Transparency in the fashion industry is something that we should all be aware of and strive to move towards. With the many environmental and ethical challenges that face the industry, it's important that both brands and manufacturers alike make an effort to be as transparent as possible with their customers.
Being transparent as a fashion brand is important because it creates trust between consumer and company, and allows customers to feel more engaged with the brand. At THE-CØDED, we believe that being transparent about where our clothes come from, how they're made, and who makes them, allows our customers to make more ethical and sustainable choices when shopping online.
So what do we mean when we talk about transparent fashion, and how can fashion brands adopt a transparent business model for success?
What is transparent fashion?
You may have heard of the term 'transparency' before, whether it was from a THE-CØDED blog post or through a Transparency Index Score report. But when we talk about transparent fashion, we don't mean see-through dresses and shirts!
No, transparency in fashion is about being open with your customers, letting them know exactly how your products are made, where they come from, and the impact they have on the environment and the people who make them.
Here at THE-CØDED, it’s easy to find out our stance on sustainable clothing and where our clothes are made. We believe in transparency and working towards giving back to the communities where our factory partner are located.
How can shopping brands be transparent?
To be transparent, fashion brands should be clear with their customers about the following:
Their supply chain
Being transparent about your supply chain includes being open about who makes your clothes and what materials you're using to manufacture them. There's a growing community of eco-conscious shoppers who want to know exactly where their clothes come from and the impact they can have on the environment. By providing your customers with this information, you can help them make more informed decisions about their shopping habits, building trust between them and your brand.
At THE-CØDED, we've built strong relationships with all of our manufacturers, allowing them to connect directly to their customers who buy their products and designs. As a result, we've created a community and supply chain that is truly transparent.
The policies they have in place
This is definitely an area that the whole fashion industry needs to improve in. Many fashion companies still struggle to be more transparent about their policies, with many practises of fashion brands remaining concealed - especially when it comes to disclosing information on workers in the supply chain and on the environment.
When it comes to transparent fashion platforms, start by being honest about your brand's policies, which can include things such as your environmental stance and the amount your factory partners pay their workers, suppliers and partners. Here at THE-CØDED, all of our factory partners’ workers are paid a fair, living wage for producing the clothing you see on our website. We also believe in quality over quantity, encouraging all of our customers to make more sustainable choices when it comes to shopping.
Working with factories they can trust
Having credible partners with strong CSR (corporate social responsibility) commitments makes it easy to be transparent as a company. Working with like-minded manufacturers and suppliers, who have the same stance on things like ethical practises and sustainability, is important if you want to make a real positive impact on the fashion industry.
Here at THE-CØDED, we only partner with manufacturers who have ethical practises at the forefront of their work. This can be seen in the very concept of our business through the cøde system we have with all of our factories. Many of them support local communities and charities, and/or instil policies that are focused on protecting the environment. Take 010 for example, who are working with local firefighters in their area to help supply first aid within their community!
The transparent manner in which all of our manufacturers operate has seen these relationships flourish, whilst also enabling us to showcase the process of where our clothes are coming from.
Transparent fashion by THE-CØDED
Learn more about our brand's transparency, including the factories we work with, and join us on our journey for ethical and sustainable fashion. Shop our ethically-made womenswear and menswear collections for pieces you will wear over and over again.
As a transparent shopping platform, we can also connect you as a fashion brand to our supply chain. Get in touch for more information.
Be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the latest news and updates.
Although our mission is to produce ethical fashion garments that can be worn all year round, there are some statement wardrobe staples that are best worn in the colder seasons, and we have all the newest autumn/winter trends of 2021 right here.
Top trends for autumn and winter 2021/22
For decades, this effortlessly sleek style essential has been used to enhance an entire outfit. Layering has been used for years by men and women with a wide range of style preferences included. Although it's a tried-and-tested solution to wardrobe dilemmas, there are some things to bear in mind when it comes to layering.
Avoid too many layers - while it may feel cold outside, you’re likely to experience huge changes in temperature when moving from the outdoors in, so bear this in mind when selecting your layering choices.
The beautiful thing about layering is that it allows you to play around with colours a lot. We’d recommend sticking to neutral or block colours for this trend, as they’re a lot easier on the eye and won’t clash. Our 006 collection has the trendiest of garments to experiment and have fun with layering, from knitted vests to camis that are set to be the ultimate go-to autumn outfit of 2021.
Shackets and overshirts
This season, it's time to welcome the shacket into your wardrobe. A shacket (or overshirt), for those unfamiliar with the name, is a slightly oversized shirt-jacket combination that's now trending all over the fashion scene. Our distinctive wool blend and leather shackets are thicker than a regular shirt but lighter than a heavy winter coat, allowing you to wear them over a turtleneck in autumn, and beneath a coat in the colder winter months. When spring approaches, you can easily slip it on top of an oversized tee. It’s versatile and trendy.
