What it means to be sustainable for us, you, our workers, and the environment.
Empire of Bees products are ethically and sustainably produced. We are a small Australian based company, that has a hands on approach to sustainable production. The leather used is ethically sourced and our fabrics are up-cycled, meaning they were created for a different purpose before they were salvaged by our designers. Many emerging, small-scale production brands are claiming to be sustainable, but what does that really mean?
Sustainability is… sustainable. Many brands have relied on mass production and buying power to secure cheap materials and high turnover to drive profits. The modern day consumer is now aware that these practices mean exploitation of labour, cheap materials, low-quality production methods and a finished product that may not even last a season, which costs everyone more in the long-term. While these large-scale businesses may have found a short-term cost saving method, researchers have found that real sustainable practices lead to higher profits. This is delivered over time through recycling product materials, using every thread, reducing impact on the planet and paying minimum wages in production. This secures a quality product that doesn’t cost the earth and means we can keep doing what we love, creating products you love.
Today’s consumer is searching for a quality product that meets their convenience needs without exploiting the planet or people. Companies that engage in mass production are unable to control the supply chain or the quality of the products, meaning consumers are at risk of supporting labour and land exploitation and therefore receiving poorly made products. Supporting sustainable businesses means you are purchasing a quality product, produced ethically and with minimal impact on the planet.
For the workers
Sustainable production methods ensure ethical working conditions and minimum wage for the product-makers. For us this means that our very talented leather tailors are looked after, enjoy their work environment and are able to support themselves and their families. This also creates job opportunities for workers who may otherwise be exploited by large-scale production companies.
For the environment
Up-cycling fabrics means we are often preventing fabric from ending up in landfill. Our small-scale production methods also mean that we can oversee the entire process including the amount of waste created. We are able to redesign and refine our processes, to reduce waste and remove it altogether where possible. An example of this is how we use the Empire of Bees calico care bags to transport the products from the production studio to the suppliers rather than plastic of any type, and using leather off-cuts for the drawstrings in these bags.
A holistic approach to sustainability in the fashion industry means less exploitation of the planet and people. It’s supporting a sustainable way forward, for makers and consumers who care.