Our company has always taken seriously its duty to the environment, and to the people who play a role in making our clothing. From the beginning, Margaret Howell's concept has been to make good quality clothes that last.

Starting as a very small enterprise we were acutely aware of the need to control costs and avoid waste. As we have grown over the years we have maintained a small company ethos which means that each of our staff owns responsibility for our viability. We are all aware that sustainability is not solely a company issue, but a global one.

Any business that manufactures has an impact on the environment but we try to reduce ours by limiting production to runs of carefully-designed and chosen items. This minimises over-ordering and its consequent waste.

We make a point of supporting traditional crafts and local industries, building long-term partnerships with trusted independent suppliers whom we know share our values. Having more than 95% of our suppliers based in Europe means we are able to visit them regularly to ensure not only the highest standards of make but also that our Supplier Code of Conduct is adhered to. Our Supplier Code of Conduct outlines the minimum ethical and environmental standards we require from our partners, including safe and hygienic working conditions, non-excessive working hours and ensuring Living Wages are paid. It also outlines the high standards our suppliers can expect of us.

As members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), we are committed to responsible business practices and to identifying, preventing, and remediating the human impact involved in running our business. Our Supplier Code of Conduct includes all aspects of the ETI Base Code, and is also informed by the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact and The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

We are a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world, and are working closely with our suppliers to increase the amount of organic and recycled yarns for our collections. By tracking all our raw materials, we are able to use clear information to identify areas we can improve on.

We have an extensive recycling policy throughout our company and are working towards having all of our packaging and print materials sustainably sourced and fully-recyclable.

Margaret Howell shops and premises, including our London factory, use 100% renewable electricity. Business flights which are deemed essential, such as factory visits, are carbon offset by planting trees with Trees for Cities and we use DHL’s ‘Go Green Climate Neutral’ service for our international shipments.

Sustainability is an ongoing and evolving commitment. Each Margaret Howell manager monitors our working sustainability practice, and a senior manager reports regularly on our progress to our Board of Directors.


If you would like to know more about our working practices and commitment to sustainability, please contact us at sustainability@margarethowell.co.uk

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