That’s right, leather jackets are here to stay! A leather jacket is a true wardrobe staple. It adds the perfect finishing touch to any look. They’re easily adaptable and appropriate for every season, whether it is a bomber jacket or a blazer. In the winter, layer a leather jacket over a sweatshirt for a cosier outfit choice.
If you’re opting for a brown leather jacket, we recommend you pair it with contrasting colours like blues, greens, and greys. A monochrome and streamlined outfit is made by mixing camel and neutral tones with a brown leather jacket, great for the workplace or an evening out on the town.
For a little inspiration, browse our brand new collection of ethical leather jackets to complete your autumn/winter wardrobe. With sustainability at the forefront, our factory partner 018 is striving to produce as little waste product as possible. As much waste material as possible from making this range of leather jackets is being reused to make leather wallets and card holders - and we’re really proud of that.
Oversized tees and shirts
You really can’t go wrong with an oversized tee or shirt, whatever the season. The clothes that you can pull on at the drop of a hat are always the ones that earn their place in your wardrobe, and an oversized shirt is no exception.
Choose a large tee in a neutral, go-with-everything colour like white or pale blue to maximise your cost-per-wear, like our women’s kimono tee by 020. These neutral tones can then be simply interchangeable in your wardrobe, tucked into your favourite jeans and layered openly over your favourite dresses.
Ethically made fashion that lasts a lifetime
We’re here for you this season with our autumn/winter clothing cøllections. All of the products on our website are ethically made and designer-quality. We also work closely with our manufacturing partners to ensure they are using sustainable materials where possible.
What do we mean by ethically made?
We only work with manufacturers who have ethical practices at the forefront of their business. We’re also keeping it transparent about who made your clothes. The factories we work with are defined by a simple cøde. From this cøde, you can discover where in the world your clothes are made - and by whom. It really is that simple. Find out more about our story and how it works behind the scenes.
The future of fashion is evolving and asking where our clothes are made just isn’t enough to determine whether a garment is ‘ethical’. The global pandemic has prompted people around the world to evaluate their buying habits and the mechanisms that the fashion industry has constructed. It can be difficult to factor in workers rights, environmental practices, and COVID-19 safety regulations.
To help you feel more in control and make a real difference through your buying habits, we’ve put together a few things you should look out for when trying to shop ethically online.
Do your research
Finding out what clothing brands actually stand for and having clear brand values is the first step to shopping ethically. Choose issues that you personally care about, and that way you’ll feel good about shopping with a brand that holds the same values as you. If you care about fair wages for workers or plastic pollution, for example, you could contact the brand directly and challenge them if they haven’t made it clear on where they stand on the issue.
At THE-CØDED, we have a clear set of values when it comes to shopping ethically online. We work closely with manufacturing partners who ensure that their workers receive a fair living wage. We believe that this is the new way. Whatever the conditions, our objective is to ensure a long-term, fairer, and more sustainable future for fashion manufacturers and their great people worldwide.
Buy directly from manufacturers
When you buy directly from the manufacturer, you can be confident they’re receiving a fair share of the profits. However, it’s not always easy to buy stylish fashion straight from the manufacturer these days.
At THE-CØDED, we’re here to change that. By shaking things up a little, for the first time ever, manufacturers can offer their own garments and designs directly to the customer on our website. Anyone, anywhere can also find out exactly where their clothes have come from, and who has made them.
Our aim is to offer a completely transparent shopping experience. Just look out for manufacturer cødes and bios next to every product and collection on our website.
Purchase clothes that are made to last
Invest in pieces that will stay in your wardrobe forever, not just a season. If you only buy clothes when they are really necessary and spend your money on higher-quality products, you can reduce your carbon footprint, stretch your budget, and support the causes you care about.
We all need new clothes from time to time. If you do, make sure that what you purchase is long-lasting and made from environmentally-friendly materials wherever possible. Polyester has nearly twice the carbon footprint of cotton, so buy natural and organic when you can. We encourage our factory partners to try to use natural materials as much as possible in the ethical clothing lines they produce.
Shop ethically online with THE-CØDED
Read more about THE-CØDED’s story and why our innovative new way of online shopping is the right step into a more ethical fashion future. You can find out how our factories work and, if you’re a manufacturer interested in working with us, we’d love to hear from you. No labels, just a cøde and a unique story behind each piece.
High street fashion has reached a fork in the road. The downward spiral for high-street retailers has led to a number of once-dominant companies falling into liquidation, and consumers are happy to resort to online shopping to fulfil their wardrobe demands, particularly following the struggles of lockdown in March 2020.
