ETHICS & SUSTAINABILITY
Fennuala Belle is a female owned and operated brand, so when you buy from us you are supporting female small business owners as well as slow fashion!
All of our designs are born in Manchester, UK, and are either hand made here in-house, or by our incredibly talented production partner team in Somerset, UK. We also work with a production partner team based in both Birmingham, UK and China, for producing our t-shirts. We always ensure that the manufacturers we work with are held to the highest sustainability and ethical standards, read more about our production partners below!
By working closely with our production teams, we can ensure that each garment is carefully and skilfully crafted with love, and that everyone involved with the making of your treasured pieces is treated amazingly and paid fairly to reflect the time and effort that goes into making each garment.
Here are some more ways in which we try to minimise our impact:
1. OUR FABRICS
The majority of our pieces are made using earth-friendly fabrics, deadstock materials, and upcycling vintage and antique fabrics, from tablecloths and tapestries to curtains. By utilising fabrics that already exist in the world, this reduces our waste and gives new life to textiles that may have otherwise been sent to landfill!
We also use 100% organic OEKO-TEX standard cotton for a lot of our garments, read more about OEKO-TEX standard here!
Most of the ribbons used in our corsets are made from recycled plastic bottles, again minimising waste!
While we try our best to use fabrics with a lower environmental impact, we are not 100% sustainable due to the use of polyester in some of our pieces. All fabrics have some kind of impact unless they are vintage and already exist, so we encourage you to research different fabrications and textiles and their impacts on the environment.
2. MINIMISING WASTE
On top of using vintage and pre-existing fabrics, we strive to produce as little waste as possible in a number of other ways:
By offering made-to-order and made-to-measure services for our corsets, this means we are only buying and cutting fabric as and when we need it, so there's less chance of any leftover fabric that won't be put to use, a.k.a less waste!
Of course, it's unavoidable to be left with some fabric scraps and off-cuts when cutting out pieces, but any scraps bigger than a few inches are all saved and either used to make our one-of-a-kind patchwork pieces, or used to create samples for new designs.
Our items that aren't made to order, so any pieces that are ready to ship from their launch, are all produced in very small quantities. This helps us to make sure that each garment that is made will go to someone that will love and treasure it! We do not and will not ever mass produce, which means that sometimes things may sell out quickly, but we won't end up with masses of unwanted garments that won't get the love they deserve!
3. SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING MATERIALS
We aim to only use eco-friendly packaging, both from our manufacturers and suppliers to our studio, and from our studio to you. Nobody wants their unboxing experience to be ruined by excessive amounts of plastic packaging!
Currently, we use tissue paper inside our packages that has been made from sustainably sourced recycled materials. We pack everything in cardboard boxes which are 100% recyclable, and only use mailing bags that are either 100% biodegradable or 100% compostable!
4. LIGHT FOOTPRINT
All of our pieces (apart from our tees) are currently made right here in England, and so by keeping the main bulk of the production process in one country, our carbon footprint is as low as possible. We also strive to source as many of our fabrics, trims and supplies in the UK as well.
Our tees are currently made in China by one of our production partner teams (based in Birmingham)'s second team. They all work closely together to ensure that safe working conditions and real living wages are met. Here is a statement from our production team:
"Through innovation and a determination to never sacrifice human rights, safe working conditions and living wages, Hook & Eye UK have forged an ethical path into the fashion industry. We believe in treating all of our workers equally and fairly. Every employee is paid above living wages."
Find out more about our production partners and their manufacturing processes on their websites:
Hook & Eye - Based in Birmingham, UK and China.
Artisan Seams - Based in Somerset, UK.
At Fennuala Belle, sustainability, creativity and craftsmanship are of the utmost importance, which is why we are a very small brand taking the slow approach to fashion. There is always room for improvement, and we are consistently searching for new and better ways in which we can make our brand more sustainable, but I believe we have built a strong foundation for our young brand to grow, and things can only get better!
Being sustainable without mass production is expensive, which is why it's difficult for small brands like us to maintain a balance between making more sustainable choices, and keeping our prices affordable for our customers. We want to keep an accessible price point for you at the same time as being as sustainable as possible! But as we grow and the fashion world collectively changes their practices, our environmental and sustainable goals will become more achievable.
Our ultimate aim is to create unique and characterful pieces in the most mindful way possible, that are to be treasured forever. We want to encourage our customers to see the true value of clothing and the workmanship involved in its creation, rather than the throw-away nature of fast-fashion.