Why we are involved in safeguarding an important ecosystem
Africa’s vibrant creativity and colour are often beautifully translated into distinctive textile designs. Unfortunately, Africa's textile supply chain is not vertically set up, with roughly 90% of Africa’s cotton processed in Asia, and only 3% of locally grown cotton is processed on the continent. This disconnection inevitably hampers our ability to tap into local resources, compelling us to source fabrics and components from Europe as we are committed to transparent supply chain, upheld by traceability and ethical standards.
Nonetheless, we recognise the paradox of this approach, and its inadvertent contribution to our carbon footprint. To mitigate some of the ecological impact, we continually explore avenues to integrate locally manufactured fabrics and components. This focus is centred on exploring opportunities involving locally manufactured fabrics and components to ensure we are continually aligned with our long-term goal of reducing emissions and carbon footprint.
We have taken responsibility for our freight emissions and established a partnership with Mt. Kenya Trust from the outset of our journey to off-set our freight emissions. The Trust is a charitable organization that shares our values of supporting community, protecting the environment and wildlife preservation. We take their guidance on where the reforestation efforts are needed and since 2021 have been supporting replanting in the Imenti forest, an area that has suffered significant deforestation in recent decades.
Over the past couple of years, we've taken significant steps to track and monitor our carbon emissions across our entire supply chain. This has been possible through the utilisation of the Carbon fund calculations. This approach has provided us with invaluable insights into our environmental impact and helped identify areas for improvements, for example, sea freight vs airfreight, consolidation practices etc have emerged as areas for development. We are still a small business with low volumes which limits our options, however we have mapped out a lower impact freight model as our volumes grow.
As part of our ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability, in July 2023, we decided to adopt the All Birds opensource Footprint calculator. This tool is not only tried and tested but has been developed by a brand that consistently exceeds industry best practice. They are of the view that sharing insight and process is one of the most effective ways of making meaningful change as an industry and fully applaud their openness to sharing what is often a complex area to navigate.
Mt. Kenya Trust
Spanning approximately 182,000 hectares, Mt. Kenya, the second tallest peak in Africa, stands as a haven of rich biodiversity. Its forested slopes serve as a crucial water source for a significant portion of Kenya, forming a lifeline for communities, the environment, and the wildlife that calls it home. The lower reaches of the mountain, a sprawling forested expanse covers an area of 715 square kilometres is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Trusts success lies in its collaboration with the local community and government entities. Together, they work in concert to safeguard a harmonious ecosystem. This encompasses mitigating conflicts between humans and wildlife, curbing the blight of illegal logging, and staunching the menace of poaching. Click on the link The Mt. Kenya Trust to read more.