Change is not born organically; we all play a part.
We believe that making change should not be a secondary consideration, which is why our philosophy for more sustainable business practices has been at the heart of our brand since the very beginning. From the fabrics we use to the communities we support, we accept the responsibility of every decision we make. Our belief is that luxury shouldn’t come at a price we aren’t proud to shout about.
Our best-loved canvas shoppers have taken quite a journey from conception to final product. We source all our canvas bags from an extraordinary social enterprise that makes a real difference to the lives of poverty-stricken Bangladeshi women. Working primarily with young women and mothers, they collaborate with Fair Trade Organisations to identify the most marginalised communities and provide training in handicraft production. Making use of locally grown natural materials and traditional skills, the company has helped over 2000 women across Bangladesh earn a decent, reliable wage for the first time in their lives. Able to work from home, women can care for their family and provide financial support. For most mothers, the main priority is to give their children an education. Thanks to this work, they can now afford to send their children to school and purchase stationery, books and uniforms. Since 2007, they have also funded the yearly running costs of a part-time, outpatient clinic, providing vital, basic medical care to a remote rural community.
Organic Cotton (Certified Yarn)
We only use certified organic cotton across our collections, sustainably sourced from India. The benefits of organic cotton are endless to both ourselves and the planet. Unlike conventional cotton, the organic variety is grown using methods and materials that drastically lessen the impact on our environment, as well as using far less water during manufacturing. Our yarn isn’t treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and GMOs, which can be harmful for workers, consumers and the entire eco-system. For those that suffer from particularly sensitive skin, the feel of organic cotton against the skin is unparalleled.
Straw Panama Hats
When sourcing suppliers for our Panama hats, it was key to find a sustainable organisation that ensured fair working conditions. Panama weaving is an important cottage industry, worked on in the simple homes of Ecuadorian villagers. This truly unique skill has been passed down through generations, and our Panama hats are expertly crafted in a six-step process; from straw cutting to shaping. Our aim is to incorporate this essence of sustainability into every Rae Feather product. By continuing to work with these life-changing cooperatives, using natural materials and traditional skills, we believe we can make a difference.
We are proud to work with our local community to offer flexible employment opportunities for individuals living in rural Oxfordshire. All our hand-painting is completed in-house at our offices, and we are proud to work with an ever-growing team of talented painters. We create job opportunities for those who may struggle to travel beyond their local area, are restricted by family commitments or need short-term, flexible work.
We make every effort to reduce our carbon footprint, which includes our packaging. All orders are wrapped in tissue paper and packaged in 100% recyclable postal boxes or Kraft packets and sealed with eco-friendly brown tape. We have stopped all use of bubble wrap, instead using Kraft paper to keep orders secure.
We are proud to work closely with manufacturers who share our belief that sustainability should be a priority. We believe that even the smallest changes can make a difference; such initiatives include;
Recycling steam from tumble dryers to be used in a heated multipurpose garment drying room.
Reusing water from washing processes as waste water.
Reducing the use of separate plastic bags for individual garments by packaging complete orders in one cardboard box, and offering recycled bags where separation is necessary.
Promoting use of eco-friendly fabrics including GOTS approved organic cotton, Lenzing Modal, Viscose Tencel and FSC certified Viscose.
Upgrading to single-needle machines which reduce energy consumption by 29%.