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Keeping it simple and caring about our future

Wallace Cotton is a New Zealand family-based, family business with an incredibly passionate team. Cotton is in our name because we believe in using natural fibres from renewable sources. The brand has evolved over the last 17 years, but our philosophy remains clear and simple: to deliver beautiful designs and outstanding quality with minimal impact on the environment.

The global textile industry creates a lot of waste through over-ordering and over-production to meet competitive price points. At Wallace Cotton, we feel it’s our responsibility as producers to be sustainable and to minimise wastage in all areas of our business. From the way we design a range, the materials we use, the suppliers we choose and the quantities we order to how we package our product and reduce our emissions – we are continuously improving every process to become more sustainable.

“Growing up, our clothes were mended, re-purposed or handed down. It hurts to see mountains of things being made, thrown onto the sale table and then sent to landfill. It also hurts to see the damage poorly managed textile regions create for local workers and environments… it’s been clear to us from the beginning that we have a responsibility to choose our fabrics and suppliers carefully”. Paula Wallace, Director

Finding the perfect partner

We select textile partners and suppliers whose ethical business practices align with ours and who are committed to acting responsibly towards the environment and the wellbeing of their people. We regularly visit and work closely with specialist manufacturers in some of the oldest textile cities in the world.

Our carefully chosen suppliers are passionate about Wallace Cotton and understand our quality standards. Our priority is always quality not quantity – to produce fewer, more beautiful items with less environmental impact.

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Supplier standards

Wherever possible, we source our textiles from sustainable suppliers who are regularly audited and credited with internationally recognised certification standards.

GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard, ensures the organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.

STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is a consistent, independent, worldwide certification system for the textile industry. To gain certification, manufacturers must adhere to environmentally friendly production methods, without the use of banned colourants or harmful chemicals, and must demonstrate consideration for the recycling and thoughtful dispersal of water.

DOWNPASS – Products labelled with the DOWNPASS Certification guarantee high quality and the certainty that down and feathers used as filling material are ethically sourced and come from tightly controlled and traceable supply chains.

“We work hard to develop long-term relationships with suppliers who’ve shown us that we can trust their standards and processes - so we can pass this trust on to our customers”. Bill Wallace, Managing Director

Sustainable style using the finest natural fibres

We constantly evaluate the fabrics we use for our collections, to ensure they maintain a strong sustainable focus and to minimise our impact on the environment. We thoughtfully design our new ranges to complement previous seasons, making it easy for our customers to build a cohesive and coordinated collection.

Organic Cotton
We source GOTS certified organic cotton for our beautiful collections, which is kinder on the planet and on our skin. Organic cotton production is free from pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and genetic modification. This makes it better for the people who farm and work with cotton crops, better for wildlife and eco-systems – and for consumers too. The certified yarn is grown on sustainable farms, can be reused and is biodegradable. We create as much of our range as possible from organic cotton.

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Sustainable style using the finest natural fibres, cont.

Feather and Down
For our customers peace of mind, we insist that our beautiful feather and down based products are made by suppliers who carry a current DOWNPASS Certification. This means we can guarantee that the fill for our Downtime duvet and pillow inners has been obtained ethically as a by-product, meets stringent hygiene requirements and can be traced back to its original source.

Linen
Linen is a sustainable fabric choice as it requires little water for its production, is completely biodegradable, is strong, durable and creates bedding and clothing which can last a lifetime. Our pure linen collections are made from certified authentic European yarn and is OEKO-TEX® certified.

Modal
We use Modal fabric for some of our sleepwear collections. Modal is an eco-friendly, biodegradable fabric made by turning wood pulp into a strong yet soft closed loop cellulose fibre. Modal requires less land coverage per tonne of material harvested than cotton and has a water consumption level that’s 10 to 20 times less than that of cotton.

Silk
Silk is a soft and luxurious naturally sourced fibre that is biodegradable. All our silk products are sourced from an OEKO-TEX® certified supplier.

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“I can’t resist the amazing fabrics, I feel like I’m spoiling myself when I buy from Wallace Cotton. Their pieces are not mass-produced but beautifully made from gorgeous velvet, super soft organic cotton and light and airy linen”. Rachel, Wallace Cotton Customer

Reducing plastics in our business

We’ve embraced fabric packaging throughout our business to lessen waste and reduce landfill. Since 2006, our customers have received their purchases in a free cotton laundry bag instead of a plastic shopping bag. Our laundry bags are made using our seasonal prints and are loved by our customers as a collector’s item for storing linen, shoes and many other uses. We’ve replaced plastic sale bags with reusable canvas bags and since 2015, most of our bed linen has been packed in fabric packaging rather than single-use plastic packaging. We’ve redesigned our garment packaging, removing individual plastic bags to eliminate plastic completely from our garment process. A large part of our business is e-commerce which requires parcels to be delivered, traditionally in single-use plastic bags. All our online orders are now shipped in corn-starch bags. We aim to eliminate all plastic packaging by 2025.

Reducing emissions

As a company we’re continually looking for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint. We choose to work with couriers that have set their own objectives to minimise their emissions. Overseas travel is a requirement of visiting our suppliers, so when we do fly, we offset our flights. We sea-freight bulk orders of our products to ensure our shipping emissions are minimised.

Paper cuts

We continue to reduce our use of printed materials throughout the company. Our team use FSC* certified paper for printing in our head office and retail stores. We make efforts to reduce our paper consumption across the company by using digital communication and developing reusable and recyclable in-store signage. We are also working closely with our local and international printers and stock suppliers to use accredited FSC paper and environmentally friendly inks.
*FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper is paper that has been harvested in a responsible manner.

Our people

At Wallace Cotton we pride ourselves on having a strong family culture at our core, where our people feel supported, respected and valued.

Our corporate values are:
Caring – we care about our customers, our people and our communities.
Original – exclusive designs created to inspire and delight.
Teamwork – we are one team, we achieve success through collaboration, support and accountability.
Thorough – we have a total commitment to quality and attention to detail.
Openness and sharing – we are the Wallace Cotton family; we communicate with honesty and respect.
Natural – we focus on products derived from nature, naturally better for people and the planet.

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The future

While we know there’s still more to be done, we’re proud of what we have achieved so far on our sustainability journey. We are committed to making careful choices in our suppliers, designs, fabrics and in our processes, with a focus on producing beautiful, quality products for our customers. We will continue working to reduce our environmental impact, so that we can tread lightly on our precious planet.

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