With the continued rise in internet shopping, it’s clear that fast fashion brands like Missguided, PrettyLittleThing and ASOS are still seeing stock flying off their “shelves”. In 2020, Channel 4 gave us an insight into the inner workings of fast-fashion with the documentary; Inside Missguided: Made in Manchester. They boast about being ‘rapid fashion’, as opposed to ‘fast fashion’ and can sometimes be seen to produce up to 1000 new products each week.
What is fast fashion?
Years ago, fashion trends were a lot simpler. Manifesting themselves as four trends per year, based on the seasons. In the late 1990s and 2000s, low-cost fashion reached its peak; nowadays, trends are almost as throwaway as the items of clothing that encompass them, introducing sometimes more than two or three in a single month.
Fast fashion is the concept of following trends that are often created based on the fashion choices of celebrities, Instagram influencers, and the like. Typical fast fashion brands work to beat their competitors to re-brand, and redesign these styles - creating something affordable for the clothing market. In our fast-paced and throwaway society, fast fashion has an enormous negative environmental footprint. Fast fashion also has severe negative social impacts on the garment workers who make these clothes. In recent years, both individuals and companies have started looking to create better and more sustainable and ethical alternatives to fast fashion.
Fast fashion vs ethical fashion
Clothing manufacturing can consume a lot of energy and resources, and it often relies on harmful fabric dyes and other chemicals that, when untreated, can pollute fresh water. Now, imagine this in a fast, and large-scale production.
Unfortunately, many of the negative consequences of the fast fashion industry are not directly felt in the Western world and by consumers who buy these clothes. But if we examine the chain of this industry a little more closely, the real damage soon becomes evident. Often, hardly worn and unwanted clothing ends up in third world countries; the Kantamanto market in Ghana is a prime example of this type of importing from the UK. The market is a second-hand hub for disused clothing and western cast-offs. Whilst you could argue that this has the positive impact of creating thousands of jobs, there is no guarantee of a profit and many of the workers suffer permanent injury from this laborious and often dangerous work.
Another downside is that a large majority of the clothing imported is unwearable, and ends up in landfill, strewn across beaches and nestled within slums - polluting the oceans and being burnt, releasing toxins into the atmosphere. Accra, in Ghana reports 160 tonnes of waste fabric being disposed of every single day, on top of this, synthetic textiles can take hundreds of years to decompose.
The responsibility lies not only within the fashion brands (which typically overproduce by 40%) but also with us as responsible and caring individuals. It helps to not only be more conscientious when choosing the clothes that we are buying, but also, the quality of the items we are donating.
With this in mind, in July 2021, Primark reported that Q3 sales were up 207% year-on-year. Which begs the question whether the majority of society would even consider dropping fast fashion? It’s affordable, convenient and, with the right market research, on-trend. Like most crises’, we are depending on a wholesale system change, and not solely on individual change.
What’s the future looking like for fast fashion?
As awareness builds around the toxicity of the fast fashion industry, there are a number of brands promoting sustainable resources and more ethical means of production. Online selling sites such as Depop and Vinted have become all the rage in recent years, seeing people opt for secondhand clothing from individual sellers, as an alternative to buying new garments from larger fashion brands.
Although it is impossible to predict how fast fashion will evolve in the future, sales in high street stores have surged since their reopening.
Surprisingly, online shopping can often be more sustainable than getting your garments in bricks and mortar stores, and brands like THE-CØDED are promoting an online ethical fashion platform, allowing buyers to see exactly, how and where their clothes are made, and by whom. We work closely with factories, to promote sustainability, transparency and ethical production and consumption.
Supporting factories with THE-CØDED
At THE-CØDED, we only work with quality manufacturers who have ethical practices at the heart of their business. This means that when customers shop at the-coded.com, they can be confident that the clothing they are buying is made to last for years to come. Where possible, we encourage our partners to use natural materials in the clothing they produce - such as wool, cotton and leather.
We have worked with and created partnerships with skilled manufacturers all around the world over the years, many of whom produce garments and accessories for international brands and retailers. Our vision ensures that manufacturers receive a fair share of the profits, whilst promoting livable working conditions, fair wages and tackling the current stigma surrounding the fast fashion industry. You can find out more about our partners here.
Work with us and join the ethical fashion revolution. Contact us through our online form for any other queries.
We invite you to read our story and learn what we want to do, and why we want to do it. We hope you’ll be joining us on our journey.
The modern consumer is becoming increasingly aware of where their fashion is coming from and the effects this may have on local communities, families and the environment. Manufacturing fashion garments in certain parts of the world is often more affordable, but with this comes poorer working conditions for many workers, which also has an effect on their local community.
