What does it mean?
For us at Annabel Giraud-Telme, social responsibility means creating beautiful clothing with minimal human and environmental impact, whilst empowering society.
We know that as a company, it is our social responsibility to be sustainable, ethical and minimise our impact on the planet and it’s occupants. We recognise the impact fashion has. But, we’re not perfect; as unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Sustainability and ethical responsibility isn’t just about paying a living wage and organic wool. It’s about a living wage, organic wool, employee rights, pesticides on the land sheep roam and on the cotton grown, alongside a hundred thousand other layers that make up the fashion industry. Nobody said it was easy!
As there isn’t a single report or analytical study on the impact fashion has on the world, we have to be extra responsible in every step of the process and ask the hard questions as to how and where it’s been made. It takes a lot more time to get processes and production into place but we wouldn’t change it, not for our world. It is our social responsibility. Whilst we aren’t perfect, our core values of responsibility remain the same and will always be what drives us. We also quite like the challenge of making ethically and sustainably responsible clothes lose their ‘hippy’ status.
The big vision?
To have an international, socially responsible, luxury unisex fashion house; which is the basis for educating people from disadvantaged backgrounds through a school or apprenticeship scheme. We want to empower the most vulnerable members of society to give them lifelong skills and enable them to develop careersor set-up their own businesses.
We think the best way to change the multi-faceted fashion industry is by being as transparent as possible. For every product we manufacture has a story and you, the consumer has a right to know it from its farm to source. Honesty is our policy and a breakdown of costs and sources is our aim.
Our ready-to-wear collections are manufactured and a high percentage of the materials are made in Britain. When things cannot can be sourced in the United Kingdom, we look to our closest neighbours in the EU who have the most similar working conditions and values. Whatever we source, we want to know that we’ve done our best in knowing: where it has come from, how it has been made and the imprint it’s made on the earth and it’s occupants. Sustainable and social responsibility is key.