Our Commitment To The Planet
Here at Bo+Tee it's important to us to be transparent with our customers, open up the conversation on climate change and show our commitment to a happier and healthier planet!
Keep reading to discover the impact of the fashion industry on our planet, as well as the positive steps we're taking in and out of the office to make our brand more eco-friendly.
This is the start of our sustainability journey. Currently, we’re working hard behind the scenes to develop and create a sustainability strategy that aligns with the 2015 Paris Agreement and The Sustainable Development Goals (also known as the 2030 Agenda). Through this, we’ll be able to implement changes bit-by-bit that protect the planet and the people on it. We’ll release more in the up-coming months! Keep reading to find out more about the positive steps we're already taking in and out of the office.
Let's Look At The Facts…
The clothing and textiles industry is responsible for:
8-10% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions
20% of industrial wastewater pollution worldwide
$500 billion of value is lost every year due to clothing underutilisation and lack of recycling.
Underutilising means these companies don't use the offcuts of fabric, and they buy items in large quantities, so a lot of the clothing simply goes to waste if it doesn't sell. To check out more stats on the clothing and textiles industry, click here.
Why does this happen?
A lot of brands don't work closely with the factories that manufacture their clothing, so they have no idea how much waste can occur as items move down the production line. Bo+Tee owns 60-70% of its factories and has a responsibility contract with the other 40-30%. We only ever order for demand and work with Parker Lane to distribute slow selling stock to countries with low footfall, so nothing ever gets thrown away.
We're Sticking To Our Values…
Bo+Tee is a brand with purpose. On seeing the awful poverty that many children were living in across southeast Asia, our founders Claire Henderson and Mike Branney started selling clothes on eBay and donating the profits to charity. After gaining huge success on eBay, Claire and Mike created their own websites, but the value and purpose behind the brand was never lost. The company has donated over £600k to charity in the last few years.
Our brand is built on ethical values, and we believe we have a responsibility to help the planet, just as we're helping communities in southeast Asia. We're committed to giving our customers unique, high-quality designs without compromising the principles that Bo+Tee was built on.
Our Vision For The Future…
We know that there’s still a lot more to be done! Every year we keep getting bigger and better, which means we need to take even more responsibility for the sustainability of our brand. So we have set aims for our future, and we'll be continuing to educate our employees and customers on how we can make Bo+Tee more eco-friendly. As a brand, we aim to:
waste in all areas of our business
What We're Doing Right Now To Create Change & What We’re Planning…
The Planet and Reducing Emissions
Solar Panels - We’ve partnered with Engenera who have installed ground-breaking combined heat and power units (CHP) on site. But why is this important? This specially designed system offers a clean and renewable heat source for the entire warehouse and office space in our Bromborough location. It provides year-round warmth when necessary.
Eco friendly deliveries - You can select a Click & Collect store or an InPost locker at checkout! By choosing this option, it means our couriers only need to make one journey to either location with multiple parcels instead of numerous journeys to different addresses for one.
Cycle to work scheme - We’ve introduced a new incentive scheme for our staff, to opt for a bike instead of a car, when travelling to work. They can purchase a bike of their choice and then pay it back at an affordable rate straight from their pay slips.
Car pooling - Where possible, our staff love to carpool! If there are up to four of you in a car, that's up to three cars off the road making the same journey! This is great for reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions, mitigating traffic and reduces the demand for parking infrastructure. You can do this too!
Motion activated - The lighting in our distribution centre is motion activated so that we minimise energy use.
Animal Welfare - No animals are harmed in creating our pieces. We only use faux leather and fur.
Paperless returns - This means that you no longer receive an invoice inside your order. We’ve cut back on ~1,350,000 pieces of paper a year! To return your parcel, please use our returns portal here.
ReCover IT - We’ve partnered with ReCover IT who are a local IT disposal company in Liverpool. They securely destroy all data on our end-of-life devices. The remaining hardware will then be repaired or recycled! They even donate a portion of their sales to charity.
Recycling and general waste - B&M Waste Management, a carbon neutral company, takes all the waste from our office and distribution centre, in Bromborough. This is separated and diverted to the correct waste streams in the depo. From this, renewable energy can be generated along with organic fertiliser. From their most recent report (01/09/2021-31/08/2022), 100% of our waste from the site has been diverted from landfill. You can read more about their processes on their website. here
Donate for a discount - We’ve partnered with The Salvation Army so that you can donate your unwanted items to charity for free through us with our new scheme - they don’t have to be Bo+Tee items, it can be any brand! To find out more about this, please follow this link
Product recovery scheme: repair and rewear - If you receive a less than perfect item from us, or your item becomes faulty within six months after purchase, we may be able to help you! We now offer a sustainable option, by refunding 20% of the item value. This means that you can take this to your local tailor or fix it yourself! Did you know that extending a garment’s life by just nine months can reduce its carbon, waste, and water footprints by between 20 to 30 per cent?!* Remember to fix it before you ditch it! Please note that all cases are reviewed individually.
Spot Wash Machine - 93% of our returns are re-sellable. Wonder what we do with the rest? We now have an inhouse spot wash machine that we use on 4% of returns. This means that they can be cleaned and re-packaged in perfect condition to be sent out.
Remaining stock - We’ve partnered with Parker Lane who help us to re-distribute end of season, slow selling stock and damaged items to areas that we don't have as much footfall. This helps to prolong the end-use of our products. They also take the remaining 3% of returns too! Find out more here.
Corporate social responsibility - We’re following our Code of Conduct across the whole value chain, especially within production and manufacturing.
Gender pay - No matter your gender, everyone is paid equally for their work.
Job roles - 71% of our senior roles are held by women. 70% of our employees within the company are women.
Discrimination - We have a zero-tolerance policy for any form of discrimination or harassment based on someone’s sexual orientation, gender, civil status, family status, religion, race, age, or disability. 30 of our managers have received a Level 2 Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. All members of our team complete a training module about Equality and Diversity and Bullying and Harrasment within their first 2 weeks at Bo+Tee.
Charity donations - As well as our own charity, The Brannerson Foundation, we also regularly donate a portion of our profits to different charities throughout the year. Each charity helps to combat different issues across the globe. Additionally, our employee of the month also picks a charity to donate £250 to! They are always personal charities that we love to help.
Mental wellbeing - Some of our colleagues have completed ASIST (Applied Suidicde Intervention Skills Training) helping us become a Suicide Safer Organisation. The course was delivered by The Martin Gallier Project.
Looking into the future...
Over the next few years, we are looking to:
- Ensure that mailing bags are made from at least 60% recycled materials
- Invest in eco-friendly, recycled, and regenerated materials for our products
- Offer additional eco-friendly delivery options with efficient couriers
- Install EV charging points at our Bromborough location
- Provide further information about how we produce and manufacture
- Outline official targets in line with the UN Paris Agreement and UN Sustainability Development Goals for the upcoming years, with a main focus for 2030
- Work with partners, who align with our values, to ensure we’re on track to hitting our goals
We’re working hard on our official sustainability strategy and carbon reduction plan. Once we’ve completed this, we’ll update our progression, promises and targets for 2025-2050. They'll revolve around the following themes: decarbonisation, circularity, transparency, inclusion and diversity.
There are plenty of other exciting projects happening behind the scenes too. We’ll make sure to keep everyone updated when we release information on them!