To support reforestation in deforestation areas, for every order placed we plant one tree in the Ivy & Rigg Forest. Visit here to find out more.
To help protect local to global wildlife under threat, with every piece of clothing sold we donate to a worthy wildlife conservation causes. Visit here to read more.
We are proud to support a movement away from fast fashion through providing affordable, ethical clothing sourced from around the globe.
Our clothing are produced in a number of premises globally. All of those outside of the UK are certified by internationally renowned bodies ensuring production is responsible, adhering to the highest environmental and social standards from the field to their arrival with us.
The initial dream for Ivy & Rigg was to have everything produced in the United Kingdom. We soon realised we had our heads in the clouds as that reality was a long way off unless we had bottomless pockets! Fast forward months of research leading to dead ends, we expanded our search. My professional career working in sustainable development in emerging and developing countries has exposed me first-hand to the challenges and stigma associated with manufacturing outside of the UK. As we're growing and expanding our understanding, our dream has evolved to supporting any and all establishments promoting environmental advances and innovation, as long as high, moral social standards are met and accounted for as well.
We are proud to be supporting premises across the globe which are powered by renewable energy, encouraging gender equality and promoting fair wages, working conditions and moral standards to those they employ, all audited through certifications. Each standard has stringent requirements and monitoring procedures to ensure only credible garments that meet the strict criteria receive the certifications. Certifications logos are displayed on the individual item pages.
Our initial dream came partly true in Autumn 2020 when we were delighted to partner up with our first British manufacturer with wool jumpers. Our British-made woollies are a true delight in quality, style and supporting British farmers and manufacturers. Coming from a farming family - sheep farmers, this is a very personal mission for us. We are very much excited to see our British manufacturing journey continue!
The size and care labels stitched into every one of our items are organic cotton, produced in premises powered by renewable energy.
Using Recycled Polyester
There are both positives and drawbacks for the use of rPET, there is no getting around the facts. A brief overview:
Polyester is a synthetic fibre and one of the most popular materials in the fashion industry today. In regular form it is itself highly unsustainable, derived from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Recycled polyester comes from finding another purpose for PET that has been used and is referred to as rPET. rPET retains all of the benefits of regular PET whilst also comparatively having a smaller environmental footprint, requiring over 50% less energy to produce.
Now that sounds positive, to give you the full picture here are the limitations that come with rPET.
rPET ultimately still is plastic and depending on the methods to transform it, there is a chance it could shed microplastics. Being a recycled version, the volumes are expected to be lower than regular PET. PET and rPET ultimately have a lifetime and cannot be continually recycled forever. As such, one day it will require disposing of, for which there currently is no widespread method for doing so responsibly. Although comparatively it has a much smaller environmental footprint, there is still an environmental impact associated with the rPET processes, including the release of CO2 and energy input for making it and the array of colouration processes which are required.
Our take –
The rPET used within our items is derived specifically from single-use plastic bottles, which prevents them from ending up in landfill or our oceans – both of which are facing their own crises from pressures of a throw-away society. The lifetime of most items of clothing is significantly longer than the time it takes to drink and empty a plastic bottle. Whilst the quality of clothing is a key factor for the lifetime of individual clothing.
Every one of our items are tried and tested before we take that final step to add them to our collections for one single reason - quality. I come from a family of Northern farmers, who get bored after doing nothing for 10 minutes and need to be on the go the whole time, often found riving on with sheep, playing in sheds or fiddling under a car or tractor…if the clothing gets the thumb up from them after a few weeks of putting them to the test, they get a firm thumb up from me for durability, shape and washing. I say with confidence our clothing is high quality, durable and designed to last for years if looked after properly.
The quality of the fabric is a determining factor in the shedding of microfibres. Research by the University of Plymouth indicated that rPET sheds less and results show that textile design can strongly influence release of microfibres, with woven textiles with a compact structure twisted and composed of continuous filaments, release less microfibres. All of our recycled items are considered to have a tight weave within their textile makeup. Additionally, cooler washes are proven to reduce the release of microfibres. We recommend on our care labels a maximum 40 degrees, with most items recommended 30 degrees purely from an environmental standpoint.
Home Tip! If your washing machine does not have a filter, the use of a Cora Ball is the answer (no ad I promise! This is something I use at home myself to reduce my own impact). This is a laundry ball thrown in with each wash which prevents some microfibre breaking off our clothing and collects that that does so it can be disposed of in the right way.
The environmental footprint of the process to make rPET is something we cannot avoid, otherwise we wouldn’t have the products in the first place. We are working to become carbon neutral through premium carbon projects in an effort to offset the emissions resulting from the process and within our wider company. Watch this space for updates!
We are currently in an era where innovation is booming and plastic pollution is a term heard regularly on news outlets and environmentalists driving must exploration and funding to identify methods to breakdown polyester in all forms responsibly. The lifetime our recycled clothing can reach will hopefully see innovation win on dealing with it's disposal.
So our take is it’s a significant improvement from regular polyester, our recycled items do have a hugely reduce impact on the environment and ultimately do benefit the environment by keeping some plastic bottles out of landfill and our oceans. What cannot be ignored is there remains room for improvement. Research and innovation is leading industry progression based on discovery and continued learning, we hope this will lead to positive change within the lifetime of our clothing.