The two components of a garment production cycle that create the most waste and exploit the most people is in the fabric production and the garment sewing (also known as CMT).
Our fabric is all produced sustainably and ethically.
Our ethos is to only use natural fibres or synthetics that are part of a circular economy.
Circular Economy= an economic model with no waste, only resources
Natural fibres have a much smaller carbon footprint than synthetics. Some of our products need to be made from synthetic materials, like our bathers. The reason behind this is that coming into contact with seawater and chlorine means they need to have a super high resistance threshold to both.
The fabric we use for our activewear is comprised of the following fibres:
53% Hemp, 42% Organic Cotton and 5% Elastane
Hemp Fortex was founded in China in 1999 with the idea that fabrics can be environmentally friendly and still meet the strict requirements of the apparel industry; for fashion, innovation, performance, quality, and delivery. They call it conscience without compromise.
Their new collections each season incorporate the newest findings and innovations in low impact manufacturing. They are in a unique position as a vertically integrated manufacturer and converter means they oversee every part of the process. They operate out of Qindao China, and work only with their own manufacturing facilities and facilities where careful audits, long standing relationships and their own Quality Control staff ensure that their strict standards are met. They use only EU approved dyes and chemicals in our dyeing and finishing and carefully monitor and control waste water. They use exclusively organic cotton which is traced through the whole process from field to garment by ECOCERT.
We love that they take sustainability so seriously they have implemented clean energy across all of their offices and factories. Their roof is covered with solar panels that power their knitting machines which knit the yarn together just like your grandma makes her woollen jumpers. except like a thousand grandmas. with robotic arms.
We like to think of the little golden rays of sun happily being woven into our beautiful fabric.
How gorgeous ☀️
Also woven into our fabric is love and happiness as our knitting factory is a member of Amfori BSCI.The Business Social Compliance Initiative means that they are frequently audited to make sure they are consistently improving the social performance in their supply chain. This process has a core aim of enhancing human prosperity, using natural resources responsibly and driving open trade globally.
They were the first member of the Fair Wear foundation in mainland China. The Fairwear Foundation is a non-profit organization that works with factories to improve labour conditions for garment workers. The basis of the collaboration between Fair Wear and a member is the Code of Labour Practices. The core of this code is made up from eight labour standards derived from the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights.
They are as follows:
- Employment is freely chosen
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
- There is no discrimination in employment
- No exploitation of child labour
- Payment of a living wage
- Reasonable hours of work
- Safe and Healthy working conditions
- Legally binding employment relationship
They provide their employees with the healthiest of working conditions, (which is a result from creating organic fabrics and not working with harmful dyes and chemicals), medical benefits, safety insurance, regular salary raises, vacation days, and community building.
Our fabric producer received the following grade in their most recent BCSI audit.
Hemp is an incredibly old fibre which can be traced back 8000 BC in the Middle East and China where it was used for textiles, ropes, fishnets, the oil for cosmetic purposes and the seeds for food. It is a fast growing plant (no wonder its called weed!), requires very little water, and uses minimal nutrients from the soil. Hemp plant roots aerate the soil, leaving it rich for future crops. It has a huge yield of 1500 pounds of fibre per acre (compared to 500 pounds from organic cotton) and doesn't require any pesticides or herbicides. The umbrella shape of the plant means it doesn't require herbicides as it out-competes any weeds for sun.
Hemp fabrics are strong, absorbent, durable, and insulating which mean they often take time to wear in, but last a very long time once worn and washed a few times. They don’t stretch out of shape which makes them a perfect upholstery fabric, because it can be pulled tight and retain its shape. Cotton fabric is softer and more comfortable against the skin than hemp fabric, which is why the two are often combined for fabrics, you get the best of both!
Our manufacturer grows over 600,000 square yards of organic hemp, meaning their yield is one of the highest and most sustainable in the world. They use of rainwater for irrigation which reduces water consumption, while free-grazing cow manure is used to fertilize. Hemp is naturally antibacterial and there is no use of pesticides used in their fields. The hemp plant naturally grows very densely (hence a high yield!) which also means there is no need for pesticides as the plant naturally out-competes any weeds for sunlight.
Hemp grows roots that penetrate deep into the soil, which increases nutrients in the soil and eliminate weeds and diseases. Planting hemp contributes greatly to the balance of CO2 content in the atmosphere. One hectare of hemp can sequester and store 20 tons of CO2 in the cellulose carbon and another 500kg of CO2 in the soil within one hundred days growth cycle.
In addition, hemp plant cells have the ability to avoid damage from heavy metal ions, which selectively concentrate in the roots of plants. This means that hemp is an excellent natural heavy metal adsorbent, which has an effective cleaning effect on water and soil in the area.
