We found ourselves at a crossroad and began to search for purpose. We realised to find enlightenment our purpose needed to connect with our passion.
There are many things we care deeply about but some in particular include poverty alleviation, animal welfare and the environment. Researching the issues around those topics led us to research into plastics, pollution, the textile industry, the effects on the environment and animal welfare.
Our research led to some incredibly sad facts about the fashion industry and that alone made us want to firstly change, but also promote what seems to be ignored. We hope we can consciously change our purchasing habits for fast fashion.
There are an estimated 218 million children around the world (aged 5-17) that are working, 70% of which are considered victims of child labour.
Exploitation in West Africa
Farmers have small patches of land, that provide just enough income for the basics such as food, school and healthcare. A small drop in cotton prices means they cannot afford these basics... and millions of them are paid less than a fair price.
Not a well not known fact, but 20,000 people working on cotton farms die every year from pesticide poisoning. Pesticides are used to speed up growth due to supply and demand. Cotton grown organically does not have this issue.
Plastisol is the most commonly used printing ink and contains 4 main ingredients; PVC, plasticisers, filler and pigments. These contain phthalates (cancerous, cause reproductive issues and affects testosterone) and dioxins (alters thyroid hormone and can cause impairments, hyperactivity and lower birth rates). It's also linked with breast cancer. The above chemicals are triggered at temperatures of around 20 degrees so if you wear these types of clothing on a hot summers day, it can give you headaches and migraines, which most people blame on the sun.
Majority of garment printing inks contain animal by-products which are why they cannot be labelled as organic or vegan approved.
Whilst we seemed to have researched the problems, the challenge was far more difficult. Looking at many 'ethical' clothing brands, we found too many anomalies to ignore. For example, a company would have either organic materials or Fairtrade or equivalent certification but few had both. Those found with both would use harmful printing inks; harmful to the person and to those applying the inks in the warehouses. The few who passed those ethical tests failed at the next hurdle by using unethical swing tags and/or plastic poly and mailer bags.
Our mission to become a brand that ticked every box whilst inspiring and uplifting is ever evolving.
We exist to consciously change buying habits and make aware fast fashion is no longer viable for the planet or it's producers. Alter is a sustainable, conscious clothing line aiming to reduce our collective carbon footprint on mother earth whilst giving producers a fairer life.
We advocate and embrace diversity. From our design team, our box manufacturers, to everyone who wears and champions our clothing.