Where clothes come from, and the imprint they leave on our world, is important to us. We want to start laying out some of the ways we’re making SMR Days better – for the planet, for the people who work with us, and for you. We might not be perfect yet, but we’re already making headway.
Natural fabrics are part of SMR Days’ DNA – we love the feel of cotton and silk, and have always made the majority of our collections from them. When sourced badly, they aren’t always the best for the planet – cotton, for example, uses around 16% of the world’s insecticides, pollutes water and contributes to the production of greenhouse gasses. This is why we source our cotton as locally as possible, and use organic suppliers where we can.
We’re also obsessed with the details – all the way down to the hardware. Buttons might not be the first thing you think of when you think of SMR Days, but you’ll find them on pretty much all of our clothes, so they’re important. Most of our buttons are now made from coconut; the rest are made from mother of pearl, which comes from ethical and audited sources.
India – the home country of one of our founders, Gautam Rajani – has always been at the heart of SMR Days. The majority of our clothing gets produced in factories in the country, and we have worked hard to develop a responsible supply chain which places the safety and welfare of those who work with us at the very centre.
We ensure each one of the factories and artisanal producers we work with provides fair wages, with equal pay to men and women, paid directly into worker’s bank accounts, no forced or child labour, good working conditions – from suitable ventilation and space to general wellbeing – and a commitment to the creation of sustainable livelihoods from our work. We make regular trips to factories ourselves each season to get to know our producers first-hand while ensuring safe and nurturing environments are upheld.
We want the idea of community to be at the heart of everything we do. A lot of this comes down to ethics – if workers are paid fairly and have the security of ongoing work, they are able to better access education, housing and healthcare, for both themselves and their families. But we also want to nurture Indian craft – the type of craft which is passed from generation to generation, in know-how specific to local communities and areas.
We’ve also collaborated with Maison Bengal on a series of hand-woven bags, made from locally sourced jute in Bangladesh, one of the world’s most sustainable natural materials – a partnership which will be ongoing. Maison Bengal was founded in 2004 to help fight poverty in Bangladesh, now working with thousands of women across the country, it ensures fair pay for all their artisans, as well as supporting community-based projects. You can find out more about Maison Bengal and our previous collaboration here.
We’ve been working hard to make sure that our packaging is as sustainable as possible. One of our big commitments is that there is no virgin plastic in any package you will receive from us – all our bags are now made from corn or potato starch, which not only means they are plastic-free, but they are also compostable (the process of composting one of these bags takes 40 days or less). Our tissue paper is made from recycled paper, as are our swing tags.