Overproduction is Over: Why Made-to-Order is the Smarter Sustainable Option
eing smarter with quantity and only making clothing to order means we can eliminate overproduction for the planet. Bespoke uniform creation has always had sustainable roots and counts itself as one of the leading lights in the clothing industry, due to long-life garment usage and by being smart with the quantity produced.
The concept of smart quantity involves only making garments to order, with mills only producing enough fabric for the client’s uniform order, leaving zero surplus stock.The long life built into luxury uniforms is due to the high quality, high-design, and high specification, setting the sector apart in an otherwise problematic industry.
High quality uniform is made to be worn several times a week for over 18 months. Compare that long-life garment usage with fast fashion, where garments are expected to be worn up to 6 times on average. Luxury uniform designers will work with clients to assess their staffing volumes and combine with technical knowledge of global body-size data, to accurately estimate fabric usage to the nearest centimetre.
STUDIO 104 & SUSTAINABLE UNIFORM
Sustainability is at the centre of our focus when creating new uniform for our ethically and ecologically conscious clients.Every step of our uniform creation has been considered to achieve a first-class sustainable approach, and is constantly refined with the latest initiatives, processes,and materials.
Over the years we have built upon these strong sustainable pillars with many smart environmentally focused advancements and has led to our 8-step ‘Future Friendly Uniform’ approach, that spans across design, manufacture, materials, delivery and much more.
Aside from the concepts of smart quantity and long-life garment usage, below summarises six additional elements of advocating a proprietary sustainability approach.
Our skilled team always offer designs that allow for a broader range of staff to fit fewer garment sizes, reducing the amount of unused stock.
We also aim to include innovative ideas that can aide the interchange /combination of garments, enabling a smaller range of designs to span across a variety of client roles.
We ensure all fabrics are sourced in a responsible manner, whether that is a closed loop material, which is or can be recycled, or raw materials from sustainable businesses - for example cotton mills that contribute to the Better Cotton Initiative.
Regular attendance of the key fabric fairs in London & Paris has ensured that we always remain at the forefront on innovation. We also now promote alternative raw materials from renewable sources that have become more affordable like Lyocell, which uses 80% less water to manufacture.
Our fabric and clothing factories are selected because of their proximity to each other as well as the garments end destination - the client - thus reducing our transportation carbon footprint. Therefore, clients based in Europe we focus all manufacturing in the region reducing travel whilst improving quality.
We regularly carry out audits of our partner factories to make sure they support the highest levels of worker conditions and salaries, as well as using positive environmental initiatives. For example - waste water treatment, in-house recycling,and renewable power (solar, wind, etc.).
We also look to partner factories who are BLUESIGN approved, an independent authority on sustainable textile manufacturing.
New uniform is a considerable cost for clients, therefore keeping their garments free from damage during transport, in our warehouse and onsite with clients, is of utmost importance.
We are now proud to offer our completed client orders using recycled poly bags and garment shrouds, as well as hand individual staff their uniform post-fitting, in FSC approved paper bags.
INTEGRATED HEAD OFFICE
The final way we look to affect environmental change is within our studio and head office in Central London.
To reduce clothing going to landfill, which on average totals £140m per year in the UK, our wearable samples are donated to charity. Unwearable garments are recycled along with fabric waste, and leftover materials are donated to our local business and community support service.
To discover more about our 8-step ‘Future Friendly Uniform’, head to our Sustainability section detailing all the areas Studio 104 focus on for a truly sustainable approach to uniform. All of our projects align to this way of working - to see how creativity, quality,craftsmanship and sustainability combine to achieve world-leading uniform for the luxury hospitality and retail, view Studio 104's portfolio, and our pre-designed, made-to-order 104 Collection.
Written by Ian– Chief Revenue Officer
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