Our fabric is made from the ‘bast’ hemp plant variety, cultivated in the mountains of Northern China; comfortable, breathable, and cool to the touch. It is a luxurious textile that can be woven to be soft and fine or thick and durable. It is one of the strongest, natural fibres and its antibacterial properties as well as its resistance to UV rays make it ideal for athletic wear.
Hemp in short...
- improves land
- takes time to wear in
- often combined with organic cotton
- doesn't use much water to grow
- no pesticides
- mechanically processed
The other heavyweight in our hemp/organic cotton fabric is the Organic Cotton. Organic Cotton in its pure form is compostable which means no micro-plastics! When combined with elastane there are a small amount of micro-plastics, but hey, anything is better than nothing! Organic Cotton, while a huge step up from standard ol' regular cotton, still drinks a whole heap of water while growing. If its grown in a country with monsoonal conditions, great! but if its grown in somewhere drought prone (ahem Australia) it uses a whole heap of water that should be going elsewhere. As long as the surrounding ecosystem can support this water consumption, we definitely love organic cotton as a cotton alternative.
As an alternative to conventional cotton, organic cotton can almost match the yield of conventional cotton with "good management practices", this is great news as many sustainable alternatives tend to be less accepted as the industry values time and cost highly.
Cotton is a very strong fibre and is create for dyeing, printing and doing pretty much anything to! it is very soft, breathe-able and absorbent. after time cotton does tend to pill (those little balls on fabric), which can be very annoying, but with proper care and maintenance can be avoided.
Cotton has many benefits — comfort, durability, affordability — yet the environmental impact of conventional cotton is staggering. Conventional cotton growth releases more toxins into our oceans than any other crop. It’s for these reasons that choosing organic cotton makes sense. Grown without the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides, our organic cotton keeps our oceans clean, eliminates the allergens found in conventionally grown cotton, and provides our consumers with not only soft and high quality fabric but peace of mind when it comes to their environmental footprint.
Organic Cotton in Short...
- doesn't use pesticides that harm the environment
- uses lots of water and land to grow
- great for print/dye
- strong fibre
- great when used alongside other fibres
Breathable fabric,The cracks distributed on the surface of hemp fiber are connected with small holes, which makes it excellent in moisture absorption and sweat discharge. It is estimated that wearing hemp fabric, compared with cotton fabric, can reduce the body temperature by about 5 ℃.
Antibacterial mould suppression, Hemp fiber is hollow, usually rich in oxygen, so that anaerobic bacteria can not survive. According to the analysis and determination of high frequency plasma emission spectrometer, the hemp fiber also contains phenolic substances, which can resist a variety of microorganisms and damage the formation of mold microorganisms. Therefore, hemp fiber has excellent anti-mildew and bacteriostatic effect.
Antistatic, The molecular structure of hemp fiber is stable and the capacity of generating static electricity is very low. Therefore, the hemp textile will not cause discharge, dust adsorption and pilling due to the clothing swing friction.
The transparency of our fabric printing is one area of our business we are working to improve.
Our fabric is all printed digitally which means there is no runoff as is standard for fabric dyeing. Often this dye pollutes waterways and affects ecosystems negatively.
all our inks are OEKO-TEX100 certified which means they don't contain any chemicals that will harm the planet or people who use them. The way we colour our fabric is a bit different to normal, we use digital printing for all our fabrics. Usually natural fabrics will be dyed which results in lots of wasted dye and runoff which can damage the local ecosystem and rivers. With digital printing there is no runoff and 0 waste!
We are so proud that our local manufacturer is Ethical Clothing Australia Accredited.
The accreditation is a voluntary program designed to help businesses that are manufacturing their textiles, clothing and/or footwear in Australia navigate their legal obligations. It does so by mapping local supply chains and verifying that all workers are receiving their legal entitlements.
The objectives of this Agreement include:
• To end exploitation of workers and homeworkers in the textile, clothing and footwear industry
• To enable workers and homeworkers to clearly understand their employment entitlements
• To ensure workers and homeworkers receive their appropriate award entitlements and legislative protection
• To establish a system of accreditation for Manufacturers who comply with this Agreement,
• To educate workers, manufacturers, contractors, fashion labels and the wider community about the purposes and operation of this Agreement
• To assist homeworkers by supporting, consistent with this Agreement, community and industry education securing compliance with this Agreement and promoting its purpose. ECA® Code of Practice, incorporating Homeworkers – Manufacturers Agreement Page 5
• To facilitate for an accredited business, a transparent, ethical and more sustainable supply chain
• To provide a mechanism to an accredited business to achieve, and ensure ongoing compliance with the TCF Award and relevant legislation
• To provide opportunities to accredited business, to promote their products as ethically produced, Australian products and enabling them through a licence agreement to use Ethical Clothing Australia’s trade marks.
did you know?? Our clothes are hand made right here in Adelaide! We work with a team of super talented machinists and design technicians who make sure our pieces fit comfortably and move with your body. The business we work with is female owned and operated and we are so proud to have them as part of our community! They have been operational for over 25 years and we are so lucky have such a wealth of knowledge right at our door.
