Think it would be fun to go into business with a family member? For many people, such a relationship ends up being toxic. However, for cousins Rachel Wood and Anna Singh, it was a match made in ethically sourced heaven.
The duo started their clothing business in a six-foot-by-six-foot office in London in 2009. What concerned them was the amount of waste the clothing industry produces and longevity. They wanted the pieces they created to be able to be worn for many seasons, not just for one trendy season. That would make the clothing more sustainable and affordable.
Over the years, the company which is now known as Chinti and Parker, has taken off. It’s a full ready-to wear line named after each of their great-grandparents’ first names. How cute is that?
Their first course of action – to design the perfect t-shirt. So many t-shirts are those ill-fitting “one size fits all.” We all know that’s a lie. They’re more like “one size that fits nobody.” So, what did the perfect t-shirt look like?
Singh said, “We consciously design with longevity in mind. It’s all about creating classics that can remain in your wardrobe for years and years.” What that means to them is that it’s designed well with ethically-sourced materials that will last. So much of what you get at places like H&M and Forever XXI don’t even last one wash. They are practically shredding by the time you get them home and out of the bag
Chinti and Parker get their woven cotton pieces and knits from India (they also have family there) and Portugal. The cashmere they use for sweaters comes from Italian yarn via a family-run mill in Mauritius. Buttons on many of the sweaters are made from corzo nuts rather than plastic to ensure sustainability.
However, the gals also want to be energy conscious. The CarbonNeutral Company watches over their emissions and plants trees around the world to offset them. Kind of makes that thin-as-paper shirt you bought from a corporation feel a little itchy, doesn’t it?
According to Wood, “We are moderate ethical consumers – we eat organic but sometimes drive to work – and that’s the way we choose to live. So, why wouldn’t we approach our business in the same way?”
As for the prices, well, they’re in British pounds, so we’re not exactly sure, but they’re not cheap. The question you need to ask yourself is… “What’s more important to me: getting something super-cheap or getting something of amazing quality, beauty and ethically sourced that will last a lot longer?”