Assessing the sustainability of a brand is no mean feat; there are multiple factors to consider. The following are just some of the important questions that need answering: What is the brand's manufacturing process? What fabrics are used and how are these fabrics made? Where are the clothes made? In what working conditions? Who are the workers and are they being fairly paid? Does the brand contribute to the local community? What is its carbon footprint? The list goes on...
Whilst last year Kapara focused on the social enterprise side of the brand, this year we want to go further in developing these community projects whilst at the same time lowering our carbon foot print and moving towards more environmentally friendly processes.
Here is how we propose to do it.
1. Plastic free - It's difficult but not impossible. The main problem at the moment is the protective packaging that gets our garments from India to the U.K. Trial, error and debate.
2. Use of waste products - during production there are wasted fabrics as well as rejected fabrics. With these pieces we plan to work with our Women Empowerment Program to make accessories - stay tuned!
3. Using more eco friendly fabrics - Research, research and more research. We see many new and improved innovations in textile production. The problem of course comes in the price; better produced fabrics carry a higher price tag and we need to consider whetherwill customers be prepared to help bear the brunt in increased costs.
4. Solve the issue of excess stock - a question that every brand should be looking at. Brands obviously don't want to look cheap by putting products at cost price or below but otherwise how do we shift past season's stock
5. Develop community projects - to us the most important part of the business. Create a business that can sustain itself whilst developing projects that help educate and support women and children in India. In particular we want to expand the Empowerment Program to teach more vulnerable women how to sew so they can work and take care of their children.