WHAT ELEMENTS GO INTO BEING A SUSTAINABLE HOMEWARE BRAND?
Our ethical stance is the whole reason for the existence of Daughters of Gaea. While we commit to ethical production practices, there’s also our promise to sustainability which runs through every facet of our business.
Leaving the topic of “ethical” values aside, our impact on the planet’s resources is huge and its one we believe demands more than lip service. It’s through our considered model that respects the balance of nature and the people who rely on the land for their livelihood that makes us a different homeware brand to any other.
WHAT DOES ACTING “SUSTAINABLY” REALLY MEAN?
With many businesses claiming to be sustainable and the backdrop of ongoing climate crisis negotiations, we believe that starting a sustainable brand has to do more than simply use this phrase as a marketing tool.
For us, at its core, sustainability is making sure that the overall impact of the business on the environment is completely neutral at least. Even better, we strive to give back to the planet.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to make a business carbon neutral, from using completely recycled and recyclable materials, to offsetting the carbon footprint, to using chemical free dyes in making pieces that last so that consumers buy less over time. All of these steps are an innate part of our process, and we champion them all as standard.
To help us stand by this promise, we work with a reputable carbon offsetting company that looks into the details of the business line by line, enabling us to validate exactly what we need in order to do this properly.
WHAT MORE CAN WE DO?
There are always new ways to reduce our carbon footprint even further. For us, we aim to become a carbon negative business. To do that, we’ll be taking part in initiatives that can help us realise that goal, starting with our participation in 1% for the planet, a scheme where we give back 1% of our revenues, not profits, to fund essential environmental work across the globe.
We are also proud partners of TreeSisters, a female led community-based organisation that tackles deforestation through planting trees in carefully vetted, diverse rainforests. We support this by donating a tree to be planted with every order placed.
The truth is, there’s no one way to become carbon neutral or an exact science to being perfectly sustainable, but our dedication to this mission means we’ll always research new ways to reduce our impact and safeguard the planet’s future. That starts and ends with always honouring a careful thought process across every aspect of the business model and supply chain. Through this, we believe we can create a brand that’s kind to the earth.
HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS 100% ETHICAL?
We could only commit to be being a true ethical brand by staying on top of the supply chain, and taking this responsibility personally, at founder level. That means we don’t use any middlemen in any part of the process, all sourcing of fabrics is done personally by our founder, Felicity, and this selection extends to all the different types of dying and curing of the fabrics, the block printers, the sewers, the shipping, the packaging, the tags and labels and everything else you can think of that is needed to launch a business.
This oversight was critical to ensure nothing slipped under the radar. So if you ever have any questions to ask, we can be completely honest about our process, upholding our stance on total transparency. Alongside this, we work with Nest in New York, a charity that partners designers with artisans and oversees all the ethical compliance of the artisan groups they recommend.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU MET AND HOW HAVE YOU OVERCOME THESE?
We’ve faced so many challenges through this process, and as being ethical throughout the supply chain was an immovable goal, we had to make sure that meant every single element upheld this, from the ribbons we use for the tags to the washing care labels sewn into the cushions. This required true, detailed thought into every single thing in the production process.
However, perhaps one of the biggest singular challenges was the silk. As a luxury brand we wanted to have a silk collection. Although this is such a sumptuous fabric, it’s a lot rarer in homeware now. The plan was originally to use peace silk, but after sourcing multiple samples from different suppliers across India, we realised that it was not going to work with the techniques our artisan group worked with as the material was too rough and had a lot of slubs.
Eventually, we decided to use mulberry silk, knowing this is not vegan, but endeavouring to find a supplier who had an authentic organic and natural process in the production of it.
It took a long time to work through all these issues, especially working to a backdrop of COVID and relying on teams across the planet, but we got there. With a methodical approach we tackled each issue, and with a lot of perseverance, patience and acceptance of the inevitable delays, we made it.
To shop our first India collection, visit our online shop now.