Designers looking for an ethical way to sell their pattern designs on t-shirts and clothing have a UK based option to consider. Doc Cotton is an online marketplace using 100 percent organic cotton in its made-to-order clothing.
The model’s a familiar one: designers register an account, upload designs and then rely on a mix of traffic from the site and their own marketing efforts. Where it differs from most is the strong sustainable ethos that runs through the business: from shortening its supply chain to ensuring workers are paid above the living wage.
A sustainable supply chain
Doc Cotton uses organic cotton in its t-shirts, which are sourced from family owned farms in Greece. Cotton is spun in the country using low-impact methods before being shipped to the UK. Woven fabrics are made in Belgium, while knitted ones are prepared in Leicester. Final production occurs in the UK at a facility in Peckham Levels that’s powered by renewable energy.
Orders are manufactured to order, removing stock waste, and shipped to customers in zero-waste packaging. At the end of their life, the company offers to buy them back for reuse and recycling in exchange for store credit.
Consumers can select and buy clothing and bags through a fairly standard website. Prices are at the higher end of the range for print-on-demand, although this should be offset by the commitment to produce clothes that last. Shipping is also limited to Europe and the USA at the moment.
We think this is a good first step for a launch and hope the company can carve out a niche as an ethical option for consumers looking for anti-fast fashion and designers who want to build sustainable-centred brands.
Doc Cotton can be found at DocCotton.com
Image by Teresa Rego, designer on Doc Cotton