Who made my t-shirt? Follow the journey of an organic tee – from seed to shop

We believe in making t-shirts the right way. For us, that means as ethically and sustainably as possible – for people, animals and our planet – using organic and cruelty-free materials, renewable energy, low waste printing technology, plastic-free packaging, and of course sweat-shop free.

To mark Earth Day on 22nd April and Fashion Revolution Week‘s #whomademyclothes campaign (23rd-29th April 2018) which calls for greater transparency in the fashion industry, we’ve made it even easier for you to follow the journey of one of our products – from seed – to shop – to you. Thanks to our ace award winning ethical suppliers Teemill, at Animaltopia Clothing (formerly the Compassionate Tee-Shop) you can investigate the whole supply chain and find out details about where your item was made, how it got here, and if you’ve ordered one of our tees you can track your order to meet the exact people who crafted and packed your tee…

ORGANIC FARM

All our tees and tops are made from soft organic cotton or organic sustainable bamboo, which gives them their premium quality and lush supersoft feel.

  • Non-GM and GOTS certified organic or Oeko-Tex 100 certified organic bamboo.
  • Grown without synthetic fertilisers or toxic pesticides which can poison rivers and wildlife.
  • Co planting, insect traps and cow poo (!) are used to encourage biodiversity.
  • By building soil fertility CO2 is locked into the soil, helping mitigate climate change.
  • Grown in the North of India, where the monsoons fill reservoirs that supply almost all the water needed.
  • Producers are paid a fairer price.

PROCESSING

Organic cotton looks like a little bit of cotton wool bursting from a dry flower. The petals and seeds need to be removed before it can be spun. Gathered bolls of the cotton are trucked from the farms to the ginning house where they are separated out into useful fibres which are sent to be spun.

  • The waste seeds are pressed into cakes and used for cow feed.
  • Vegetable oil recovered from the process is also used for food products.

GARMENT MAKING

Our blank t-shirts are made in a factory where the spinning, dye, weaving, cut and sew are integrated. Vertical integration leads to cost savings which can be reinvested in the facilities and people.

This factory is audited by our award winning ethical suppliers Teemill for a wide range of social and sustainability criteria, and as one of the leading socially-responsible manufacturers in India.

  • Outstanding quality.
  • SA8000 Certified (Social Accountability audit).
  • Our suppliers, printers and distributors Teemill order only blank tees and tops – which means they don’t put factory workers under pressure to meet tight deadlines (like they face with most high street fashion companies and when working standards often suffer as a result).
  • Not tested on animals and do not contain any animal-derived products.

WATER

Wastewater from dyehouse effluent is a major source of pollution in the clothing industry. Our tees are dyed in a recirculation system where waste water is settled, filtered and then cleaned to be used again. At the end of the process, the water coming out of the filters is crystal clear and rather than be poured away, it is then used at the input for the next batch. It’s a closed loop.

  • REACH compliant.
  • Recirculated water to reduce waste and pollution.
  • ISO1400.

GARMENT SHIPPING

Our garments are shipped by sea freight. The supply chain has been designed to have rapid, real time printing in the UK so products are ordered blank without a print. It takes around 10 weeks on the water for the garments to arrive, but our suppliers Teemill are almost always in stock.

  • AI managed to help with forecasting and ordering so stuff does not need to be rushed around by air freight.
  • Lower emissions.

RENEWABLE ENERGY

Throughout the supply chain, clean, renewable energy is used.

  • In India where the garments are made, the factory owns two wind farms, and a 150kw solar PV array which generates electricity from the sun.
  • The Teemill factory printing and distribution centre in the Isle of Wight, UK, is powered by their own solar farm.

T-SHIRT DESIGN

  • Our founding partners designers Anna & Stu create nearly all our designs from our studio in the New Forest, UK – all inspired by animals and nature!
  • Our ‘Born to Roam’ designs were created for us by fellow Compassion Collective designer Ruth at TinCat Design, based in Bristol, UK.
  • Most designs start life as drawings and are worked up digitally, then uploaded to our Teemill powered Animaltopia Clothing shop (formerly the Compassionate Tee-Shop), to create our exclusive collection of tees and tops.
Photos: Our founders Stu & Anna / One of Stu’s drawings created for our ‘Save Our Whales & Dolphins’ species guide tee / Our ‘Born to Roam’ tee by Ruth in progress – from original sketch to finished digital colouring

  • We choose to use Teemill to power our shop and fulfill all orders for us – because Teemill are the most ethical and sustainable t-shirt suppliers in the world!
  • Our tees and tops are available in either soft organic cotton or supersoft silky sustainable bamboo – in an awesome range of styles for both men and women.
  • All of our products are cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.

REAL-TIME PRINTING

Every tee ordered from Animaltopia Clothing (formerly the Compassionate Tee-Shop) is printed on demand especially for you, using state-of-the-art technology at the Teemill factory in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight, UK.

  • Super low waste.
  • Lower impact chemicals, software, machinery and automation technologies.
  • Highest quality direct to garment printing.
  • GOTS certified organic printing process using environmentally friendly inks.
  • Cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.
  • Vocational Training programme creates jobs for local young people.

PACKAGING

By 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish. This is really bad. Plastic pollution in our oceans poses a real threat to whales and dolphins. Over 50% of all whale and dolphin species have been recorded eating marine plastics they’ve mistaken for food.

Our suppliers Teemill used to use a type of plant based polymer made from sugar cane, but now use a new rip and splash-proof mailer bag made out of paper.

  • Eco-friendly recyclable packaging.

DELIVERED TO YOU!


If you have an order number
you can check your order status or meet the people who made and packed your individual tee here:

We donate a small share of our profits from all Animaltopia Clothing (formerly the Compassionate Tee-Shop) sales to our favourite animal welfare causes with a minimum donation of 1% of our net profits to each charity (totalling 3%) – up to 100% depending on the design or campaign.

Since 2009 we have donated over £7,000 to our selected charities from online t-shirt and art sales.

WASH COOL, HANG DRY

About 70% of carbon emissions from a t-shirt happen during the in-use phase i.e., from washing and drying.

That’s why we ask our customers to wash cool and hang dry. You don’t have to, but it makes a surprisingly large difference when you study the whole life cycle of a t-shirt.

  • ~70% CO2 post purchase.
  • Tees stay awesome for longer too!

REPROCESSING

99% of textiles products end up in landfill. If we could make new products from old products, there would be no waste. This idea is called a circular economy…

  • Our suppliers Teemill (powered by Rapanui) are working on new fibres made from their old t-shirts.
  • If you ever have enough of your tees after wearing them every day(!), you can send your old ones back to rapanuiclothing.com and they’ll exchange it for £5 online store credit.

WEAR THE CHANGE, SHARE THE LOVE

But it doesn’t end here, in fact, it really starts with you…

Experience the lush feeling of our supersoft organic tees and tops for yourself, and feel good on the inside too knowing you’re supporting ethical, eco-friendly and cruelty-free fashion that gives back to animals.

Order your tees from Animaltopia today and help make it Earth Day, every day!

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