We are devoted to being Australian made, partially due to the international nature of the garment industry-- requiring an excess of transporting overseas. Manufacturing within our own state means we can provide you with a more transparent manufacturing process and have a huge amount of interaction with our makers.
All our packaging is compostable or re-useable. Everything. Full Stop.
We choose The Better Packaging co products to safely ship your products to you. They have been our favourite zero waste packaging brand from the get go. and they are constantly innovating to bring more compostable and re-useable products to the market. How quickly they biodegrade depends on the conditions they’re in. In a ‘standard’ home compost, the compostable courier satchels have been certified (AS5810 -2010) to biodegrade within 180 days, i.e.. approx 6 months. Under commercial composting conditions, it would happen much faster, and as litter (e.g. under a tree) it would happen slower, but it will happen. The Australian Standard is one of the most rigorous in the world and includes a worm toxicity test which means that our comPOST Packs are safe to be eaten by the little, pink wriggly guys.
Labels will stick to them no problem, and they’re waterproof and strong. The satchels are made from plants, corn to be exact, with a man-made binding agent added for flexibility.
When your product arrives all you do is remove your new threads and their wash bag (more on this later!), and put everything that remains in your green bin or local industrial composting service.
No messing around taking off the shipping labels, because even they are compostable!
The home compostable certification for the shipping labels is pending, but imminent!
We use a Direct Thermal label printer to print your shipping details on the labels, which means there is no ink cartridge to worry about!
We provide each order with re-useable wash or produce bags. This is to encourage Zero waste washing, as well as washing in a way that will elongate the life of your products.
We send each order with a compostable thankyou postcard. This postcard is a way for us to have a direct contact with all you guys and say a huge thanks for supporting our small business. The postcards are made from 100% recycled (post-industrial waste) paper, inlaid with salad seeds, and hand-made in Sydney, Australia.
We use Sendle for all our orders. Sendle use a network of couriers to deliver your parcels, while tracking them the whole way. We love them because they offset all the carbon emissions created by sending our parcels.
The logistics involved in online shopping generate a huge amount of CO2 - over 10% of global CO2e emissions are from transport and logistics.
Being carbon neutral means that your net release of CO2e into the atmosphere is zero.
Basically, whatever CO2e you emit is cancelled out by a process known as 'offsetting' – that is, supporting projects that reduce emissions, like regenerating precious forest, replacing old equipment with more efficient technology, or even training communities in beekeeping!
Keep an eye out for the option to also offset the carbon created by your purchase (mostly electricity to run machines etc) at the checkout.
The devil is in the detail when it comes to being a true transparently sustainable business. You have our promise that we have put in countless hours of research and sourcing to bring you a product that is as sustainable as we possibly can. To reduce the amount of packaging we create, we choose not to use swing tags and instead print all necessary information on the inside of the garment.
Our labels are printed about 2km away from our CMT manufacturer. We work with allergies printing, a small South Australian business. Liam has been printing for years and prides himself on attention to detail and consistency. Liam runs a sustainable studio, choosing to use Permaset water-based inks for all his printing (Read more about them below) He also makes sure all leftover ink is re-used so only remnants are washed away.
Usually direct to garment labels are heat transferred, which requires a plastic backing and can wear off over time. our labels are all hand screen printed with permaset water based inks. the ink is applied directly to the fabric and adheres deep in the fibre which means a long, strong life. With screen printing there is always a little ink leftover, yet as we are using eco friendly inks it does not require a solvent to be dissolved and can safely be washed down the drain. Colormaker’s PERMATONE® textile screen printing inks are Approved by the Soil Association in the UK under the Global Organic Textiles Standards (GOTS) for use in Organic Textile processes. PERMATONE® inks have also passed the Oekotex Class 1 standard (with 60% to spare) and are safe to use on underwear, swimwear and even baby clothes.
