THE WORLD AROUND US
STAYING TRUE TO OUR GREEN-FINGERED ROOTS
The first UpTop Designs collections featured gorgeous bohemian clothes made in Indian villages using hand-loomed cotton fabrics, organic vegetable dyes and artisanal block-printing techniques. And, although we’ve grown into a global brand, we’ve never lost our concern for the environment or commitment to ethical trading. So, as well as striving to do right by the people who make our beautiful things, we work hard to reduce the environmental impact of all that we do.
PACKING AND WASTE
Absolutely committed to best practices in recycling and minimising waste, we’ve recently introduced rainwater harvesting and expanded recycling facilities at our Head Office in London. We’ve also dispensed with all unnecessary packaging from our products. Wherever possible, we use only FSC-certified paper and biodegradable plastic.
PUSHING SUSTAINABILITY INTO FASHION
As a measure of our passion for sustainable fashion, we sponsored London Fashion Week’s ESTETHIC–
A showcase for ethical designers every season for 5 years. More recently, we’ve supported a highly creative awareness-raising collaboration between artist-designer Alex Noble’s pioneering EMG (Everything Must Go) upcycling project and SEWA, our charity partner in Delhi. We’re also working with Royal College of Art students on artisan-inspired collections. Other key projects include a 3-year initiative with Oxfam to help Indian cotton farmers convert to organic farming methods, and a scheme to help Indian fashion students develop and use sustainable fabrics.
Our Green Action Programme, augmented by the introduction of energy-efficient fittings throughout our store network, has already achieved significant reductions in our total energy consumption. But we’re not resting there. We’ve targeted ourselves to achieve a further 10% saving across all our UK operations by 2016. And we’ve pledged to minimise our use of air freight.
STATEMENT ON ANGORA WOOL
Following concerns raised about the treatment of angora rabbits in Chinese farms, during 2013-14, we conducted detailed audits of the farms used by our suppliers. These audits confirmed that live plucking was not used anywhere in our supply chain. Our supplier farms worked towards the 5 Freedoms of animal welfare and, in particular, freedom from hunger, thirst, pain, discomfort and distress. They took great care to ensure that the shearing process did not cause stress or injury. However, despite the above, we recognise that some of our customers still feel uncomfortable with the continued inclusion of angora in our ranges. For this reason, we have decided to end the use of angora in all future production of our clothing and accessories.
We operate a strict policy of zero-tolerance towards abuse and maltreatment of animals in our supply chain. We don’t use real fur. In fact, the only animal-derived materials we use (eg leather, feathers, down) are by-products of the food industry. And we take special care to ensure any luxury yarns (such as alpaca, mohair, cashmere, angora and merino) are sourced only from producers who uphold high standards in animal husbandry. No animal testing is permitted in the development or manufacture of our cosmetics or fragrances.