From ethical and local manufacturing to using natural fibres, we take pride in consciously reducing our eco-footprint with every step in our carefully curated process as we strive towards sustainable fashion. We believe that it is our responsibility to reduce the amount of negative impact that a clothing brand can have. While doing this, we also hope to share our knowledge by educating our customers on these trailblazing processes. Our vision is to transform women’s fashion by making it more sustainable; becoming a symbiotic process that is transparent, circular, regenerative and inclusive.
Harlow & Summer is all about sustainable fashion that is responsibly crafted, locally in Cape Town, South Africa thereby supporting the local industries and craftsmen. We are focussed on uplifting our beautiful communities with sustainability remaining our cornerstone value.
Our Indonesian Fabric suppliers employ 100% locally from Indonesia. They ensure that they craft a supply chain that focuses on the needs of each employee, giving training and economic empowerment along the way. Our fabric suppliers are ISO/TR, Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Lenzing Certified.
We believe in a design-led approach on our path towards sustainability with environmental considerations at the very forefront. We ensure that every item is 100% recyclable. This not only minimises waste by having reusable packaging but also contributes towards our carbon offsets. This is called a closed loop system and it’s pretty revolutionary.
All of our fabrics are bespoke made, printed digitally and certified OEKO-TEX ® Standard 100. OEKO-TEX checks for the presence of hazardous chemicals in the dyed fabric. It checks for carcinogens, azo dyes and other chemical limits in accordance to the European REACH standards. So our garments are not only healthier for the planet but actually safer for you too.
OUR SIGNATURE FABRICS
Almost 60% of a garment's environmental impact happens during fabric manufacturing. That’s why we partner directly with fabric suppliers to develop our own fabrics that are sustainable, soft, and stand the test of time. We always start with the most sustainable, traceable and eco-friendly raw fibres and materials available.
Linen is the super hero of fabrics - our linen is made from natural flax plant grown in Europe and dyed in Cape Town. It emits 25% less carbon than cotton. Linen is also biodegradable so it will not pollute our beautiful world.
Grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers and build biologically diverse agriculture.
We use a single source viscose warp yarn for our materials, which comes from a fully traceable supply of wood pulp in Sweden. Derived from certified renewable wood sources using an eco-responsible production process by meeting high environmental standards, LENZING™ ECOVERO™ fibres tailor to a sustainable lifestyle, contributing to a cleaner environment by using up to 50% less water from forest to fabric.
Soft, smooth and silky, lyocell is a versatile fibre that’s made from plant cellulose. It’s related to viscose and rayon but has far better eco credentials. These cellulose fibres are all made in a similar way: by dissolving wood pulp and using a special drying process called spinning. Before drying, the wood chips are mixed with a solvent to produce a wet mixture. This mixture is then pushed through small holes to form threads, chemically treated, then the lengths of fibre are spun into yarn and woven into cloth.
Our goal is to be a positive impact business. We are constantly aware of our impact on the environment, and in our awareness are always looking for ways to reverse our impact. This means analysing and re-evaluating our waste materials with a target of having zero waste. Primarily we are an e-commerce retailer and on average, e-commerce uses about 30% less energy than traditional retail spaces.
A major issue with the fashion industry is the waste of raw materials through overproduction. The pre-order system prevents this by avoiding the unnecessary use of resources. By ordering in advance you will be helping to slow down waste in the fashion system.
Made from Sustainable Resources
All of our packaging from swing tags to tissue paper is made from sustainably sourced FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper and is entirely recyclable. Our compostable mailer comes with two adhesive strips so that online purchases can be returned in the same mailer, cutting down on all of the waste that this often generates. It’s also biodegradable and compostable making it the first carbon negative compostable mailer in the market!
A portion of your purchase supports our ongoing investment into organisations that are aligned with supporting people and planet. We have proudly partnered with Tree Nation so that with each purchase made on this site we gift a tree to you our customer which then offsets your purchase’s CO2 emissions.
Carbon Neutral Delivery
Every product we purchase travels on vehicle which releases large amounts of damaging CO2 into the atmosphere.
We work with the Carbon Neutral Group, a leading sustainability consultancy, to measure and calculate the carbon emissions of your delivery by weight, kilometre and mode of transport used so that we can offset these.
Together with the Carbon Neutral Group we invest in local community and social projects so ultimately, we are all working together towards social upliftment.
Our project for 2021 is the Wonderbag Project so our carbon will be offset investing in this wonderful initiative. The concept of Wonderbag was born out of a need for vulnerable people to be able to use less energy when cooking thereby reducing their carbon footprint. The way it works is that once food is brought to boiling point heat is retained up to 12 hours greatly reducing the use of additional energy and the reliance on coal-fired power plants.
AND HOW CAN YOU HELP CLOSE THE LOOP
Sustainability also means longevity!. That’s why we design garments and prints that transcend trends and can be endlessly restyled. We're also here to help you take care of what you buy and make it last.
Roughly 25% of a garment’s negative impact on the environment happens after it arrives at your home. Here’s how you can make a difference;
Wash less- Items not worn next to the skin usually do not need washing after just one wear. Fill it to the max- Half loads of laundry use almost as much energy and detergent as a full load. Wash cool- Care labels will tell you the highest temperature that you can safely wash the garment at but doing your laundry at 30° is far kinder to the planet.
Make It Last
Repair, Alter & update. You don’t need to be a DIY queen to update your pieces. Support your local tailor.
Pass It On
Resell. When your clothes no longer serve their purpose for you, find them a new home.
For every garment purchased we plant a tree which will be added to the Harlow & Summer forest. Together with Tree Nation we will be giving back to our planet
Our Journey Going Forward
Progress through transparency
Our promise is to be open and honest about our path towards the ultimate goal of positive impact sustainability and to communicate with integrity and vulnerability as we all learn on this journey together. Honouring this means openly discussing the challenges that we face and how we are finding ways to overcome them.
At Harlow & Summer, honesty is key. We are partnering with ethical leaders in the industry to build the steps to ensure that we work towards becoming a carbon neutral brand as we continue to forge the way towards sustainable fashion.