What we do today
Recycling of plastic packaging across business operations from production to retailing: We have successfully implemented the selective sorting and recycling at the Head Office and the majority of our stores. We are working on implementing this across all of our stores.
We are designing an in-store take back and recycle scheme of the plastic packaging with the intention of extending this for the online shopping process.
We are in the process of applying for the Better Cotton Initiative Certification and on-product labelling. This will allow us to market the sourcing of better cotton throughout our supply chain. B.C.I. is an international standard improving the quality of both environmental standards and workers’ welfare in the cotton industry.
Our main formal shirting manufacturing facility has strong corporate responsibility policies in place offering free eye tests, health supplements for workers and high standards of workers’ health and safety. The factory is also GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified one of the most trustworthy certificates in the industry.
We have confirmed our ‘take back’ recycling scheme in partnership with Cancer Research UK across some of our stores. Customers will be able to bring their used shirts (any brand) in store for charitable recycling. They will receive a discount voucher that will allow them to purchase a new item and all of the recycled shirts will be sold for charitable purposes, prolonging the lifecycle of the garments. The scheme was running for the full month of October 2019.
The majority of our women’s and Curtis shirts are digitally printed. Digital printing is more eco-friendly than other textile processing. Research suggests that whilst no manufacturing process is without impact on the environment, Digital Textile Printing is certainly one of the most environmentally friendly in today’s UK textile industry. This means no water is used in the process as the colour is applied directly on the fabric.
Pure Cotton Shirts
Our core shirts are made of 100% pure cotton. Our main shirting supplier has been registered with Better Cotton Initiative since 2018. B.C.I. is a global organisation helping to improve the global cotton industry.
We use linen fabric which is recognised for its sustainability. Our core suiting and shirting lines include a variety of linen garments. Linen is known to be sustainable as a crop. "Flax cultivation has positive effects on the diversity of ecosystems and offers a healthy environmental break for the quality of soils, biodiversity and landscapes" (Source: Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, Brussels, 20 May 2008).
The flax plant that produces the linen fibre is known for using fewer pesticides and doesn’t require irrigation in order to grow; therefore it is a sustainable crop itself.
We design for durability. Our suits are carefully manufactured in accordance to a variety of fits and they can be tailored so they fit you perfectly. Also, they are made from pure wool, which makes them highly breathable- this means you are more likely to keep the suits for longer and to prolong their lifecycle. Our main wool supplier has just joined the Responsible Wool Standard in 2019 (this is a worldwide standard on the welfare of the farmers and animals throughout the supply chain).
For the future
We are aiming to introduce a charitable garment recycling scheme with one of the main charitable organisations in the UK. We are partnering with and supporting Cancer Research UK in order to collect Hawes & Curtis used garments that can still have a second life for a different user. We understand the Global Fashion Agenda and we strive to adhere to their principles:
- Increasing the volume of used garments and footwear collected
- Increasing the volume of used garments and footwear resold.
This is because we want to increase the time a product is used and to address the textile waste issues within UK. We also hope that through our clothes recycling programme we can help raise funds for Cancer Research UK.
As we are trialling our recycling scheme in October, we hope this will develop and become a permanent feature that we will be able to offer.
New Packing Solutions
We are in the process of developing new packaging solutions and strategies across our business so we can reduce the cardboard and plastic used. We are working on sourcing alternative materials for plastic bags, clips and other plastics involved in the packaging. Furthermore, we are developing a system that would, in the future, give you the possibility to opt for a lighter packaging at the check-out, after making a purchase.
We currently offer packaging for online purchases (boxes) supplied by Lil Packaging UK, that is produced locally in the UK and that is 66% recycled cardboard and 33% Responsibly Sourced (FSC) cardboard and fully recyclable.