Sustainability, Ethical Labour and Commitment to Community.
Our goal at SophieGrace is to embrace a model of continuous improvement.
Fashion does not have a stellar track record in terms of sustainable or ethical about practices. Our goal is to bring you quality product in a way that considers not only our shareholders but also the environment, our employees, and our community as a whole. Any business has an impact - our goal is to minimize the negative impacts we may have on the environment and maximize the positive impacts we can have on our employees, customers and community.
Let me tell you a little bit about how we are working towards that goal.
The overall concept of SophieGrace is to create a line of classic elegant basics that can move with you throughout your life. They will always mix and match and our consistent colour palette will allow for you easily ad pieces to your collection without having to completely overhaul it every year. We ensure our designs are simple and transitional from year to year and season to season. This is model is a sustainable wardrobe plan that focuses on buying with purpose.
New Manufacturing Facility In Vancouver
First things first, we have been incredibly happy with our working relationship with our Chinese manufacturer. They are a great company that works for a number of incredible brands like Alexander McQueen, ACME, Joie and Equipment. We didn't chose them because they were the cheapest but because of the ease of working with them and their consistent quality.
In October of 2020 we developed a relationship with a manufacturing facility in east Vancouver and this is now where we manufacture over 70% of our products. We have an office on the floor and we do all of our sampling and development here.
Every worker in this facility is paid a fair wage, is on payroll, receives health care, overtime and holiday pay. Our design team works in the same building as the manufacturing group and office is literally right beside the sewing room shown below.
We currently need to manufacture a few more finely tailored items overseas but we are working with our Vancouver team to source some more specialized sewers so that our entire collection will eventually be made in North America.
We placed our first order on a recycled satin cupro fabric from Japan and produced our first eco fabric collection this year. It is a gorgeous soft fabric made from recycled wood pulp. We are looking at all of the fabrics we use at the moment and seeing if there are more sustainable versions available. We are also exploring proprietary fabrics and looking to offer comfort, elegance, ease of care and stretch. We are constantly balancing choices between ease of care and sustainability.
Only Make What We Can Sell
We are also moving towards a process where we manufacture only what we know we can sell. This isn't quite an on demand process but it is one that gives us assurances that we aren't making large investments in products that will go to waste. The way this works is that we make commitments to fabrics and get them dyed to our custom colours. We then store the fabrics in our production facilities and make multiple styles from one fabric. When there is demand for a certain style we can cut and sew into that style to meet the demand. This is why we are updating our website at the moment to include a "Waitlist" option (for when we are waiting on fabric and don't have a firm date for shipping) and a "Pre-Sale" option for when the product is being sewn and we have a clear ship date. We continue to look for ways to improve and to be as transparent as possible in why and how we do things.