Our Eco Manifesto
69b Boutique is a company with sustainability at our heart. The store has been open in East London’s Broadway Market for ten years, and was one of the original sustainable fashion stores in London. Since then things have changed a lot - not only in how we shop for clothes, but also in a growing awareness of the affect our shopping habits have on the planet.
At 69b we don’t only sell sustainable clothes, but as a company we are continuing to work towards a more sustainable future.
What we do
When it comes to sustainability, we have made huge strides in the last ten years to ensure our business has minimal effect on both people and planet. Here are some of the things we are currently doing:
- We work hard to ensure all our brand are people and planet friendly. We vet all our brands, and in particular we look out for transparent supply chains and certifications including Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Fairwear. These ensure the fabrics used are created sustainably without using harmful chemicals and dyes, and that our brands pay their employees fairly.
- We work with social enterprises in the UK including Pivot Jewellery who teach homeless and vulnerable people in North London the skills to create beautiful handmade jewellery, and Aerande who employ people facing social challenges and with learning disabilities to make their beautiful homewares.
- All our employees are paid a London Living Wage, and we recently became a certified London Living Wage employer.
- Our store is not only part of the Broadway Market traders community, but we are also proud members of the East End Trade’s Guild.
- Although we have a long way to go in achieving carbon neutrality, we try to save energy where possible. We use Ecotricity (who use 100% renewables) as our energy supplier, we are careful to turn off unused electronics, and we use timer switches to conserve energy.
- All packaging used in store and online is either compostable or recyclable, any ink we use is non-toxic water based and the cords on our swing tags are made from sustainably sourced hemp.
- Within our store we attempt to reuse where possible, including using any plastic that products arrive in to store garments. If it’s not possible to reuse, we recycle or compost correctly.
- We believe less is more. We only buy a small quantity of each style to ensure we don’t overstock and contribute to unnecessary manufacturing.
Sustainability is an ongoing issue, particularly in the fashion industry. At 69b our journey to a sustainable future is a continuing one. These are our aims for the next year:
- Give more back to the community. We will increase our corporate social responsibility through volunteering, engaging the community and donating to local NGOs.
- Improve the transparency of our supply chain. Although we work hard to select brands that know exactly where their products are coming from, we can still do better. Every brand we stock will have to show evidence to us that there is no room for exploitation within their supply chains.
- Investigate our own outputs. We will be investigating our own outputs within the business including waste and energy and assessing how we can do better.
- Improve our packaging. We will assess our packaging and identify how we can do better; from the start of 2021 we will be phasing out paper bags in our store and will wrap all products in sustainably sourced tissue paper instead. Our online orders are currently shipped in biodegradable packaging from food waste, but we are constantly working on ways to make this better and will continue to look for the best packaging options.