OUR WATER BASED INKS DO NOT CONTAIN TOXIC CHEMICALS
Most commercial screen printers print garments using plastisol inks, which are easy to use and last well. However, plastisol inks contain PVC and phthalates that are harmful to the environment and have been linked to numerous medical disorders. Plastisol inks also require the use of harmful solvents in the cleaning process. Water based inks do not contain PVC or phthalates and you don’t need solvents to clean the screens down after they’ve been used – you can clean them with water.
We have eliminated plastic beads from our paint manufacture to ensure these particles don’t make their way into the ocean to endanger fish and other precious sea-life. Clouds of discarded microbeads make up a toxic debris that settles on river and ocean floors. Marine worms ingest these toxins and then, when they’re eaten by fish or other predators, the fish gobble up microbead poisons along with the worms. Then if people then eat those poisoned fish, they’re at serious risk of falling ill from the toxic residue too.
100% RENEWABLE ENERGY: SOLAR POWER
Colormaker is committed to continually improving performance in this area and has recently installed Solar Power on our factory, warehouse and office complex roofs. These solar panels will generate enough energy to power our manufacturing, and at peak times we will exporting enough clean energy back into the grid to power 15-20 homes. Furthermore, the electricity Colormaker Industries produces will save the production of over 100 tonnes of greenhouse gas per year.
Solomon Street products are crafted to last. We use high quality fabrics, but if you have a 'whoops' moment and your product needs a fix, we offer repairs and adjustments. We quote repairs and adjustments on a case by case basis, but offer this service to keep your clothes going for longer, not to make money. A small moth hole will require a fee of around $10 (excluding postage) However, when your piece comes to the end of its useable life (nothing lasts forever, except plastic…yuck!) there are so many options for recycling the fabric to keep it out of landfill!
If you are familiar with a needle and thread, why not give mending a go! A practice that has largely fallen out of trend, is a great way to make clothes last longer!
My personal favourite is Visible Mending. Embroidering over small moth holes with moth portraits or why not experiment with a cute little flower, or even a piece of fruit!
Any Solomon Street clothing, no matter the place of purchase can be returned to us for end of life service. We separate the material from the natural rubber elastic pass it forward to the relevant recycling groups.
Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject 'take back'
We collect our fabric offcuts and make them into scrap scrunchies and headbands.
Some fabric scraps are too small to make into more products, but are still such a valuable resource. We donate our tiny scraps to SCR group who use them to make rags and biofuels. 15% of what SCR group collect is recycled into rags and 15% is converted into biofuels.
Not sure what to do with your old clothes? we love the idea of op shops, for re-homing unwanted clothes, and finding bargains on a budget! however as the saying goes, 'only donate what you would give to a friend' and who would want to give their friends holey teeshirts?! We always get a bit stuck when it comes to pieces that have passed their useable life, and thats where @SCRgroup steps in. 100% of what SCR collect from the 1,500 clothing drop-off hubs visited by over 2 million Australians around the country, is diverted from landfill. What can’t be reused, is either turned into rags or converted into an alternate fuel called biofuel. SCRgroup is also researching fibre to fibre recycling options through their global partnerships to offer to their clients and to contribute to an evolving circular economy in Australia. head to an SCR group recycling hub to drop off your used clothes, or contact us and we’ll send you a shipping label to post your un-donatable clothing and textiles to us. (there is a service charge of $10/kg)
100% of what SCRgroup collect from the 1,500 clothing drop-off hubs visited by over 2 million Australians around the country, is diverted from landfill. What can’t be reused, is either turned into rags or converted into an alternate fuel called biofuel. SCRgroup is also researching fibre to fibre recycling options through their global partnerships to offer to their clients and to contribute to an evolving circular economy in Australia. 70% of what they collect is rehomed in local and global communities 15% is recycled into rags 15% is converted into biofuels.
We believe that our clothes are for anyone who wants to wear them and anywhere you see them classified as ‘women’s’ clothing is out of necessity for classification. Our styles are designed to fit a diverse variety of body shapes.
We offer Australian Standard Sizes 6-16. We have a bone to pick with Women’s clothing sizes, they’re never the same!! We have worked hard to make our sizes ‘true’ to size but are always refining our fit to make sure they fit you like a glove. In our ideal world we would offer sizes 4-20, but the restraints of being a small self -funded business come into play when more money is required to stock more sizes. As we grow we plan to expand our sizing bracket. If you don’t see your size listed but would love to purchase something, please let us know via email as this helps us gain an understanding of what our size bracket needs to be.
We aim to use our platform as a white-cis-able owned business to amplify the voices of those in a less privileged position than us, and broadcast a diverse Idea of who ‘Solomon Street’ stands for. Please, if you represent a minority and would like to work together to work towards a more diverse representation then please (please) reach out to use via email@example.com, we would love to involve you.