With COP26 taking place in Glasgow over the next few weeks, we thought we would take the opportunity to discuss how we strive to be a responsible brand. We are very proud that INDOI’s work aligns with a number of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read on below to discover exactly which ones we support, and how our work contributes towards them.
A caveat on our efforts…
That said, we know that fairly impossible for any fashion brand to be wholly sustainable as per the UN's SDGs. Nevertheless, we strive to limit our negative effects as much as possible through the various practices below.
Artisan Makers - SDG 1 + 8
Each and every INDOI piece is lovingly handcrafted by our partner artisans at my Aunt Maheen’s workshop in Karachi, Pakistan. Many of these craftsmen, such as Afzal, Jani, and Hanif, have been working with Maheen for over thirty years. Their commitment to their craft celebrates and preserves ancient traditions handed down by their ancestors, in addition to creating beautiful, made to last pieces.
Production - SDG 12
Frustratingly, the reality of supporting Pakistani artisans means that all pieces must then be transported to the UK. Clearly, this isn’t ideal in terms of our carbon footprint, however our priority continues to be the livelihoods of our craftspeople. In order to minimise our carbon footprint as much as possible, every stage of the INDOI process takes place under one roof in Karachi. This means no excessive or unnecessary transportation .
Made to Order - SDG 12
Perhaps unsurprisingly, we are eager to eliminate waste from our supply chain altogether. To start moving towards doing so we champion a made-to-order model, meaning that with certain products we only produce to demand. This minimises both excess product and unnecessary pressure on our workers. This also helps us to reduce our carbon footprint. Discover our Made to Order pieces here.
Zero Waste - SDG 12
If there is one thing we hate, it is waste. We have a zero-to-landfill policy, so any excess stock is generally offered to you in sample sales. Meanwhile, any factory offcuts are donated to the SRSC (Society for the Rehabilitation of Children) in Karachi, where they are used by the children whilst developing their vocational skills through craft.
Natural Materials Only - SDG 12
We only ever use natural materials - such as cotton and silks - in our pieces. These fabrics are durable but, like every other gift from the earth, they need caring for; a guide to loving these fibres can be found here. In our opinion, it makes zero sense to utilise synthetic plastic materials when we're looking to future proof the planet. We thoughtfully design pieces that can be fastened without synthetic fixings, which is why we love a wrap top!
Packaging & Delivery
Our approach to synthetic materials also applies to our packaging; our hang tags are made from recycled cotton t-shirts and our mailers are compostable. On top of this, we use DPD's Carbon Neutral Delivery service. You can read more about this here.
SRSC - SDG 10
It is an honour for us to have the children from the SRSC hand block print our cloth bags and furthermore to have their mothers then stitch their craft work.
The SRSC has been able to provide specialised services funded by charitable donations for the past 64 years (they do not receive any money from the government). The students attend lessons tailored to their needs; their curriculum includes the art of weaving and block printing, giving students the skills required to earn for themselves later on in life.
Onsite there are facilities such as a medical dispensary, dental office and a physiotherapy room where students receive free treatment to aid their disabilities - be it mental or physical. Most importantly the SRSC provides free transport facilitating wheelchairs for all students.
(Discover the story behind our partnership with the SRSC here)
TreeSisters - SDG 13
We are official partners with TreeSisters, an NGO and global network of women who make monthly donations towards the acceleration of tropical reforestation. This partnership allows us to offset a percentage of our carbon emissions by supporting vital reforestation projects.
(Read more about our work with TreeSisters here)
This is a joint mission and a collective challenge that we are committed to tackling at every stage of our supply chain. We hope you'll join us in these efforts.