Sustainability & Transparency
At In May, ethical practices are at the heart of everything we do. Our commitment to transparency ensures that you know exactly where our materials come from and how each garment is meticulously crafted.
When you choose In May, you're investing in superior quality fabrics and garments crafted with intention and care. Every piece undergoes a rigorous process of cutting, sewing, and quality checks before it reaches your wardrobe. We place our customers at the forefront of our business, striving to ensure you not only look stunning in our handmade pieces but also feel the depth of care and love invested in them.
Transparency is key for us. That's why we provide information on the sourcing of our materials and the eco-credentials of our fabrics (like OEKO-TEX standards, deadstock etc.) on all product pages. We commonly purchase our fabrics from Australian suppliers however substitution is sometimes required when there is limited supplies. In this case we have sourced an incredible manufacturer in China who creates fabrics of the same standard with OEKO-TEX, SGS and GOTS certifications. We're continuously evolving, aiming to incorporate more sustainable fibers like organic cotton and eco-vero fabrics. This commitment helps us reduce water usage, air pollution, and CO2 emissions.
As a proud Australian small business, we focus on sourcing most of our fabrics and materials locally, supporting the Australian economy and fellow small businesses. Opting for natural over synthetic fibers also aligns with our environmental ethos. You'll find information about the origins of our fabrics with each product, reinforcing our commitment to transparency.
Sustainability extends to our packaging as well. We use eco-friendly materials for our shipping parcels, business cards, hang tags, and clothing labels. Our parcel satchels are home compostable, and our business cards and hang tags are made from recycled paper. Even our clothing labels are screen printed on woven cotton instead of polyester.
In the fashion industry, fabric offcuts are inevitable. We tackle this creatively by turning scraps into scrunchies or samples whenever possible. For the smaller unusable pieces, we collaborate with UPPAREL, an Australian textile recycling company, transforming them into their own products. Our fabric purchasing and usage are mindful, with a focus on small quantities and efficient cutting to minimize waste.
By supporting In May, you're not just purchasing from a small Australian women run business; you're contributing to a movement. We're on a mission to set new standards in sustainability and ethics, aspiring to lead by example in the fashion industry. As we grow, our promise is to bring you along on every step of our journey, sharing the story behind each collection and deepening our commitment to transparency and sustainability
2024 Sustainability Goals
We reached some incredible goals in 2023, but want to grow and develop as a business even more in 2024. Ethical practices are always at the forefront, along with creating things with the planet in mind. Our goals for 2024 are:
- Create more useful products using our left over materials. This will mean we will reducing our carbon foot-print and excess waste. Unusable scraps can be sent to our recycling partner, however we want to minimise the amount we discard even more.
- Switch our compostable mailers to recycled cardboard mailers or boxes. Compostable mailers that get sent to landfill can take up to 2 years to break down (still 200x faster than regular plastic) compared to 90 days in a compost bin. Most households don't own compost bins therefore the mailers are still ending up in landfill. By switching to cardboard or paper mailers, we are allowing our customers the option to discard their packaging either through their compost bins or recycling bins. Compostable mailers will still be used when neccessary (i.e. the products will not fit in cardboard box or mailer).
- Along with our new mailers and boxes, we would like to create an option for customers to select which packaging they would like. This would allow customers who have at home compost bins to select the compostable mailers. It could also allow our customers the choice of a recycled box or satchel for at home compost or recycling.
- Currently our care labels are purchased from an Australian small business who prints them onto a satin material. This is a man-made product that takes an extremely long time to break down. Over the last few years, this has been our go-to as it has been a quick and cheap alternative but as we develop we are wanting to eliminate the use of these care labels. In early 2024 we will be switching our care labels over to a natural material base, much like our back/size labels.
- Currently our shipping labels that are used are made from recycled materials however are unable to be composted or recycled again. In early 2024, we will be switching over to a compostable label to help reduce our environmental impact. These are able to be removed from the packaging and placed into a home compost bin, or at least breakdown within 2 years if sent to landfill.
- Bulk ordering fabric may seem like an unusual goal but it being apart of this list is within good reason. As our brand continues to expand, the demand for fabric to create our garments naturally increases. Frequently purchasing smaller fabric quantities throughout the year is not only financially inefficient but also impacts our carbon footprint negatively. Our aim is to reduce the emissions associated with freight by shifting to bulk fabric orders placed less frequently, instead of small, regular orders. This approach has become feasible thanks to our established base range of fabrics and a deep understanding of our customers' preferences. The significant growth we experienced in 2023 has put us in a strong position to implement this strategy. By adopting this bulk ordering approach, we're not only streamlining our procurement process but also reinforcing our commitment to sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint.
Accessible Patterns - this year, we're excited allow our customers the opportunity to create their own unique pieces. We believe that the patterns of our past collections should be more than just archived treasures. Starting this year, we are offering our customers the option to purchase garment patterns for personal use. This initiative ensures that these designs don't just remain hidden gems but become a source of inspiration and creativity for our community of avid sewers and those aspiring to start sewing. By making our patterns available, we're not just sparking creativity; we're embracing a more circular approach to fashion. This move allows our customers to engage directly with our designs, bringing a personal touch to their wardrobes while upholding the principles of sustainable fashion. Please note that these patterns are for personal use only and are not meant for redistribution or commercial sale.
With your help, 2024 is going to be a year of huge change and growth for In May. If you have any questions about our goals, sustainability ethos or are just wanting more knowledge, feel free to conatct us: firstname.lastname@example.org