me version numbers
One way to measure our progress and to see what we are achieving
is to check each item of clothing for their version numbers.
Each version number has a unique meaning, as outlined below.
Every garment will carry a label verifying the version numbers
V1: Fair Child
Under the guidance of our ethical advisor Aisha and Claire
Lissaman from Rugmark (www.rugmark.org.uk),
we are working to explore this complex issue. We have developed
this base criterion:
- The company does not engage in or support exploitative
- Child being anyone less than 14 years of age with the
exception of countries that engage in 'lightwork' for young
workers and children that are allowed to by law.
- To see the actual terms click through to our code
V2: No Forced Labour
The company does not engage in or support the use of forced
Employees are not required to lodge deposits or identity papers
upon commencement of employment and all are free to leave
the company following an agreed term of notice.
To see the actual terms click through to our code
V3: Health And
We worked with the ETI and SA 8000 guidelines to cover as
many aspects of Health and Safety as possible.
To see the actual terms click through to our code
V4: Organic Fabrics
Modern farming methods with its emphasis on harsh chemicals
and pesticides have created ecological problems. Organic farming
addresses this issue by using crop rotation, natural fertilizers
and pesticides for pest or weed problems. Not only is this
beneficial for the environment, it helps people too, as these
chemicals can cause skin allergies.
Cotton is one of the most important crops grown. Cultivating
cotton can be very destructive to the environment as a result
of the strong chemical pesticides used. This leads to soil
pollution and the destruction of the natural environment.
Organic cotton is grown without the use of artificial pesticides
/ fertilizers. This makes the cotton more expensive to produce
but in the longer run creates a more sustainable environment.
This is the highest standard of organic certification in Europe.
KBA translates as "controls biological cultivation"
referring to biologically cultivated or organic cotton. The
cotton is more expensive as it is picked by hand and not with
the machine. This is very labour intensive, since all cotton
caps do not mature at the same time. Skal, an international
organization for organic quality criteria, usually monitors
Our organic fabrics are certified through one or more of the
- Skal, an international auditing and certification agency
for organic products (EKO trademark)
- EMAS has created an environmental management system and
statement, which are verified by an independent third party.
- International Association of Natural Textile Industry
(IVN), which accords to our suppliers the right to process
and market eco-textiles according to their guidelines.
- The Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative (T.O.C.M.C.),
which has created an organic cotton certification program.
V5: Environmentally Friendly
The production of a garment involves a series of actions
from cultivating the crop to dyeing / manufacturing the fabric
to transporting it to the shops. Ideally we would like to
produce a garment that has caused no harm to the environment
in this whole process. At present, this is what we can offer:
Gentle bleaches and dyes are used in these garments. They
are heavy metal and AZO-free and therefore are less toxic
to the environment. Low-impact fiber-reactive dying uses far
less water than conventional dying. This is more environmentally
sound because all dye material is reclaimed and not released
as effluent. If chemicals are used, they are biodegradable.
They are also free of harmful pesticides.
All the yarn is woven in audited / certified factories for
ethical policies. This is equally true for material woven
in Europe, India, Turkey and America. See Certifications
V6: No Discrimination
In The Workforce
The company does not allow behaviour, including gestures,
physical contact, that is sexually coercive, threatening,
abusive or exploitative.
To see the actual terms click
through to our code of conduct.
Of Profits To Charity
ethically me has a number of clothes that are identified
as ‘Charity Programme’ garments. In addition to auditing the
production methods, we donate 5% of the price of the garment
(ex-VAT) to the charities we are working with.
We want to be involved with charities on a project basis
rather than just donating money. Since our first collection
is being produced in the UK, we decided to get involved with
the following charities:
- Design Kids, a mentoring program working with the youth
in Southwark, which will culminate in a fashion show in
early September in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall put on entirely
by children including the clothes, models, music, lighting,
marketing and press (http://www.karrot.org.uk/).
- In East London we are exploring how best to work with
Quaker Social Action, on their Street Cred project. We plan
to put money into the loan scheme for small businesses,
work as mentors and explore using some of the women as suppliers.
- We are in the process of setting up projects with a couple
of charities in India, as a large percentage of material
is produced there.
V8: Reinvestment In The
We believe in engaging in programmes that reinvest in the
communities who have made our clothes. We want to emphasize
Fair Trade, and work with the communities to develop systems
that benefit the community.
Our first project is with Karrot
Kidz and we are exploring other programs in London and
India, which we will keep you informed about. To us, this
is one of the most exciting sides of our business.