O U R G A R M E N T S
Sustainability is at the core of Ilk + Ernie. We want our customers to feel good in their items knowing that they are also doing good for the planet.
All our garments are made with surplus fabric and our cut offs are then used to create accessories - eliminating any waste in our production line. This zero waste approach to fashion means you don't have to choose between style and the impact your wardrobe has on our planet.
We are very aware of the overconsumption and excess production issues around the globe at the moment - Zara produce 3 billion garments a year! Therefore at Ilk + Ernie, we only produce two collections a year that are refined to no more than 10-15 styles. It’s important to us that we are’t encouraging bad shopping habits within our community. Instead, we aim to encourage transeasonal styling, through our fun versatile designs. Simply put our garments can be worn all year round, just get creative with your wardrobe!
All our collections are designed in-house at our studio in Brighton by Jess and ethically made by a talented team of men and women in Delhi, India. They receive all of the amazing treatment that a lot of us take for granted: fair wages, holiday pay, health insurance, safe working environments and EU standard working hours (more about that in Ethics!)
F A B R I C
Ilk + Ernie garments are made with surplus fabric - not sure what that is? Let us explain. Larger fashion corporations throw away huge quantities of fabric every season. Surplus fabric is considered dead stock, waste fabric, that if not bought by brands like Ilk + Ernie, would end up in landfill polluting the ground, or incineration polluting the air.
Every season, Jess travels to India and spends weeks trawling markets and warehouses where these fabrics are cast off. We purchase, recycle and re-use these disposed fabrics by taking them off the street and turning them into the clothes you see on our website! This hugely reduces our carbon footprint and helps save thousands of litres of water and greenhouse emissions every year.
We not only want to reduce waste with the fabric we use, but in our factory's supply chain as well. Once a year, left over samples and unused garments from all the brands working with our factory are collected and distributed to the homeless in Delhi.
P A C K A G I N G
It wouldn’t make sense to package sustainable items in plastic which is why… we don’t! Every item you receive comes in fully recycled/recyclable packaging - even the sticky part of our stickers is made from plants!
We not only want to insure plastic is reduced in the orders we send you, but in our bulk shipping from India too. All our stock is shipped in cardboard boxes with one single large sheet of plastic that binds the 20-30 pieces of stock it contains, in order to protect the garments from damp during transit. We believe this is the best way to protect our garments, whilst also insuring each garment is not individually wrapped in plastic - which is a huge issue across many brands, a lot of people don't know this, but even if the plastic used for these polybags is recyclable, it's not actually recycled yet in the UK.
C A R B O N F O O T P R I N T
In a bid to preserve the planet and lower our carbon foot print, we've partnered with One Tribe! For every single purchase you make, we protect 100 square meters of rainforest- take a look here to see how we are doing!
- Deforestation - Tropical deforestation accounts for up to 15% of net global carbon emissions each year- the same as every car, truck, bus, plane, ship AND train on the planet. Safeguarding existing rainforests is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to fight climate change, as every acre safely stores over 100 tonnes of carbon that could otherwise enter the atmosphere as the greenhouse gas CO2.
- Biodiversity - Over 500 species of land mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians face imminent extinction, with fewer than 1000 individuals of these species surviving in the wild. Tropical rainforests cover only 8% of the planet's surface, but support over 50% of the world's species, many of which are critically endangered. The reserves established by One Tribe's conservation partners in the last 30 years have provided safe havens for 296 endangered and vulnerable mammal species, and 456 endangered and vulnerable bird species.
- Indigenous communities - Rainforests are home to thousands of indigenous communities who rely on the forests for their food, water and economic prosperity. Many of these communities and their forests are under threat from illegal logging, mining, oil and gas extraction and agriculture. One Tribe's conservation partners work with trusted local NGOs to protect these forests by having them designated as Community Reserves or National Parks. The conservation partners have also helped indigenous communities in Latin America obtain legal land titling rights to their ancestral lands, which allows the communities to manage their forest resources more sustainably.
C A R E F O R Y O U R I T E M S
Being sustainable isn’t just through the items you buy and what they are made of, but also how you care for them in order to ensure they last as long as possible!
- Wear 3-5 times before washing (if lightly used)
- Wash inside out on a 30 degree cycle
- Do not tumble dry
- Iron on cool
At Ilk + Ernie we pride ourselves on being a slow fashion brand, with this in mind we would like to remind you that all our garments can be worn all year round. Get experimental with styling! For example, try layering our Freya dress with a turtle neck, jumper and some tights when winter comes!