we give 7 days of clean drinking water access to families in Ethiopia.

Colour

To reduce the impact from printing and dyeing cloth we only buy cloth that use GOTs certified colours or natural hand dyes and sun printing.  The environment should not be compromised for colour within our wardrobe, which is great news as nature gives us some fantastic colours that can be just as bright.

We are still looking for ways a eradicate the pollution caused by dye houses using high levels of hazardous chemicals, that get dumped into rivers throughout China and India.

Cloth Sourcing

By sourcing alternatives to cotton that use less water from seed cultivation to cloth production, this help reduce the environmental footprint of garments made by Couchman Bespoke.  Alternatives include natural, regenerated, pre and post-consumer cloth and fibres.  Check out our cloth sourcing here.

Natural Fibres

Linen: Flax is the fibre that linen is made from

Wool: From British sheep mostly from Scotland. 

Regenerated Fibres

Created by dissolving the cellulose area of plant fibre in chemicals and making it into fibre again.

Bamboo:

Tencel:

Pre-Consumer Cloth

Cloth that is unused from the manufacturing industry or by new designers.  This could be cloth that is unused or has some faults within the cloth.  Faults can be only every few metres or closer and are usually only surface flaws, will be incorporated within our garments to feature the cloths story, without loosing the quality and longevity of a garment.

Post-Consumer Cloth

Garments that are unwanted, discarded or faulty.  Will be taken apart, combined with other cloth and reused to create a new garment.  Surface flaws will be incorporated within our garments to feature the cloths story, without loosing the quality and longevity of a garment.

Cradle to Cradle

Research is being carried out by Couchman Bespoke into Cradle to Cradle garments, through the use of innovative cloth and haberdashery that can biodegrade or be taken apart to be reused.  Synthetic fibres shed 250,000 per wash and a report published in September 2017 shows that 83% of the seas and waterways contain mircofibres.  This is a shocking stat and means action is needed to lower the levels of synthetic cloth used and at most produced.  Filters can be purchased for your own washing machine to capture fibres shed during the washing process.  With this in mind Couchman Bespoke only uses small panels of used and off-cut cloth (from garments made by Couchman Bespoke) donated by others, which keeps this type of cloth away from landfill until 100% unfit for purpose.  These panels are matched with organic and natural sustainably alternative cloth creating garments that are unique per style with a positive environmental impact.

We are founding signatories to the 2020 Circular Fashion Pledge.  Where we pledge to help facilitate the resale of garments brought from us, use only sustainable cloth & haberdashery, and design for durability.

We also work with Retraced who enable us to track the supply chain of our cotton shirts, from farm to garment.

Recycling

In accordance with our sustainable ethics any faults made during the time of ownership, the garment will be  eligible for repair. Well used or just unwanted garments will be de-constructed or the cloth recycled into brand new items.

We are working on a project using discarded umbrellas, to transform them into new and usable items with donations going to help homeless projects.

Social

To train people in tailoring and sewing skills with an intention to employ those wanting to continue.  This will commence from 2019.  We will consider anyone wishing to join the Couchman Bespoke community but are unable to employ anyone just yet.  Do get in touch before though and we can meet and discuss the future, quote CB career.

Community

We aim to improve our own lifestyle environmental impact through creating near to zero food waste, going plastic free and using environmentally friendly products.  Links to useful sites have been collated to help you locate alternatives.  Do always check through a website to make sure it fits with your own values.

We have a Buy 1 Forward scheme to help those who can not afford it can obtain an hour of tailoring skills training.  To help better their future prospects through skills for life.

As a business we donate £1 in every £10 paid to us through our services, to projects doing good for people, planet and animals around the world.  See a full range of what, who and how we donate here.

Business

 

Couchman Bespoke has just made the leap into ethical banking, by changing our bank to Triodos Bank.  Triodos give out debit cards made from renewable resources and only fund socially responsible projects, impact investments for people, planet and animals.  One step of many to being 100% ethical as a business.

Challenges

Being environmentally positive is challenging and requires creative minds to over come the obstacles.  Cloth is not the only issues packaging is a major source for unwanted plastic.  Couchman Bespoke is constantly looking for packaging alternatives that can biodegrade or be reused after.  There is a small range of boxes or packages available that are suitable, however suit carriers are the trouble point.  Suit carriers should be easy to source as they seem the most natural solution, yet most are made from synthetics.  The solution is own made suit carriers made from natural sustainable cloth that can breath and last a lifetime. 

Then there is energy and using renewables within a workspace.  One day we will be able to own our a work space and fit solar panels and wind turbines.  Until then we do all we can to minimise the amount of energy we use.

 

At every point of the journey Couchman Bespoke will update its information and practices; be apart of the alliance and follow the story.  Check out where we source cloth from and some brands the help improve your lifestyle impact environmentally.

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© 2020 by CLAIRE COUCHMAN