Suzannah London is committed to operating an economically responsible and sustainable fashion business.
Suzannah London is a luxury, 'Slow Fashion' brand that believes in the fair treatment of people, resources and the planet.
The Suzannah business creates pieces which have been thoughtfully designed and skilfully crafted from high quality, carefully sourced fabrics. They are designed and crafted to be modern fashion classics, which are to become timeless wardrobe investments. Each piece is designed to become a future heirloom, a memory rich treasure to pass down through the generations.
Future heirlooms made in the right way - to last the test of time.
Suzannah garments are inspired by vintage couture pieces from the 1920’s right through to the 1990’s, taking influence from their character, charm, colour and cut. The life and journey of each piece begins with an idea or inspiration and what follows is a creative evolution to its realisation.
We strive to make the right, responsible decisions and design with the ultimate consideration in terms of make and end use.
Although we are by no means perfect, we see sustainability as a constantly evolving thought process and a learning, in which we continuously seek to improve both our end product our practices and our transparency as a luxury brand. We do our best to make careful, responsible decisions when designing and developing each piece with regards to the processes involved. We are committed to making our pieces with the best practise whilst never ‘over manufacturing’, eliminating one of the main global problems in fashion - over consumption and wastage.
We evolve collections and flow fabrics through the seasons, eliminating wastage and reducing transport emissions.
We believe that a beautiful designed cloth or carefully considered silhouette does not lose its beauty simply through the passing of time. We are extremely proud of our timeless design aesthetic so, rather than sticking to the industry standard of strict seasonal collections, with designs and fabrics changing every 6 months, we maintain an ever-evolving Classics collection. New garments are added when we feel they are needed and only when our designs have become the ultimate versions of themselves. This ensures many of our beautifully designed, bespoke cloths can feature through many seasons. It also encourages efficiencies within our business, minimising waste and reducing transport emissions.
We pay premium costs for our manufacturing in order to produce in limited quantities.
All of our ready-to-wear designs are produced in small production runs to ensure their high quality can be maintained. We constantly monitor our stock levels and our customers buying habits to try and ensure we do not 'over produce' any styles or individual sizes.
We visit most of our manufacturers regularly. They all ensure high quality working standards, and adequate pay for their workers as well as ensuring responsible working practises with regards the environment. They are small enterprises and family run businesses.
Through our Atelier Collection, Made-to Measure and Made-To-Order services we regularly make up individual garments 'in-house', in our London Atelier. This allows us to control the entire production process and in turn helps keep any wastage to an absolute minimum.
We do not throw away or burn unwanted garments or cloth, we up-cycle where possible.
After the natural life cycle of the collections, the pieces enter our seasonal sales, with any remaining items transferring to our annual end-of-line sample sale. We also include our production samples and any initial design samples, giving every garment a chance to be owned and worn as they were designed to be. Finally anything that has not sold is donated onto our nominated charity; Royal Trinity Hospice.
We keep all of our leftover cloth from each season, keeping large remnants to use for restoring garments, or we use the cloth in exciting new silhouettes seasons later. We then make sure any unusable fabric scraps or non functioning prototypes are responsibly recycled.
We mainly source locally, using British or European companies and support a network of small like-minded businesses.
We are working exclusively with manufacturers who share our values of paying living wages, treating workers with respect, and providing safe, comfortable working conditions.
The majority of our cloths and manufacturing are sourced and developed locally or from Italy, Spain and France. We are therefore better able to maintain traceability whilst keeping our carbon footprint low. Going forward we are committed to seeking traceability of every single cloth we use, going as far back to the raw materials as we possibly can.
Most of the mills and suppliers we work with are family run and relatively small, transparent businesses who share in our beliefs for sustainability. Suzannah London thrives from its relationships with other small like-minded businesses.
Our 'Sourced Collection' is made off-shore in India and the Far East. We have ensured our manufacturers have certification for responsible practises for the environment, and working standards.
Our main Italian fabric supplier is a leader and award winning sustainable producer.
We are proud that our main Italian fabric supplier is part of the Greenpeace 'Detox My Fashion' Campaign. This mill has made a commitment to weaving, dying, printing and developing toxic free cloths. This mill is truly a leader in their field in every way; a magnificent innovator with a huge heart and strong beliefs. They are also the only silk mill to win the award for 'the most sustainable producer' at the 24th Green Carpet Fashion Awards.
We try to keep our manufacture close to the source of the cloths where possible and carefully plan our transportation to be as carbon efficient as we can. The Italian printing company we partner with has been in business since 1902 and is now run by the fourth generation of the family and has in itself built a community around it.
Natural fibres make up the vast majority of our cloths including all of our linings.
The majority of our garments are made from natural fibres and are also lined in pure Italian silk; being naturally breathable, soft, smooth and light. Generally speaking, silk is considered a more sustainable fibre. It is a renewable resource, can bio-degrade, and uses less water, chemicals, and energy than many other fibres. We have used Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified Italian silks within several garments in our latest collections and we aim to increase the number of designs which use the GOTS cloths going forward.
The forest-based fibres we source are from responsibly managed forests with zero net contribution to deforestation and careful maintenance of critical ecosystems. Our suppliers apply a stringent best-in-class chemicals and wastewater treatment policy, adopting and where possible exceeding, the aims set out in the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL).
We are actively sourcing new sustainable cloths and are committed and excited about using new beneficial technology going forwards.
We are currently exploring a ‘Peace’ silk option alongside other sustainable, fair trade and recyclable cloths. Most recently we have pledged to only using recycled cashmere moving forward after learning of the negative impact cashmere production has been having on the environment.
We want to become more circular by encouraging you to restore your Suzannah garments.
We are committed to restoring your Suzannah garments where we possibly can. 'Circular Fashion' is important to us. We encourage you to repair and restore and never throw away. We have breathed new life into many garments by, for example, adjusting their lengths or converting dresses with waist seams into skirts etc. Please get in touch if you would like any further information about the restoration and alteration services we can provide for your Suzannah garments. As an example of cost. It would cost around £160 to convert your dress with a waist seam into a skirt.
Please do get in touch by emailing email@example.com to find out more!
If you want to sell on your Suzannah garment, our clients have had great success using the platform Vestaire Collective.
We aim to remove all unnecessary plastics.
In order to reduce our environmental impact, whilst still protecting our garments we have sourced biodegradable garment covers. We use them within our online packaging and we use them to protect any garments that are collected from our store. We have also encouraged our manufacturers to use these as well. As a business we would ordinarily reuse the covers as much as we can although now, during the Covid-19 Pandemic we are unable to do this and dispose of them safely. Storing your Suzannah London pieces in their garment covers helps prolong their life so you can enjoy wearing them for years to come.
We have also replaced our old carrier bags with new recyclable ones.
We are off-setting our emissions!
We off-set our emissions made by the courier company we use within the UK, and have made a commitment to off-setting our emissions on air-transport when importing any products or components from outside of Europe. We off-set all of our transport emissions involved with our Sourced by Suzannah collection.
We maintain the shortest possible supply chain to reduce the carbon footprint of our logistics.
We actively strive for the shortest possible supply chains, concentrating as many of our suppliers in Europe. In previous seasons we have relied heavily on air-freight. Going forward we are adjusting our business model to allow for sea freight, which has a lower carbon footprint.
How We Can Do Better:
We are continuing to study in order to learn how we can further improve as a company and re-assess our production methods.
We aim to research and use more of:
- Recycled fabrics
- Natural dyes
- Recycled or degradable components