The blue button

MADE-BY is an independent consumer label for fashion companies who continuously improve and are transparent about the social, economic and ecological conditions throughout the whole supply chain of their collections. [1] MADE-BY has a mission; they want to expand the market for clothes made in a durable manner. They want to do that by helping fashion brands to clean up their production process, to develop responsible production chains, and to give the consumers a wide choice of fashion products that are people and nature friendly.

They developed a blue button for MADE-BY approved clothing. Fashion brands and retailers can use these buttons to show their consumers that the clothes produced sustainably. That sustainable manner means that all of the brands use organic cotton and work only with factories that have a social code of conduct.

MADE-BY is a fashion company that has the focus on the environment as well as on the working conditions in the whole production chain. Everything that has the blue button has to be environmentally and socially responsible. There cannot yet guarantee a totally sustainable and ethical product, but they are working on it. To check everything in the whole chain is quiet difficult, because it depends on many aspects and they cannot change everything in one go. But what they can do right now is to make the entire process more transparent. They do so on their website, in the annual report and by linking their production data to the MADE-BY track-&-trace system. This system allows consumers to see where and by whom a garment was manufactured and the various stages it has completed. [2]

So if you see any clothes in a shop with a blue MADE-BY button on, you know that they were produced in a people and environment friendly way, included ‘green’ products. The brands that are already working with MADE-BY are; Alchemist, it’s mi, Le Big, Little Feet, Norintra, Circle on trust, Edun, Jackpot, Kids case, 100% organic cotton, Komodo, Kuyichi, Inti, M’brace, Rianne de Witte, Mim-pi, Intoxica, Tuff, Suite69, Slippely, Moodstreet, Nomad and Imps&elfs.

You can also order a blue button yourself on http://www.madeby.com and sew it on your clothes. Then you can show the world that you support the mission of MADE-BY.

Since 2005, MADE-BY has been working with the American organisation Organic Exchange. They worked together on the development of the track-&-trace system. This system traces the country of origin from all clothes. November last year Kathleen Wood (Europe interim program director Organic Exchange) visited the Netherlands. She was searching for a location for a European head office and a manager for the new European division. Together with Esther Verburg (Business development manager at MADE-BY) they developed a training program about sustainable production called ‘the case for sustainable fashion.’ The case for sustainable fashion is a training program of two days, consisting of a combination of readings and interactive sessions with speakers of different organisations. The subjects are:
– The market of sources of biological cotton
– Making a sustainable strategy
– Developing social conditions of the production chains
– Labelling and certification
– The traceability of fashion

The first seminar in Europe took place on 9 and 10 June in London. The next will be on 3 and 4 November in Sweden and Denmark.

For more information look at the website http://www.made-by.nl or http://www.organicexchange.org/europe.
[1] & [2] http://www.madeby.com

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