We sat down with Lucy Macnamara, founder of ethical and sustainable fashion brand Aspiga, to discuss their recent B-Corp certification, the importance of carefully sourcing materials, and their sustainability plans for the future.
Congratulations on your recent B-Corp certification - how did you find the certification process?
The certification process was a very comprehensive and positive learning experience. It took us over 18 months and required two members of staff taking on the application as a whole separate project. It went beyond looking at just our products, but required looking at every element of the business including our head office and staff, to assess its overall impact. It helped us to highlight areas where we were doing really well and also areas that needed further development. It led us to creating our yearly impact review which is a document that we update every 6 months detailing our key accomplishments and future goals
What does being a B-Corp mean to you?
We are extremely proud to have achieved B-Corp accreditation. Since the brand began in 2006, doing right by the planet and people has been at the core of our belief system and ethos. To have achieved such an accolade has made us feel very proud and encouraged us to continue to strive for more as a business on our sustainability journey.
We love Aspiga's focus on the welfare and quality of life of the makers behind your products, how important is that to you?
Supporting our makers and their communities has always been a key focus for Aspiga and the reason for which the brand began. I fell in love with the artistry and craftsmanship I experienced many years ago when travelling in Kenya and knew I had discovered something truly special. Our social initiatives are designed to support our makers and their communities, providing them with the tools and education they need to become economically empowered and independent.
You use GOTS-certified organic cotton and other sustainable materials throughout your range. What is your process for sourcing these fibres, and why do you seek out certified producers?
We are continually striving to improve our sustainability credentials, the fabrics we use and the suppliers we work with are paramount to this. We work very closely with our suppliers to address certification, traceability and ensure transparency. Ethical audits are reviewed and updated in addition to devising our own Code of Conduct which they are requested to sign and abide by. Our aim is to transition fully to a material / fabric portfolio that not only minimises our effect on the environment but that are also regenerative, renewable and circular.
Sustainability and ethical practices have been a part of Aspiga since day one, and you are obviously at the other end of the spectrum to the fast fashion brands - how do you feel about the environmental impact of that portion of your industry, and the greenwashing that appears to be taking place?
Sustainability has become a key word in fashion in recent years and an issue many brands are addressing and working towards. As you mention, this has been central to Aspiga since day one and we see first hand all the hard work that goes into ensuring that we are being authentic to this and meeting and exceeding sustainability standards at every level of the business. There is a lot more that goes into the process than a consumer may realise, education is key which is why we are fully transparent across all areas so that our customers understand what they are buying into and the journey that we have taken to reach this point.
What are Aspiga's future sustainability goals?
We have lots on our agenda for the next 6-12 months. A key part of this is offsetting and reducing our carbon emissions. We started working with a sustainable agency this year who will help to measure our output and then will devise a roadmap to offset and reduce. We are only in the initial stages, however, it is a very positive step for us. We are currently improving our circulatory in stores by having a team member who will be fixing any small defects to increase the longevity and avoid sending more products to landfill. We are also looking to potentially introduce ‘Aspiga Pre-Loved’ in our stores which is a concept we feel excited about. Keep your eyes on our social channels for more updates!