When we started Pajotten we didn't set out on some huge crusade to make an environmental difference (honestly that's not possible - fashion is environmentally damaging - if you can, buy second hand), we were simply trying to create a brand, designing, making and selling the clothes we like to wear. The word sustainable was only briefly mentioned in our business plan, I don't think anyone really knew what it was then... The sustainability bandwagon has been leapt on by many brands trying to encourage people to buy from them simply because they can point at the person who apparently made the clothes.... we came at it another way.
We produce the clothes ourselves - simply because initially we wanted to control production and didn't want to (couldn't afford to) make in bulk and be left with clothes we couldn't sell, travelling back and forth to factories didn't make any kind of practical sense, let alone environmental - We both hate waste, we tend to wear clothes for years, and seldom throw anything away, neither of us are huge consumers so we had no idea how wasteful the fashion business actually was.
Making to order gives us benefits we couldn't hope to realise if we just mass produced - we build real conversations with customers, search out cloth we know individual people want, change garment details based on feedback. There is a sense that because a piece has been made especially for you that its something you should cherish and hold onto.
The choice to buy cloth and trimmings from UK manufacturers was made because that was easier if not cheaper for us - it made sense to be able to reach suppliers quickly and to be able to talk to them on the phone - also after the Brexit vote it seemed to make sense to support the UK economy, but now of course we are pleased that we don't add to the senseless carbon footprint of cloth being imported from overseas, we buy in tiny quantities - 60 metres at a time so that we don't waste any, (environmentally sensible but also better for us), and we make bags and masks with the offcuts, smaller scraps are given to charity - again - good environmentally because it doesn't add to landfill but it also saves us refuse costs.
The choice to buy deadbolt cloth was made because it allowed us to introduce cloth into the range that we wouldn't otherwise be able to afford - and quite simply it just makes sense to use it rather than letting it go to landfill. We only use natural fibres like linen and cotton, we like how they look, feel, wash and last
As you can see initial decisions that were made for our benefit actually make great environmental sense, the process of developing Pajotten has opened our eyes to the huge detrimental effect of the industry, and the wish to be a more sustainable brand effects our decision making increasingly, we now use organic cotton for shirts, jackets and dresses and have introduced a recycled denim/linen mix sustainably woven in small batches in Paris. Hemp has become one of our most popular cloths, including a recycled cotton/hemp mix.
We also consider what our buttons are made of, favouring deadstock buttons, but are now increasingly working with a UK button maker who produces buttons made from the corozo nut, sustainably grown in Brazil, we are also testing some shirt buttons made from recycled cotton.
As we get bigger we are committed to never move to bulk production but will employ people locally to work with us and pay them properly, pieces will remain being made to order, (even our boxes are made individually in-house!)
I suppose what I am saying is that fashion has to be made in a sustainable way if the industry is going to continue - it just makes sense to create clothes this way - so please don't buy Pajotten clothes because we use ethical sustainable practices (this should be, and I hope will be the norm for all companies), buy them because you like the cut, style and detailing, because they last, and make you feel good when you put them on, and because someone was thinking about you when they cut, sewed and trimmed them.