Join the Fashion Revolution
The Fashion Revolution is a movement to create a visionary fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure. The idea is that by being curious and finding out about textile suppliers, consumers can inspire change and promote transparent supply chains that match that vision.
I know who makes all of our Tallis products, by their first names. Tallis is about considered craftsmanship, as we sell hand-made, artisanal accessories that have been created from carefully selected materials from trusted sources. The Fashion Revolution movement evidently strikes a cord with me. I agree that products should be made in an ethical way which ensures the wellbeing of workers in the supply chain and raw material production as well as the protection of the environment. Knowing who makes our products is the most straight forward way I can ensure that.
For some companies, it is hard to keep a grip on protecting worker wellbeing when your main business is turning out lots of cheap clothes very quickly.* This is because knowing who made what at that kind of scale requires a different kind of monitoring, and it's harder to know the source of raw materials which change every week. It is much easier to control your supply chain when your business model is to create products designed to last, as the intrinsic value in this approach is that it gives you the freedom to take more time. More time to make the products and more time to check where the materials have come from. You can be more transparent and reap the rewards of the value that adds to the product. It's the slow fashion idea.
It is in our DNA to make products that last, out of materials that would stand up to being repurposed, such as fur which lasts and lasts. We also believe in actively avoiding waste, by making our hats from vintage cashmere or using pre-consumer waste (factory offcuts). It's harder to do than buying virgin materials and it requires creativity, but it gets around many issues in raw materials sourcing.
Our pieces are investment pieces because they are made from high quality materials and hand-made by artisans. The majority of our designs are also multifunctional with an idea to being multi-seasonal or multi-use. You don't buy a Tallis every week but when you invest in one, you know it's a product you will wear over and over again.
These principals run through the story of each of our products. We have hats hand-made by Faith out of vintage cashmere jumpers. Shearling scarves hand-cut in a workshop in Geneva by the women at Label Bobine. Capes I sit down to make at the fur machine. Pompoms hand-sewn by Carmen in the workshop in Lausanne or, if theres a special customer, I do it in front of the TV with a cup of tea.
I could make all our products cheaper, by buying cheaper fur from a supplier I don't know or in a region where I'd have to turn a blind eye to known production issues such as poor animal welfare or environmental stressors. I could also outsource all our production to factories I haven't visited because they are cheaper. But that's not the product I'm trying to make or the commitment Tallis inspires.
"Knowledge, information, honesty. These three things have the power to transform the industry. And it starts with one simple question: Who made my clothes?" - Fashion Revolution.
I made your clothes.
- Lilly Milligan Gilbert, Tallis Founder - Geneva 2 December 2015
Thank you for reading, I would love to hear your thoughts (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Visit the Fashion Revolution page for ways to get involved in this movement.
*It's hard but not impossible, there are high volume, usually low cost brands working hard to do this right within the context of their operating models.