The process of garment manufacturing differs from country to country. When it comes to preserving human rights, some countries are not as good as others. Indonesia, for example, has a number of distinct advantages over other garment-producing countries. Their working conditions are better than most, their hours are appropriate, and they have the opportunity to spend time with their families at night.
Sometimes, producing garments locally just isn’t an option. It could be that resources are unavailable in your home country, perhaps due to the high expense of labour or the increasing cost of importing raw materials. In certain circumstances, it may be more environmentally friendly to manufacture items offshore. The cost of labour in Europe and other developed continents is generally too expensive for most fashion brands to make profit, which is why overseas production is usually the only option. However, it is possible to work with overseas manufacturers and pay them a fair wage.
The ethics of overseas garment manufacturing is complicated, as many consumers have a misconception that all manufacturers are operating ‘sweatshop’ conditions. While it’s important to be educated about where your clothes are made, we at THE-CØDED know first hand that many overseas manufacturers offer only the highest-quality working conditions for their employees. Choosing the right manufacturer is key.
Many factory workers will all come from the same communities and villages. Garment work is predominantly done by women who travel to and from work together, they usually work between 8-12 hour shifts and use their wages to purchase food for evening meals on their way home. Many follow a strict religious routine and will go to a place of worship before and after work, making their days extremely long. Workers use their water breaks and lunch breaks to catch up with friends and family and have a well earned rest, but this isn’t always the case in every factory.
What THE-CØDED will do for factories
At THE-CØDED, we put our factories first, and our people at the forefront of our mission. We value our garment manufacturer partners above anything else, and our ethical fashion movement strives to bring their carefully crafted goods straight to the consumer. Factory workers get a fair price for their garments, and can be proud of the unique pieces of clothing they are producing. Factories won’t be working for us, they’ll be working with us.
If you’re passionate about our cause, you can read more about how our factories work and the story behind where THE-CØDED began. You can also sign up to our newsletter for exclusive product drops, news and more.
Consumers are becoming more aware of where their fashion comes from and the conditions that the goods they buy are manufactured under. We are striving for a more positive future in the fashion industry and to leave the past behind us. We believe it’s time for this to change, and time to support our factories and the people who work there.
How working conditions in the fashion industry affect factory workers
Factory workers’ rights are often extremely limited or even non-existent, which can be deemed acceptable by some fashion company leaders. We want change. We want transparency. We commit to supporting these factories, but we need customers to push for change too.
Factories often don’t receive their fair share of the profits made from the sale of the garments they produce, which impacts overall working conditions. Without their fair share of the profits, factories and the communities they are part of find it difficult to improve their living standards and working conditions.
Health and safety conditions
In textile production sites, some employees are subjected to dangerous working conditions that can have a serious impact on their health. Employees often work in dangerous structures with little ventilation, breathing in harmful compounds and inhaling fibre dust or blasting sand.
Garment workers are frequently required to work long hours to satisfy deadlines required by fashion brand's. Their basic pay is often so low that they are unable to refuse overtime, which isn't always guaranteed. With more time spent at work, these people have less time with their families, and these communities as a whole are in need of support.
Child labour is particularly frequent in the fashion industry. In India, for example, 250,000 young girls are employed under the Sumangali scheme, which sends young girls from low-income families to work in a textile factory for three or five years in exchange for a minimal wage and an allowance. This has been frequently broadcast in the media, but the trend only seems to grow year on year, which is why THE CØDED is joining the ethical fashion movement to contribute to improving these important issues.
Low wages in the fashion industry
Many brands do not pay enough to factories to cover the minimum legal wage for their workers. The minimum pay in most manufacturing countries (China, Bangladesh, India, etc.) is half to a fifth of the living wage. A liveable wage is the bare minimum required by a family to meet its fundamental necessities (food, rent, healthcare, education.) It is part of our mission to ensure that factories receive an equitable share of the profits made from their clothing collections and pave the way towards a more ethical and transparent future.
THE-CØDED is acting now
We invite you, the modern consumer, to join us on our journey of ethical fashion revolution. Where possible, our collections will be organic, recyclable and made from stock materials. Unique pieces deserve to be celebrated, and we therefore celebrate the designers and factory workers by paying them a fair wage. Our fashion is not throwaway, and it should be worn for decades to come. Ethical fashion doesn’t have to be a chore. Small and simple changes can help to change the industry standards.
If you can’t see yourself wearing an item of clothing more than 30 times, don’t buy it.
Investigate the brands you usually buy from, and consider if they are being transparent. Contact them and let them know what you expect as a conscious consumer. Invest in trans-seasonal clothing, and wear your items all year round. A changed mindset is a changed fashion industry.
Ready to join the revolution? Read our story and find out what we’re doing to support our factories. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter for regular updates and exclusive offers.