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At The bonnie mob, we are committed to sustainability and our motto, since launching in 2005, has always been ‘Buy once, Buy well, Pass it on’. Our bright and playful clothes are designed and made to last. We love nothing more than hearing that a much-loved piece of knitwear for baby has been passed down to a sibling or on to a friend!
We are a family business based in sunny Brighton (UK) and, as parents ourselves, we hope to leave a better environment for our children. There are no differences between what we want for our family and what we ask from our brand. If there is an ecological way of doing something, we will always choose that path over profit.
This is who we are and always have been.
When it comes to producing clothing, throwaway or ‘fast’ fashion is a very tempting choice. It’s cheaper, quicker and is profit-led. However, our industry has a lot to answer for. We are responsible for a huge impact on our planet, causing damage to the environment with water and energy waste and the use of harmful chemicals. Not to mention the negative effects on human health and the unfair working conditions of millions of people. We strongly believe that this has to change.
As a brand we are committed to sustainability and for us, this is an ongoing process. We are continually learning and adapting our designs and processes to ensure we are proud of the garments we produce. Where we have choices, we always put sustainability first.
Like with many things in life, it’s definitely not black or white. Sustainability comes in many shades and this means doing as much as our resources allow. It’s a journey, but we have already achieved a lot.
Find out more about what we’re doing below.
When we are unable to source organic yarn, we only use blended cotton yarns that have been approved by the Better Cotton Initiative. This ensures fair payment terms and invests in education for farmers to help them improve their yield and teach them how to use water more efficiently. It only does this in areas that are growing cotton sustainably and those that are not misusing water.
Our winter knitwear is a blend of cotton and cashmere – an ethical fibre by its nature. Our kids and baby knitwear is luxuriously soft and gentle on skin - you have to feel it to believe it!
Because we produce eco clothing for babies and children, the materials we use and how they are made is really important to us. It is vital that we reduce the use of unnecessary and harmful chemicals that are close to our little ones’ delicate skin.
Our yarn suppliers carry the Oeko-Tex mark and our chosen dye houses do not use toxic azo dyes (so commonly used in the fashion industry). It is imperative to us that our organic cotton clothing has been tested for all the harmful substances we don’t want.
As an extra measure, our suppliers hold an OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 certificate, to ensure our materials are healthy for nature, the maker and user.
These choices also lessen our contribution of synthetic fibres polluting the ocean, which has a huge impact on our planet.
By using ‘fully-fashioned’ machines to make our baby and children’s knits, we reduce waste as we only knit the shape of the garment. We don’t ‘cut and sew’ the sleeves, meaning there are no bits of excess fabric thrown away. The knitting takes longer and is of a much better quality to cut knits, making it much better for the environment as we reduce waste and our clothes last longer to be passed down to future mobsters, which is really important to us as a brand.
Founder and designer, Tracey, is a self-confessed ‘technical knit geek’, After studying design at St Martins College in London, she continued to learn her craft in her first design positions, by working from the factory floor up. Early on in her career, Tracey spent several years working with knit technicians in factories, honing her technical skills, to really understand how things are knitted, making her a better designer as she understands the machines and how they work. This taught her invaluable skills about the craft of knitting, which she puts into her designs .
She was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with brand new Japanese Shima Seiki knitting machinery, pushing the technology to innovate and identify new knit techniques that we still use in The bonnie mob designs.
Today, The bonnie mob’s knitwear production takes place in Hong Kong and China as we firmly believe this is where we can find the best quality. The best machines and technicians we have access to are some of the most advanced and highly trained in the world.
Find out more in our 'Knitwear Masterclass' blog>
We are so proud to introduce a new Eco friendly method of creating super soft, organic cotton denims, sweatshirt and jersey wear for babies and kids, using a new printing method known as 'ZERO D'.
The groundbreaking technique is so much better for the environment than traditional denim dying because it:
• Uses over 90% less water
• The tiny amount of water that is left over is so clean that it is used to grow vegetables in the factory garden
• Has Zero pollution
• Printed on super soft, certified organic cotton
• Has an Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex®
When we talk about caring for the future of our families, this extends to everyone who is a part of the process of making a garment from The bonnie mob
We expect that everyone involved should be happy and healthy, so we always make sure the factories we work with take care of their employees and we visit regularly.
All staff are treated fairly, receive a living wage for a 40-hour working week and there are strict workplace safety standards in place. The workplaces are clean, tidy and are not cramped.
We have worked with many of our factories in China since 2004, and we are proud to say that they have become part of The bonnie mob family. We’ve grown together and have shared values. We enjoy our visits to see them, and know many of the staff there – from the talented pattern makers to the hardworking security staff.
We also support and promote the Fashion Revolution initiative, following the preventable tragedy at the Rana Plaza, Bangladesh.
Knowing #whomadeyourclothes is vital.
Find out more about our factories and why we support Fashion Revolution here >
Our sustainability mission doesn’t end with clothing production. At every point until final delivery, we endeavour to reduce, reuse or recycle in the following ways...
We only print paper when we need to and use any incoming delivery boxes for outgoing packages. Our HQ is filled with recycling points.
Our bulk production is always transported to us by sea, as ocean freight has much lower CO2 emissions than airfreight.
Through our logistics company, every parcel we deliver to our UK customers is carbon neutral, at no extra cost. We are committed to make every parcel we deliver carbon neutral, for all our customers. This is done by measuring CO2 emissions, by striving to reduce them, and by offsetting the remaining emissions.
Our hangtags and gift boxes are made of recycled material All plastic packaging for wholesale orders and bulk production are now made from biodegradable plastic.
We also recommend that our garments are washed at a lower temperature of 30 degrees and never tumble dried. This is much better for the environment as well as for the durability of the item.
All of our organic cotton yarns are GOTS CERTIFIED.
Only textile products that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibres can become GOTS certified. All chemical inputs such as dyestuffs and auxiliaries used must meet certain environmental and toxicological criteria. The choice of accessories is limited in accordance with ecological aspects as well. A functional waste water treatment plant is mandatory for any wet-processing unit involved and all processors must comply with social criteria. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognised as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.
The STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is a worldwide consistent, independent testing and certification system for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products at all processing levels, as well as accessory materials used. Examples of articles that can be certified: raw and dyed/finished yarns, woven and knitted fabrics, accessories, such as buttons, zip fasteners, sewing threads or labels, ready-made articles of various types (garments of all types, domestic and household textiles, bed linen, terry products and much more). Since its introduction in 1992, the central focus of the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® has been the development of test criteria, limit values and test methods on a scientific basis.
We are a member of SEDEX, a global non-profit membership organisation that makes it simpler to do business that’s good for everyone. Sedex is the world’s largest collaborative platform for sharing responsible sourcing data on supply chains, used by more than 43,000 members in over 150 countries. Tens of thousands of companies use Sedex to manage their performance around labour rights, health & safety, the environment and business ethics. Their services enable members to bring together many kinds of different data, standards and certifications, to make informed business decisions, and to drive continuous improvement across their value chains.