At Kemi Telford, the way that people are respected and valued is vital to us. This includes our customers, employees, and suppliers.
We work closely with manufacturers based in the UK, India, Nigeria, and China. Over the years, we have built great relationships with them and their staff. They are all small, independent companies that value the welfare of their employees. They understand our vision, and we are supportive of each other's businesses. For example, we pay invoices very promptly.
Each of our manufacturers has had their workplace vetted by us. Employees work no more than eight hours a day, with regular breaks. Pay exceeds the minimum wage in their respective countries. We have the right to visit our manufacturers (without notice) to check that the standards of working conditions are being maintained.
How people are treated is vital to the success of this brand and we never compromise on that. This brand was created to empower women, this means that our employees - and those of our manufacturers - are always treated with care and respect. The people who create the items sold here must feel worthy and acknowledged.
Shopping online is inherently more environmentally friendly than traditional shopping. This is because is it is more efficient for a delivery van to visit several houses in turn, rather than individual shoppers make separate round-trips by car (or bus) from their houses to a shopping centre. This study discusses this in more depth.
Made To Last
We are not 'fast fashion'. Our clothes are of high quality and expected to last a long time. Many of our customers have told us that they have sold their pre-loved Kemi Telford items, which demonstrates their long-lasting value. With care, Kemi Telford clothes should last for years, or even generations - just like our mother's clothes did.
To reduce waste, we have a section in our shop to sell samples and seconds. Seconds are items that have been manufactured by us but which - for a variety of reasons - didn't meet the very high standards that we require. Rather than reject them, we work with the manufacturer to fix any problems going forward, but we sell the items already made at a cheaper price.
During the manufacturing of clothes, remnant material is sometimes produced. Rather than waste it, we've worked with manufacturers to turn the remnants into lovely items - such as hair bows, scrunchies, and headbands.
We are committed to minimising the environmental impact of the packaging that our business uses. For example, we ask our suppliers to send us inventory in reused cardboard, which we then reuse or recycle.
We aim to ship all orders in packaging that is either recyclable or biodegradable. We're decreasing our use of plastic in favour of paper packaging. This is made from either recycled or sustainably sourced paper. It is biodegradable, reusable, and fully recyclable. Most of our plastic bags are biodegradable, and some are also designed for reuse (they have an extra adhesive strip). We use Tesa Pack Paper Ecologo packaging tape, consisting of 60% bio-based materials.
Our website runs on carbon-neutral infrastructure. It runs on Shopify's cloud e-commerce platform. We operate no servers or data centres of our own. Cloud computing is generally more environmentally friendly than owned and operated servers. Shopify uses Google Cloud as its infrastructure provider. Google Cloud matches 100% of the energy consumed by its global operations with renewable energy. And Google aims to operate on carbon-free energy 24/7 by 2030.
During the summer months, we use evaporative air cooling units in our office, which are generally considered to be more energy-efficient than refrigeration-based air conditioning.
We use Ecologi to offset our remaining carbon emissions.