So many companies claim to be sustainable and ethical. How do you know what's true and what's right? It's difficult to understand so who should you trust?
At Revival Retro we take a considered approach with each and every decision in the business. We promise to be as transparent as possible about our decision making because we believe in helping you make informed choices.
Each product on our website comes not just with a description but with provenance details as well.
From our London based shop we sell both our own range designed in house and made in the UK. We also sell products by other vintage inspired brands that we believe meet our customers needs and wants.
Our Own Range
For our own range we have greater control over the end to end process of design, manufacture and sell through. Our sustainable vintage inspired clothing comes with the full story of the reason why we make the garment, who makes your garments, what credentials are attached to the fabric choice and where it comes from.
With vintage clothing brands that supply our store we are usually able to provide most but not all of the information. We work with some fantastic women owned businesses who are doing great things in the vintage fashion world.
We will be honest and upfront; there are also some products we sell where suppliers are not at all transparent about their operations. Yes we choose to sell both ends of the spectrum because we know we have price conscious customers as well as environmentally conscious customers and sometimes a person can be both at the same time! The power is in your hands.
We offer the above transparency as a commitment to best practise. I am wary of giving ourselves the title of a sustainable fashion brand, even though others within the industry would probably endorse our credentials. We are very ethically minded. If I was to choose one word that sums up our business of design, sourcing, manufacturing, buying and selling i would say it is
We consider our impact on the world, we consider the needs and wants of our customers, we consider the information and the choices available to us, and we make a decision on balance. There is so much greenwashing out there that sometimes we can be tripped up by it just as you can be when you are shopping. We believe that it's better to grow and learn together.
We come from the point of view that investing in well made 'clothing that will last' is good for people and planet and that's what we sell at Revival Retro.
Ethically made clothing in the UK means people are paid a fair price for their work. Revival Retro is a London based small business and we pay every member of the team working in our shop the London Living Wage. Though we make some handmade items from our own range in house, mainly our small batch productions are made in local factories. All our UK manufacturers state they pay at least UK minimum wage and we inspect the working conditions, we are regularly in and out of factories with a smile and a wave to the people on the production line.
Sustainable and ethically made clothing cannot be made cheaply. Cost savings are generally made by brands when they manufacture with high volumes (mass production), at lower rates overseas where cheaper labour is available and/or by using cheap fabrics. At Revival Retro we offer a range of prices for our customers and we ask you to be aware that at the lower end of the price spectrum there is often not as much transparency regarding provenance.
Three years ago we started designing and manufacturing our own garments rather than just selling other peoples. It's given me a new attitude. I used to judge others by what I knew to be true. Now after a couple of years in the manufacturing field I realise how complex it is. There are so many moving parts, different dynamics, old and new processes, innovative technology. Noone working or observing one small part can understand the world of difference in something that on first appearance seemed not dissimilar.
I am still on that journey. Learning, researching, networking. Acting sustainably and ethically doesn't make you perfect it makes you committed. It's a long road and a bumpy one, you can go in circles and occasionally you might break down but if you know where you are headed, the journey is just as important as the destination.
Rowena Howie, owner, founder and general all rounder
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