Planet

The resources the natural environments around us give people, are often taken for granted. Taking care of the environmental resources in the ecosystems in which the business operates is crucial to the business values and mission to be an ethical brand. This is why over 95% of the material Dilli Grey products are made of are natural fibres, and most of them are organic as well - to decrease the negative environmental impact. Read more about environmental initiatives in this section.

Materials

As a lifestyle brand, the fabrics and materials used in our designs are a big part of our business' carbon footprint. To be a truly ethical business, it is crucial the main materials we use are sustainable. Therefore, as mentioned in the above, over 95% of the fabrics used are natural fabrics - including certified organic cotton, lyocell and linen. Not only do these raw materials take less water, pesticides and chemicals to grow, but once they reach the end of their lives, they will decompose back into the earth, unlike synthetic fibres.

Organic cotton

The majority of Dilli Grey’s products are made of organic cotton, as it is one of the most environmentally friendly materials. It is more protective of the environmental resources because it saves water (approximately 95% less) is used in the production of organic cotton compared to conventional cotton and hazardous pesticides are not part of the farming process, which means local ecosystems and biodiversity are not harmed in the process. Please see the Soil Association’s website for further information.

Linen

Linen is derived from flax, one of the oldest continuously cultivated plants in the world which is spun and woven to create the strong and durable linen fabric. It is biodegradable and antibacterial material. Additionally, it is known for being breathable, lightweight and comfortable - and it only gets softer with every wash.
Apart from the abovementioned pros, the production process to create the linen fabric is sustainable in the way that it grows rather fast and only needs to dry for about two weeks before the retting and the next steps can begin. However, the overall production time frame is longer than for example cotton, which is one of the reasons it is often more expensive and not as widely used as conventional cotton.
Currently, the linen used in our production is not organic, but this is on our list of improvements. Thus, in the future our goal is to offer a 100% organic linen, just like the cotton we use is always 100% organic.

 

Upcycling

Another way to be mindful of environmental resources is by offering products made of recycled or upcycled products. A popular product is the vintage kantha jackets, which are made from beautiful upcycled Indian kantha blankets. They are specially sourced by antique dealers throughout India. These textiles would otherwise be lost, or not in use. By reimagining them into modern womenswear, they are given another life, and the carbon footprint of a new Dilli Grey collection can be reduced, as the raw materials that the collection draws on will be reduced.

Remnants from the production of hand-block printed sleepwear and accessories are used to create journals and small cotton accessories to minimise unnecessary wastage.

Waste management

As a 'zero waste' brand we ensure none of our end of season stock is sent to landfill, like so many of the fast-fashion brands - by producing in smaller collections it means we often sell-out, rather than having to heavily discount all our end of season surplus, which encourages the 'throwaway fashion mentality'.

We also 'buy conservatively' which means we aren't left with huge volumes of stock at the end of the season that we need to shift. Often we sell out of popular designs and whilst I know that disappoints many, I would rather we were in a position where we had zero waste at the end of the season. Occasionally you will see a sale pop up on the website at the end of each season, where we offer discounts on the very 'last few' of a design that we are not repeating, this ensures we have an empty stockroom at the end of each season, with no garments ending up in landfill, which is the sad case with many high-street brands.

We often rework styles season after season as we believe in timeless, good design - so chances are we will reimagine a popular shape in a fresh print to create a new look, like our bestselling Bianca dress above, which was first created in 2020.

All our bags and tickets in-store are created for us by hand in Jaipur, using the remnants from the fabric industry to make cotton paper - they are completely tree-free.

In store our aim is to go paper-free - our first step is to offer digital receipts with purchases and we have removed as much paper as possible with online orders. Any postcards, or brochures included with orders are printed on uncoated recycled paper here in the UK.

Carbon footprint 

We are working on our first carbon emission assessment and we will share it as soon as it has been issued. An external carbon emission platform has been used to calculate the carbon emission for the company for the year 2022/2023. By signing up to the platform, the footprint can be assessed on an annual basis, and strategies can be put in place to further reduce its carbon footprint and work towards being carbon neutral.

Current practices in place, includes shipping by sea from India whenever possible, but this is one of the biggest challenges that we are working on improving.

All fabrics, trims, and yarns are of Indian origin, to keep emissions from transport as low as possible.

 

Energy consumption 

By the nature of how our designs are made, the company is treading lightly on the planet, as everything from our pattern-cutting to block-printing is done by hand and in small batches; without the use of machinery. The small-scale, handmade production allows for centuries-old techniques to be viable and sustainable for our artisans, as they are not demanded to make over a thousand units in a short-lead time. A single product may take six to eight months to develop, with often only 50 pieces ever being made. It is this slow intentional production that we hope shines through in our designs.

The facilities in England, such as the shops and the office, all use green energy providers and LED lighting.

Packaging

In 2020 we reduced our plastic consumption by approx. 90% - all items will be shipped to us from India in cloth bags, or wrapped in fabrics to remove as much plastic as possible from our supply chain.

All our dresses are delivered to customers in a matching cotton print tote bag, with zero plastic packaging.

Environmental charity donations

Ongoing - Buy one, Plant one

In February 2022 we launched our 'one product = one tree' pledge to plant one tree for every purchase made on our website. By April we planted 1672 trees.