Sustainable Practices

Zenzero clothing is created using only sustainable, biodegradable, organic, Fair Trade fabrics that cause no harm to the enviroment in their production. We refuse to work with materials featuring plastics or synthetics, including 'sustainable blend' fabrics which often feature a small percentage of sustainable fibres along with non-sustainable fibres such as polyester and viscose. This is a guarantee we hold dear and will never compromise on, allowing you to shop with complete peace of mind that you won't find any greenwashing here.

For further transparency, here is a guide to the materials and production techniques we utilise to make Zenzero a truly ethical and sustainable clothing brand.

Fabrics

Linen

Linen comes from the Flax Plant and is reknowned for it's versatility and strength. It is estimated that linen fibres are up to 30% stronger than cotton, increasing a linen garments lifespan and allowing for longer wear. Every part of Flax can be used to make other products, therefore promoting for zero wastage and it's both recyclable and fully biodegradable when treated using natural dyes. Linen production is also famously cost effective as Flax is super resilient and can grow even in the poorest of soil conditions. This means it uses far less water to produce than cotton as it requires only rainwater to grow (it's estimated that across it's life cycle, a linen shirt uses 6.4 litres of water in comparison to a cotton shirt which uses 2,700 litres!)

Hemp

Made from the industrial hemp plant, or Cannabis Sativa, this durable fibre is often looked at as the OG of sustainable fabrics, and for good reason. Hemp grows prolifically using little water, using around 50% less water per season than cotton. It also uses no pesticides in it's growth, takes up relatively little space whilst growing, replenishes the soil around it with nutrients (returning 60-70% of the nutrients it takes to grow back to the earth), absorbs carbon dioxide at the rate of 22 tonnes per hectare, generates more pulp per acre than trees plus virtually all of the plant can be used to produce a range of items from paper to fuel. On top of this exhaustive list of benefits it's also biodegradable. Truly a sustainability superhero!

Tencel

Like cotton and hemp, Tencel, also known as Lyocell, is made from plant materials. However, manufacturing Tencel requires less energy and water than cotton and is biodegradable. Tencel has incredible absorption characteristics (it is said to be 50% more absorbent than cotton making it perfect for wear in hot weather).

Tencel is a cellulose fibre created by dissolving wood pulp and drying by using a special technique called spinning. Before drying, wood chips are mixed with a solvent to form a wet mixture which is then pushed through small holes to form threads. The solvent treatment includes the chemical N-Methylmorpholine N-oxide which, thanks to a closed loop production process, can be recycled continuously and used to make new fibres, minimising harmful waste. The recovery rate of this solvent is currently said to be 99%. After this process is complete the lengths of fibre created are then spun into yarn and woven to form cloth.

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton doesn't use environmentally harmful chemicals in it's production (conventional cotton production accounts for about 16% of the world's insecticides and 7%  of pesticides usage). Cultivation of organic cotton is also environmentally positive as it also doesn't damage the soil it's grown in, has less impact on air pollution, uses 62% less energy in it's processing and uses 88% less water than regular cotton to produce as it's 80% rain-fed. This is also beneficial to the local communities where cotton is grown as it is often produced in water-scarce areas using irrigation techniques. The absence of unsafe chemicals means that water sources in the surrounding areas is cleaner and safer for the local population.


Production Techniques

Made To Order

Made To Order production means we only create items once they have been purchased. This enables us to buy fabric in very small batches resulting in less material wastage and allows us to more easily repurpose any left over fabric into new designs such as accessories whilst minimising surplus amounts of deadstock to avoid sending any fabric to landfills.  

Bespoke Service

Similar to the 'Made To Order' service, our Bespoke option allows you to personalise garments to meet your specific requirements. This benefits sustainability by encouraging increased wear, and care, of clothing because you're far more likely to keep and re-wear items that make you feel incredible. Beautifully fitted garments enhance the aesthetic of a look by streamlining the sillhouette, creating balanced proportions and lines, and this often elevates a garment from good to 'Staple Piece'. And who would want to throw that on a landfill?

 

Fabric Repurposing

Also known as 'Zero-Waste' production, repurposed pieces are made from left over remnant fabrics of previous designs. For example, say a fabric is discontinued and the last piece we have remaining is not enough to make the original design, we would then use this material to make smaller items such as accessories insuring that fabric is not wasted or disposed of.

Deadstock

Deadstock is the name retailers give to stock that has failed to sell. Sadly, High Street retailers will usually send deadstock to landfills. To avoid this practice we only create sample pieces for photography and marketing purposes (that will be sold at a later date) and all other pieces are sold on a 'Made To Order' basis, radically reducing the deadstock level we hold to basically zero. 

Fair Trade

Any out sourced materials we use are carefully vetted and must come from Fair Trade vendors. This insures better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and equitable terms of trade are given to any workers and manufacturers that have been involved at any stage of production from start to finish.

To meet the required level to ascertain the Fair Trade label companies must pay for their goods at a level which must never fall lower than the market trading price. This insures potentially vulnerable economies are not taken advantage of, that workers are paid fairly for their skill and enables communities to improve their position and have more control over their lives. 

GOTS 

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the leading textile standard for validating organic fibres and is judged on both ecological and social factors. Certification can only be granted once all stages of production have passed testing, this includes the initial handling, spinning, weaving/knitting, wet processing, manufacturing and trading of the finished item.

Having a common standard means textile manufacturers can export their fabrics and garments with a trusted certification that is accepted in all major markets. This transparency also gives the consumer the power to choose authentically organic products sourced from environmentally sound supply chains.

OKEO-TEX

An OKEO-TEX 100 label on fabric certifies that every component (fibres, dye etc) has been tested for harmful substances and has qualified as harmless for human health. Testing is conducted by independent OKEO-TEX partner institutes who examine numerous regulated and non-regulated substances which may be harmful to human health, in many cases exceeding national and international requirements.