We are trying our best to build a business that gives our customers choice in how they shop so that it benefits them without compromising the planet. Our ethos is that we offer quality, longevity and sustainability, working towards a circular economy.
Sustainable Development Goals
We aim to work within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with a specific focus on SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.
The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.
Closing the loop
Babies and children grow out of their clothes very quickly so not only are we offering the essentials as part of our capsules, we are looking to expand our conscious wear offer of more expensive items such as dungarees, cardigans, dresses, and seasonal items such as outerwear and swimwear.
We offer high quality products, which have sustainable attributes, mostly GOTS certified organic cotton. We also have products made from fibres that have been developed with consideration for the environment such as recycled plastic bottles to make recycled polyester.
What is GOTS certified organic cotton and why is it important?
The textile industry is a main contributor of world pollution mainly caused by the processes used in textile development.
Organic cotton is a sustainable choice because it:
Combats climate change – Organic farmers use natural methods to grow cotton, not fossil-fuel based fertilisers. Farmers work with nature to build healthy soils which store carbon and help to combat climate change. Organic cotton emits up to 46% less greenhouse gas than non-organic.
Saves water – Conventional cotton production is not planet friendly and uses around 11,000 litres of water for every kilogram of cotton produced. Organic cotton production reduces water consumption compared to conventional cotton, by as much as 91% according to the Soil Association. Most organic cotton is grown in rain fed areas, so farmers do not have to extract water from the ground, which can put pressure on the water supplies of local communities. Organic farming creates healthy soils, which act like a sponge, soaking up water during floods and holding it for longer in times of drought. Hazardous synthetic pesticides and fertilisers are banned in organic farming, so rivers, lakes and drinking water are kept cleaner too.
Helps farmers support their families – Organic farmers always grow other crops alongside their cotton which can provide farmers and their communities with another source of income and a diverse food supply.
Gives farmers control – Organic farming does not permit genetically modified (GM) seeds so farmers are not reliant on a handful of GM companies. Instead, they work with the environment in a long-term, sustainable way.
Eliminates hazardous pesticides – Crop rotation is used in organic farming to control pests and diseases. This replaces the need for the hazardous synthetic pesticides used in non-organic farming which can damage ecosystems, poison waterways and endanger workers. Conventional cotton alone is responsible for 16% of all insecticides sold worldwide.
BUT…It is impossible for consumers to tell the difference just by looking at a garment, and any brand can claim to be selling organic clothing.
For this reason, we source products that are certified by GOTS, the Global Organic Textile Standard, from brands that have sustainability as part of their ethos.
GOTS is widely recognised as the leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. The standard tracks the supply chain ensuring that the organic fibre is passed from each partner and supported by a Transaction certificate which indicates how much organic cotton has been transferred at each point along the supply chain from farm to our suppliers.
At the end of the process you can be confident that the final garment is made from organic cotton, which has been made using environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing. The entire production chain is controlled, avoiding the use of fertilisers, pesticides and other chemical agents harmful to human health.
Other fibres for babywear
We are interested in other fibres that have sustainable attributes, but not all have the circularity that can help close the loop.
Recycled polyester is made from post consumer waste, that is plastic bottles. While this is good use of discarded plastic, garments made from recycled polyester cannot be recycled again. We purchase these items for their longevity, so they can be kept in use longer, and are typically used in outerwear.
Items made from organic cotton and bamboo together have a super soft feel and are great for sensitive baby skin. Bamboo can be a very sustainable crop as it requires no fertiliser and self generates from its own roots, so doesn’t need to be replanted, however the manufacturing of bamboo into a fabric often requires a highly intensive chemical process which is not environmentally friendly. Our supplier uses a process that ensures non-toxic chemicals are used and uses a closed-loop process (so they can be used again). This is crucial to sustainability as it means that no chemicals are released into ecosystems and biodiversity is maintained. Additionally the organic cotton that is used in their signature bamboo and organic cotton fabric is certified by the Organic Content Standard which verifies the amount of organic content in the final product.
Mixed fibre compositions are also harder to recycle as the different fibres have to be split out, so wherever possible we try to offer garments made from one fibre.
Our conscious wear collection aims to offer garments that meets the needs of our customers, and while it may not be possible to tick every box, we are working hard to offer clothing that respects the planet.
Laundering baby clothing
We started with a local laundry service and in 2022 we partnered with Oxwash, a sustainable garment cleaning company. Our baby clothes are cleaned using a super gentle, wet cleaning process that emulates delicate hand-washing with mild, hypoallergenic detergents that are suitable for delicate baby skin. They also transport our laundry using zero emissions electric cargo bikes. All items are 100% quality check by us on receipt before being put in sealed storage ready for despatch.
Our priority is that the items offered to you are in great condition, clean, hygienic and fit for purpose. Our clothes will be cleaner than ones you pick up off a rail in a shop.
We had planned on using good ‘used cartons’ secured with a Qookeee® branded recyclable paper tape, however this option didnt work for us. After months of looking at different options and trials we have sourced a material that sits with our ethos of quality and longevity and is also recyclable. We now have a Qookeee® box made from Correx®, which is suitable for multiple trips, and we’ll continue to monitor how well it holds up during use.
Our preferred provider is Royal Mail, who are investing in making their fleet of vehicles more carbon neutral.
Reducing waste from baby clothing
We are always questioning what happens to an item, at the end of its life – is it recyclable, will it end up in landfill? This shapes our decisions in what we buy. Our goal is to close the loop by finding ways of using clothes so they don’t end up in landfill.
We will repair clothing to keep it in circulation and have introduced a Condition status for all items on the website. Not all repairs devalue the clothing and we always aim to offer clothing in an Excellent condition.
Clothes that have been damaged that we cannot repair, and are unsuitable for renting, we will firstly try and be creative by up-cycling, and who knows we may even be able to rent them again in a different form!
We aim to send clothes made of 100% organic cotton to a mill so they can reuse the cotton fibre to re-manufacture it into fabric. This option is not currently common in the textile industry and the volumes required to do this may not be viable in reality. Additionally, all component parts would need to be made of cotton, and we do not have this level of information. Alternatively the components will need to be deconstructed, which is costly and not yet a realistic option.
As a last resort where upcycling and recycling is not possible we will donate the clothing to a local charity. We prefer that our clothing does not enter the textile centres recycling loop where clothing donated is sent overseas to be sold in third world countries and dumped in local markets.
Our babywear brands
Finally, a huge thank you to our wonderful brands without which Qookeee® would not exist. We have a diverse selection of brands, each with their own unique handwriting and all have been carefully selected. Our organic clothing comes from brands that work with a GOTS certified supply chain, which is a great achievement, such as the gorgeous Kite Clothing and the vibrant and fun Toby Tiger. We are pleased to be working with innovative brands that can extend the breadth of our product offer, such as Mori, with their luxurious super soft bamboo and cotton, and the fabulous Muddy Puddles, bringing us quality and longevity in their technical outerwear pieces made from recycled fabrics. We continue to seek out brands to partner with, to bring you great clothing, that considers the environment.