We recognise our responsibility to both people and planet, and integrity is at the heart of everything we do. As Acler has evolved as both a design house and a business - so too has the way we work with our supply chain and internal and external stakeholders. We understand our vital role as Australian designers in environmental sustainability and we are committed to real, authentic, long-term impact.
We have formalised our commitment to sustainability through the development of a sustainability policy, a strategy to drive this, and a cross-functional working group to implement. This working group will be considering the environmental impact at each stage of a garments ‘life’ to ensure we are making more informed choices from design to production and ongoing garment care. We’ve outlined the steps we are taking in more detail below.
STAGE ONE: OUR COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY IN DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION
Luxury fabrics are required to produce our garments with the quality we have become known for. We are currently introducing more sustainable fabrications into our ranges, starting with Lenzing™ ECOVERO™ fabrics. Lenzing™ ECOVERO™ branded fibers are an eco-responsible alternative with a low environmental impact*. We’re releasing garments in this fabrication as part of our Resort 23’ collection** with a long-term view to continue to expand pieces available in lower environmental impact fabrications.
We’ve also integrated Recycled polyester from our Pre-Fall 23’ collection. Recycled Polyester is made from all kinds of recycled plastic waste. To make recycled polyester materials, recycled plastics are collected, sorted, shredded down and then melted before being turned into polyester chips/pellets. These pellets are then melted and spun into filaments ready for raw material use.
While our recycled polyester fabric is certified against recycled standards, due to supply chain barriers, our finished garments are not able obtain certification. We are working towards obtaining full supply chain and brand certification so we can make certification claims on all our recycled fibres.
From our Fall 23’ collection, organic cotton has been utilised. Organic cotton farming does not allow the use of toxic chemicals or genetically modified seeds. Organic cotton farmers prioritise soil health and fertility, whilst also improving biodiversity through their farming practices. We source our organic cotton from certified farms that undergo yearly audits for social compliance. While all cotton is biodegradable, organic cotton typically contains fewer synthetic chemicals that can be harmful to the natural environment.
Our Organic Cotton is certified at farming, harvesting and weaving stage. Due to breaks in our supply chain, we are currently unable to obtain finished garment certification. Our long-term goal is to gain full brand certification from Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) so we can promote the GOTS environmental and social compliance claims.
Over the next 2 years we have made the commitment to introduce additional recycled and organic fabrications.
*Compared to generic viscose and calculated using the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI) tools provided by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. The Higg MSI tools assess impacts of materials from cradle-to-gate for a finished materials (e.g. to the point at which the materials are ready to be assembled into a product). However, this figure only shows impacts from cradle to fiber production gate.
Treatment Process, Fusings & Garment Trims
We’re currently trialing new recycled polyester fusings. TIANMA recycled polyester will be released in our Spring 23’ collection** and rolled out in collections following.
From our Pre-Fall 23’ collection** we have introduced NATULON® zippers. These zippers are crafted from recycled materials such as PET bottles, and utilise yarn made from more than 99% post-consumer recycled material.
**Please note, we carefully craft our collections 12 months ahead of the season. While we want to enact immediate change, these changes are reflective of the seasons we are working on now, even though they won’t be released to the public until 2023.
Packaging & Labelling
We’re continually reviewing our packaging alongside constant industry updates in this space. Currently, we package all our items from our suppliers to
our warehouse in Industrially Compostable Polybags. These are made from 100% biodegradable certified plant-based material.
Once an order is placed, garments are secured in satchels made from 80% recycled materials. These materials are also 100% recyclable.
We have a minimal approach to packaging overall in a considered effort not to send additional items that will only end up in land fill. With your Acler order, you will receive protective biodegradable, recycled, acid free tissue wrapped around your pieces.
The labels that you can see on our garments from the ‘Acler’ branded labels on the collar, rough to the garment size and wash care instruction labels are now made from recycled polyester.
STAGE TWO: OUR COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES
We have appointed a sustainability lead in our design team to investigate practices by our current and future manufacturers to ensure we minimise the negative impacts on the environment during garment construction.
We craft our designs in-house, which means our design teams are surrounded by textile scraps every day. We’re working with the Upparel Recycling Project to ensure all our unused textile scraps do not go to landfill. Uparrel can then use these by passing on to other textile companies and/or giving new life to unwanted textiles by way of creating socks and children’s flip sofas. You can find out more and shop the Upparel range here.
We acknowledge that the path to a more sustainable business starts with what we do as a collective, here on the ground at our office space in Adelaide, South Australia. We’ve been working closely with our sustainability lead on how we can upgrade all business waste management systems. Changes implemented include making the change to a more eco-friendly supplier for all our office supplies, starting our own soft plastics and electrical goods recycling runs and making it easier for staff to up cycle and donate their own end-of-life garments to Upparel.
STAGE THREE: OUR CARE AND REPAIR MANDATE
We want our garments to live a long wardrobe life, to be worn on holidays, from beach to bar, or to last the night on a wedding dance floor. That’s why we drape pieces with quality fabrications and finishings. But even the most robust fabrics may not be able to survive an accidental wine stain or a wayward heel rip from a dance floor mosh. These are the clothing signatures of a life well lived, and we want that for our pieces. That’s why we’ve developed the below recommendations for garment care and repair. Please note - our customer service team are here to help with any advice you may need to lengthen the wardrobe-life of your piece. They can be reached at any time on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where possible, please follow the care instructions on the garment to ensure there is no shrinkage or wear/tear during the washing process.
If you are unsure of the washing instructions, please contact our customer service team. They will be able to advise the best care instructions for your piece.
For any large stains, again please feel free to run these past our customer care team and they can make a recommendation based on the fabric of the piece.
Repair of Wear and Tear
For any buttons and finishings that have gone awry, please contact our customer service team. Where possible we will look to source a match for the missing element of your garment at no additional cost, so that you can extend the life of your loved piece.
Australian Local Repairers
For any repairs that may require some design expertise we have compiled the below directory:
The Couturist: 122 Gilbert St, Adelaide | (08) 8231 5993
Alter it South Yarra: 242 Toorak Road | (03) 9939 7613
La Couturier Alterations: Suite 3, Level 3 The Dymocks Building, 428 George St | (02) 9223 3885
Perth Best Alteration: 1/111 Roy St East Perth | 0422 640 462
InStitchu: 2/54 Marcus Clarke St, Canberra | (02) 6113 0891
Tailor Clothing Alterations: Level 4/141 Queen St, Brisbane City QLD 4000 | 0404 580 949
Sew Design Studio: Shop No. 19/48 Trower Rd, Millner NT 0810 | 0432 955 577
STAGE FOUR: INFLUENCING FOR CHANGE
Our commitment extends beyond our internal practices, and we believe that influencing for change with our suppliers and external stakeholders is a big part of the puzzle.
This year (2022) we were proud to sponsor the National Innovation Games, which is an event that champions new ideation for sustainability across all industries. We also had ‘Acler’ representatives contribute to the games, with a focus on innovation projects with a Fashion Industry focus.
We’re also working with our warehouse and our suppliers to influence improvements in their environmental credentials across the board.