We want to be clear about what we mean when we talk about factories.
The term ‘factory’ gets a bad-rap, and the reasons why are wholly justifiable. That’s why we want to be clear about what we mean when we talk about factories: they are the skilled makers and, in some instances, family-businesses around the world who we choose to partner with to meet both industry, and our own, standards that we’re proud to stand by.
We work with factories in the UK, Italy, Portugal and China, and we’re always looking at other areas. We visit them all, practising stringent and regular global factory compliance and ethical trade auditing for responsibility, sustainability, limited environmental impact and quality assurance. We do this to ensure skilled artisans who work in the factories are treated as such, are paid well, paid on time, and are provided with safe environments to work in.
But it’s a two way street. Our factories question us just as much. Our business must be viable in order for them to invest time in us.
Whilst our brand is new, our design team have years of experience. They have worked with some of our current factories for over 15 years. It’s a close, committed working relationship that we value. It allows us to reach out and act as partners, and innovate to try new ways of creating. It’s an exciting process for us both.
A joy for us is crossing the language divide, having to translate over the phone with Italian speaking local pattern cutters who share our passion for design and quality. We are constantly learning from each other. They are an integral part of the les girls les boys family.
Compliance and auditing
Time spent on carefully choosing the right sourcing and manufacturing takes just as long as our time on design. We see this as an equal process. Our factories all hit high standards of Kitemarks, the industry standard for manufacturing routes that must be audited. Most of our fabrics have the same high Kitemark standard, and are global industry standard OEKO-TEX approved.
All of our manufacturers carry Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) certificates, which proves their commitment to improving working conditions in the global supply chain. We also require their practise of Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) methodology, a valid third-party internationally recognised best-practise ethical audit.
Innovation and technical excellence
Our underwear is made in the world’s best lingerie factories, prized for their fit, manufacturing and service. Developing lingerie is long and technical, requiring highly skilled experts for the best results. Each size must fit and perform like no other item of clothing. The bras we make are stress-tested for ultimate fit, wear and durability. This is the reason why good bras are high investment pieces.
We’ve worked hand-in-hand with our seamfree factory in Portugal who have been open to pushing innovation with us from the very beginning. They dropped their minimums low for us in good faith, as we worked closely with their technician to ensure stitches, yarn count, and dye lots are all perfect. They guide us in our decisions on dyes, offering completely natural alternatives that are certified and meet our standards of zero-toxin fabrics. They’re helping us create a new future with seamfree that doesn’t waste precious fabrics.
Without these types of innovations, knowledge base, and connections, our designs wouldn’t be possible.
Our factories support us as much as we support them
As a new and independent label we can’t offer our factories large quantities to produce, so instead they partner with us because they believe in what we’re trying to do. We want to reverse mindless fabric waste in the industry. The factories we work with help us to make this possible. As much as we support and champion our factories, they support our brand just as much.
They know and share our values, and we’re breaking new ground together.