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Sustainable fashion is a hot topic at the moment. Established brands, from high street to luxury, are trying to align themselves with their customers growing expectation of supply chain transparency and responsible sourcing and production.
Customers are increasingly questioning the ethical and environmental issues created by fast fashion – the mass production of low quality products, often made in unsafe working environments by an underpaying exploited labour force. This shake up in the fashion industry is well overdue.
Fashion giants are quickly discovering that green washing is no longer enough. We as customers are increasingly looking behind the veil thin marketing tricks, and token gestures will no longer be enough to show the level of commitment towards sustainability we expect.
The topic of sustainability is being increasingly covered across industry titles, including Vogue, Business of Fashion, Cosmopolitan Magazine, The Telegraph, The Stylist, Grazia Daily to name a few, fashion bloggers and Instagram pages such as EcoAge. A credit is due to these fashion bibles and influencers for helping to champion this movement, in which we are pausing for a moment to rethink and evaluate the brands we choose to support. They are also playing a part by introducing their readers to new emerging and lesser known brands, brands built on a foundation of sustainability.
Whilst it is a huge challenge for smaller and emerging brands to have a voice in a very busy market place, what we do have is the opportunity to build our companies from the start to be sustainable brands of the future.
To be sustainable is to build a company that is both ethical and eco-friendly. With these values at our core, Padfiled is building a family of local British makers and suppliers, choosing to tan all of our leather locally in England, craft locally in response to customer demand, and source our other materials as locally as possible. At Padfield we know where, how and who is making every single Padfield accessory.
What we have discovered along this journey is that once you start down the sustainable path, you start making decisions that are just better. When we sat down to design our packaging we decided to be a plastic free company, and when choosing our UK courier we selected to go with the CO2 neutral option. By choosing to not cut corners, or value profit above all else, Padfield has naturally evolved to be a sustainable company. This is something that we are incredibly proud of.
Ultimately, it is down to every company to choose to seek out sustainable practices (and to find a way to make these often more costly practices work), and it is down to us as customers to keep the pressure on. To demand transparency and to actively engage with brands to learn about their values before we invest in their products.
To ask the big question before purchasing: Does this brand care?