Ethical Consumer Magazine: UK Ethical Fashion Guide 2014

29 Apr 2014
Sustainability | Made In the UK | Organic Cotton | In The Media

We have been featured in the latest copy of the Ethical Consumer Magazine tables of ethical underwear and ethical / althernative clothes shops guide.  We scored a very respectible 14.5 / 20!    

Having only established our fledgling brand a little over 2 years ago we are very proud that we have been placed above the 'big boys' in the tables with our overall score.  We were assessed in various catagories including:

  • Impact on the environment
  • Impact on animals
  • Impact on people 
  • Political Activitiy
  • Company ethos and 
  • Product sustainability.

 

When we established Cock & Bull Menswear we were very clear that we wanted to work to the highest standards of ethics and responsibility so the Ethical Consumer Magazine results have served as a snap-shot of where we are as well as the work that we have to do to raise our standards even higher.  

Impact on the Environment

As a micro company our everyday challenge is how we prioritise the 101 things that must be done everyday in order to deliver on our promise to our customers as well as continue to promote our products.  We also want to find a way to increase the transparency of what we do.  For example, we would love to have our organic cotton shirts, boxer briefs, T-shirts or scarves all certified organic, and we have used plant based dyes and low impact dying and printing, however, while the fabrics are certified organic the small and medium sized factories that we work with (to produce our limited edition ranges) are not certified organic as they continue to work with fabrics for other clients which do not work with certified textiles.  This results in us being unable to have a certified organic label for our clothing.  It is a compromise that we have until now been willing to make. Part of our sustainability ethos is the committment to producing within the UK, thereby supporting the traditional manufacturing base that has for generations been the back-bone of the British economy.  Producing locally also reduces our carbon footprint.   

Impact on Animals

We took a no leather stance since day one of Cock & Bull Menswear and we followthrough on this policy with the accessories that we have currated for our Cock & Bull & Co. Boutique.  We have this year sourced a producer of marino wool who does not involve the use of mulesing.  In addition, this year we have made it our highest priority to source an strong and sustainable alternative to the hemp/silk blend of lining that we have been using to line our caps and as a trimming for our waistcoats and jeans.  

Impact on People 

Our ethos for working with people is simple:  treat others as you would like to be treated.  While the ethos around people in organisations can become very complex and bound in politics and semantics, at Cock & Bull Menswear we strive to treat all those who we come into contact with respectfully regardless of sex, gender, race, religion, political persuasion or lifestyle choice.  We try to creat a working environment that is enjoyable and relaxed where people feel that they are making a contribution and feeling valued. 

Knowing that no one has been exploited during the production of a garment is one of the reasons we started Cock & Bull Menswear.  We feel strongly that in 2014 no-one should be put into danger during the making of a garment.  Nor should basic workers rights (which we take for granted in the West) be ignored.  Workers are entitled to a working week of less than 55 hours; proper rest periods; paid overtime and holidays; safe working conditions in sound structures.  They should not be subject to poisonous chemicals during the planting, cultivation, harvesting, processing, colouring or finishing of fabrics and goods.  They should not be forced labour practices such as that currently taking place in the Uzbekistan cotton industry.  See www.cottoncampaign.org for more details. It is important to us that our consciounces are clear and that we are able to sleep at night knowing that we are part of a growing band of brands who want to provide a solution to the attrocities taking place in the fast fashion industires across the globe.

We are also committed to supporting local manufacturing so that people in the UK who want to work in manufacturing are able to do so.

We would like to thank the entire team at Ethical Consumer Magaine for producing such an indepth survey and for taking a closer look at the Cock & Bull Menswear range.

 

Sustainable Menswear Brand Updates The Classic British Flat Cap

24 Apr 2013
In The Media

The quintessential British flat cap has been given a sustainable update by East London label Cock & Bull Menswear. The brand has launched a capsule collection using 10 tweed designs, all hand-woven on a Hattersley loom in the Outer Hebrides and spun from an eco-friendly blend of British Scottish wool.

The eight piece Rambler tweed flat cap was inspired by a decade long love affair with a classic cloth cap. Designer A.A. Lindsay said, “The story of this flat cap began with the hunt for exceptional fabrics for the outer tweed cap and an inner lining that would render our flat cap indestructible. Our journey began in the outer Hebrides islands of Scotland - known worldwide for their excellent production of wools and tweeds, and specifically for the British Isles' most famous heritage textile - Harris Tweed. The story took a surprise turn when we discovered a tweed mill on the Isle of Lewis.

“What we wanted were hand-woven woollen tweeds in arresting patterns and palettes that would seriously blow away any hat lover. And we certainly got that! Technically they cannot carry the Harris 'Orb' trademark, as they use a finer yarn brought from the mainland, however, they are every bit as special as their more famous cousins from the Isles. In fact we say they are much nicer due to their finer touch. To date we have used 10 designs from the range.”

The hats are lined with a luxurious hemp and silk blend, both of which are organically produced. This organic lining is a rich royal purple colour which gives the hat a modern flair. The hemp / silk blend is both beautiful and very durable and makes for incredibly comfortable wear year after year, staying true to the London menswear label’s passion for longevity.  

A number of manufacturing options were considered for the tweed cap, including a foray into Luton, once the millenary capital of the country. With just one specialist producer left, a specialist flat cap artisan team in Yorkshire were eventually discovered. They produce each hat to exacting standards by hand in their studio.

The journey from drawing board to manufacturer took six months, leading to the official launch of the collection this month. The flat caps are available to buy in a choice of grey, brown or multicolour check, purple or blue herringbone, rust, forest green, chocolate, turquoise and petrol. They are priced at £59 and can be custom ordered to size.  

Tweed Run 2013

13 Apr 2013
In The Media

The 5th London Tweed Run took place today in celebration of the very British love of tweed, cycling, dressing up and having a jolly knees up.

The famed london rain held off for the most part and this year's cycle ride was attended by around 500 cyclists and supporters.  The Tweed Run has grown to become an international phenomenon with rides now taking place in St Petersburg, Tokyo and New York.

Having suffered a decline over the last 2 decades, the popularity of tweed has been on the increase over recent years, being claimed by urbanites who now see the very versabile textile as a distinctive and fun way to update and personalise their outfits and wardrobes.

Cock & Bull's Tweed Flat Caps and Tweed Waistcoats are available in 10 designs all 100% in the UK and an informative look at how tweed is made can be viewed here.

Free delivery on all UK orders
Free delivery on all UK orders
 
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