Most of us love the idea of wrapping our babies and children in as much healthy, organic goodness as we can to ensure the best possible upbringing for the ones we love – no nasties and toxins for our families, for the farmers who are growing the cotton, for the planet and for our global wellbeing.
When I started my organic baby and kids clothes business here in Australia in 2015, I put so much energy into making a more sustainable future a reality, but there was one huge fact that I simply overlooked.
Full of wholehearted passion and love for organic sustainable fashion I, received my fist order for the shop and enthusiastically
rushed to open it… only to find that I had to work through layers and layers of individually wrapped plastic items to get to the things that mattered most to me.
Each year there are indescribable amounts of single use plastics in production worldwide…
Did you know that humans buy about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute in total?
Or that an estimated that 4 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide annually? And only 1% of plastic bags are returned for recycling. (See more facts here – https://www.earthday.org/2018/03/29/fact-sheet-single-use-plastics/)
But the main cause for the increase in plastic production is plastic packaging. Yep, plastic which serves no real purpose and that we put immediately into the bin! There is simply no real need to continue down this road, especially when there are already some eco fashion labels (and labels across other industries of course!) that are already showing us how that it can be different by creating beautiful, sustainable and organic baby and children’s clothes without the need to wrap every single piece of clothing in plastic.
This is where the idea for this blog came from. I curiously began contacting some of my favourite labels that are working plastic-free (and have been for decades in some cases) to see how they’ve done it.
loud+proud is one if the companies that not only produce soft GOTS-certified organic cotton baby & kids clothes but also producing organic softness without the use of any plastic.
The company was founded in 2008 by a mother of two, who previously worked for many years as a designer of sportswear. After the birth of the children, she wanted to create an alternative and produce baby and children’s clothing from sustainable materials and fair working conditions. loud + proud was born for loud children and proud parents.
The clothing is made of certified organic cotton. This cotton is grown and harvested without the use of harmful chemicals and usually comes from Turkey. Loud + proud clothing is produced in Europe, in Portugal, Hungary and since 2015 increasingly in its own sewing factory in Germany. This ensures short transport routes and better control of production.
Read about loud+proud’s plastic free production journey, with the hope that it will inspire other clothing brands to choose a plastic free and organic clothing production.
Why did you choose to go plastic free?
It wasn’t a deliberate decision for us. We’ve started without plastic from day one. We are already getting the finished products from our European production partners without plastic. We get them in large cartons with paper layers inside to protect the products. Once they have arrived in our warehouse they are stored in shelves and boxes. Fortunately loud + proud products are fast selling items so they don’t gather dust. We never felt the need to use plastic.
Was it easy to go plastic free?
For us as a manufacturer it’s very easy to go plastic free. It’s more complicated for large online customers with huge warehouses and a complex product range. They are asking us to put products into plastic bags. But we also have online customers who are changing to a system with closed warehouse boxes to protect the clothes from dust.
Brand new kids clothes without any wrapping! This is it is still not the standard in the fashion industry – how did customers and retailers respond to this ‘unusual practice’?
As I’ve mentioned we have not used plastic bags from day one. There was no need for plastic wrapping as our retail customers are putting the product on the shelf immediately. They have accepted our policy without speaking. Nowadays we are getting more and more positive feedback as people realize the benefit.
Did you ever have any negative experiences or feedback around your plastic free kids clothes?
How could you encourage other labels to go plastic free?
That’s difficult for us a manufacturer. We can try to talk to our customers to find a good solution and we can optimize our own workflow. But we don’t want to patronize other manufacturers.
Any recommendations or advice that you would like to pass onto other fashion labels, who are interested in making the switch?
Just try! At the end of the day it’s a win-win situation as manufacturers save the environment and also save money for the bags and their disposal (in Germany manufacturers have to pay for the disposal of their packaging).