Our Supply Chain

Where Does It Come From? has transparency at its core.  Our supply chain, the stages our products go through from field to delivery, are key to this transparency.  This is how we ensure that our ethical and environmental goals are achieved.

We only work with production partners whose ethos aligns with our own – that is that they have social and environmental goals as their key motivation.  We build lasting relationships and work to ensure that they are open and honest so that we can all meet our goals through working together.  This may sound trite but like any relationship we have to deal with the not so good news as well as the achievements, so that we can improve any situations that crop up!

MORALFIBRE Fabrics

jo vimmi shailini jo wedding india

Where Does It Come From? and MORALFIBRE off to an Indian Wedding in Gujarat

Our most longstanding production partner is MORALFIBRE Fabrics.  We started working together in 2013 on our denim children’s clothing collection and have since collaborated to create organic shirts for adults and children and three productions of handwoven scarves.  We selected MORALFIBRE to work with as we love their passion for ethically and sustainably produced fabrics and, crucially, their involvement throughout the supply chain.

Where Does It Come From? visited MORALFIBRE in April 2016 (see our visit report ‘Where Does It Come From? – A Trip to India to Find Out’).  We have also had many face to face meetings in the UK and Skype discussions.  Our relationship has been formalised in a mutually agreed document covering operational details such as pricing, delivery and quality.

The cotton fabric that we use is called khadi.  It is a handwoven cotton fabric with a rich social history and environmental ethos.  Khadi is produced in socially focussed co-operatives which are regulated by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).  The KVIC has social objectives to increase rural employment and community cohesion as well as ensure the production of the fabric.  Their ethos is very closely aligned to Fairtrade (but older!).  The KVIC has strict costing guidelines to ensure staff are paid for their time rather than by piece, as well as other social benefits including sick and holiday pay.

The Supply Chain

– MORALFIBRE and Where Does It Come From? collaborate on design and agree price (according to Our Pricing Policy), quantity and delivery schedule.

organic ant shirt organic white shirt from Where Does It Come From? ethical traceable fairtrade supply chain

– MORALFIBRE work closely with the KVIC co-operative (Udyog Bharti) who will arrange for the purchasing, spinning and weaving of the cotton.  Cotton is purchased from local cotton farms for standard cotton and organic farms (often run by Arvind) for certified organic cotton.  During fabric production MORALFIBRE visit the co-operative to take photos, talk to the workers and oversee production as part of our traceability programme.  These images and discussions are shared with Where Does It Come From? throughout production so we can monitor progress, ensure everything is as it should be and generally enjoy seeing what is happening!  Later the information is compiled into our garment stories so that our customers can explore where their garment came from.

supply chain

Block printing the elephants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Where Does It Come From? loves to make use of the traditional printing skills available in Gujarat.  Working closely with MORALFIBRE Fabrics we specify and agree a print design.  MORALFIBRE then work with artisanal groups that use traditional printing techniques to turn the designs into printed fabric.  Many of our garments use hand block printing.  Our recent scarves production used hand screen printing.  Again the process is overseen and documented through video and photo so that we are involved throughout.

supply chain

– For tailored garments such as shirts, Where Does It Come From? will supply a pattern and/or sizing information to MORALFIBRE.  The garments are then tailored by local tailors and more recently MORALFIBRE has received a grant enabling them to set up their own tailoring unit.

Working Conditions

Where Does It Come From? has visited the MORALFIBRE offices, the Udyog Bharti co-operatives and the printing artisan group workshop and is satisfied that working conditions are well-lit and comfortable.

MORALFIBRE has a long term relationship with the co-operative and visits frequently, as well as holding formal supplier meetings 4-5 times per year to plan productions and discuss issues.  Although the working conditions of the artisans there are not officially audited, the regular visits re-assure that good working conditions are maintained, with workshops being well lit, ventilated and maintained, toilets and drinking water provided.  Working hours are 8am – 5pm with an hours lunch break and transport to and from work is often laid on too.

Health and safety is considered with ear defenders and necessary protections being given to those operating in noisy environments.

Added benefits for KVIC workers include a percentage of profits shared between workers at the end of each financial year.

Further information on workers conditions can be seen in our Fair Trade Policy.

Audits

KVIC annual and audit reports can be seen at http://kvic.org.in/kvicres/apr.html.

New Supply Chains

Where Does It Come From? is currently in the process of setting up two new supply chains.  Detail will be added here in due course!