ETHICAL & ECO POLICY
The entire ethos of Earlier Birds centres around being environmentally aware and ethically sound.
All of your garments are individually handmade in the UK using sustainable practices. Fabric from various sources is used, however this is never new - only used, second hand, factory wastage and vintage fabrics, which are already in circulation within the fashion economy. This reduces the amount of water consumption, chemical pollution and need for raw material production.
I have waste at the forefront of my mind during the design and production process, trying to use and reuse materials as thoughtfully as possible.
The unused parts of fabric are processed in one of three ways. Firstly reuse - any large pieces of fabrics are creatively pieced together and used to make garments. If this is leftover donated fabric, a 20% discount code to use against a future Earlier Birds purchase is emailed to the original fabric owner. Secondly, if pieces are too small to use, they are donated to schools, play groups and childrens organisations for art and craft projects. Finally, all the teeny tiny pieces are sent to be recycled into stuffing or 'shoddy' fabric, for a new useful life.
Hi, I'm Katharine and I set up Earlier Birds from my Nottinghamshire studio as an antidote to throwaway fashion.
I sat with my sister one day talking about all of the things that we could and should do on a mass scale to tackle waste and sustainability issues, and generally just be kinder to the environment. It was one of those 'if only' or 'why don't we just' conversations...so I decided to stop talking and start doing.
The main reason for this is to try to reduce the amount of textile waste generated and value the raw materials that already exist. Some fabrics have a special meaning to us, some are just a great colour, or some are so soft and lovely that we can't bear to part with them, even if they no longer fit into our lives like they once did.
So the idea is a simple one - you send me your preloved, slightly worn, don't-quite-fit clothes and textiles that have some meaning for you. These are then transformed into new pieces for your little ones.
It's important that I practice what I preach, so all of the fabric wastage that cannot be used is recycled.
My background is in the fashion industry in various capacities from sampling to brand management to teaching.