We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and gather, at our Head Office in Naarm and our boutiques across this Nation, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the rich and diverse stories, cultures and traditions of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who live and work on this land.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR DIRECTOR
Since 2004, V&W's commitment to the environment and social responsibility formed our very humble beginnings. Including a love for natural textiles (which began with merino wool), and our determination to remain wherever possible Australian made. These values have formed the very essence of our brand.
However, we acknowledge that our beginnings do not define us; Instead, it is a tangible ongoing commitment to improve everything we do that will be our legacy.
As an Australian owned and made brand we are intrinsically linked to our beautiful country. 17 years on, it continues to inspire each of our collections. We owe it everything.
Here we share what V&W is currently working on and what we hope to achieve over the coming months and years to be a more sustainable business.
This year on World Oceans Day we dedicated 10% of sales to The Great Barrier Reef Foundation, resulting in $5,000 AUD raised. This is just one of the on-going initiatives we are implementing and we look forward to keeping you informed on how your support makes an impact to our broader community.
- MARGIE WOODS, FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR
DESIGNED IN MELBOURNE
Our proudest commitment to sustainability is our passion for enduring design. We design with the intention that you will hand pieces down to loved ones and friends and that each piece has the versatility and ability to be worn year-round. Our head office is located in Melbourne, where we are committed to an in-house design development business model. All V&W suppliers and makers are ECA (Ethical Clothing Australia) accredited and the majority have partnered with us since the brand was founded in 2004. We have built long-term relationships with our local makers to ensure we are supporting growth within our industry, as well as maintaining transparency throughout our supply chain.
Australia is always our first choice for manufacturing; however, this is not always possible. We are committed to utilising a minimum of 70% Australian manufacturers. The decline of our local industry means Australian manufacturers are sometimes limited by the machinery and production techniques available. In making the decision to engage offshore manufacturers, V&W ensures this is centred in producing the highest quality garments possible, in line with sustainable practice.
Now more than ever we need to support our remaining Australian manufacturers and industry. For years we have been working on an incredible initiative, one that supports and expands our ability to continue making in Australia. This is something we are passionate about and are excited to share with you that in the coming months, we have sourced and will begin utilising a new knitwear machine that allows us to increase production in Australia by 50%, creating an additional 4,000 units per annum locally.
ENVIRONMENT & COMMUNITY
V&W is entirely designed in Melbourne, and predominately made in Australia. Our carbon footprint is minimised by prioritising a local supply chain, as well as complete transparency with our suppliers. As we work towards zero-waste practices, we have partnered with multiple organisations to repurpose and donate excess fabrication and archive stock.
HOPEWORKS – We have partnered with not-for-profit company HOPEWORKS to implement a sustainable program within our sample room. Going forward, all of our scrap fabrics and offcuts will be bagged separately to our paper waste. The bags of offcuts are then donated to Hopeworks, where the fabrication is used to create resources for crisis relief. The fabrics they can’t work with end up being shredded and used to stuff other items like pet beds. Nothing goes to landfill. Their main focus is youth employment through training and mentorships, however they also run food rescue and distribution centres and horticulture and environment focused programs.
FITTED FOR WORK – We regularly donate past season stock and samples to Fitted For Work, a not-for-profit organisation to help women in Australia experiencing disadvantages get work, keep work and navigate through working life with success. They provide women with practical skills, knowledge, self-esteem and the know-how so that they can move forward with confidence in the workplace.
BUSHFIRE RELIEF – In 2020, we donated $20,000 AUD to support bushfire relief. Additionally, our Founder, Margie Woods donated $5000 AUD to Wires Wildlife Rescue.
KOORIE HERITAGE TRUST: V&W has committed to building a culturally responsive and respectful workplace. To support this cultural competence journey, we have recently participated in cultural awareness training with the help of The Koorie Heritage Trust. The Koorie Heritage Trust is an Aboriginal owned and managed not-for-profit organisation. They are leaders in Building Aboriginal Cultural Competency (BACC) through their Indigenous Cultural Awareness workshops.
The Koorie Heritage Trust at Federation Square takes Koorie peoples, cultures and communities from the literal and figurative fringes of Melbourne to a place that is a central meeting and gathering place for all Victorians. Their location at Federation Square is a recognition of our shared history and the importance of Koorie peoples as part of a broader 21st century community. We encourage everyone to learn and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
WE WEAR AUSTRALIAN – we strongly support the ‘We Wear Australian’ movement and we thank Showroom X for their incredible effort supporting the Australian fashion industry, a topic that is so close to our heart.
THREAD TOGETHER – alongside the ‘We Wear Australian’ campaign, we are proud to be working with the charitable organisation Thread Together, driving social and environmental change to dress those in need and manage fashion waste. We support by pledging a financial and clothing donation.
V&W believes fashion has the power to enrich and empower, a journey we relish in being a part of. We know if we centre our contribution around respect and collaboration, we share in the prosperity of our team, community and industry. We commit to building a team which is equal, valued and shares in the collective goal to create a beautiful and thriving future.
We have implemented the use of hangers made from recycled plastic in all new V&W boutiques. By 2023, our goal is to have all hangers 100% sustainable and made from recycled plastic. Our store design is considerate of sustainable fibres and materials such as recycled plastic, upcycled wine corks as well as collaborating with local artisans who share this focus. Our instore packaging is 100% recyclable and environmentally accredited and we implement the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products in all V&W boutiques.
Viktoria & Woods is predominantly & proudly made in Australia and accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA). Any designs that are made outside Australia, participate in yearly audit’s, which means fair working wages and conditions are met both locally and offshore. Our offshore knitwear factories are SEDEX certified.
AUSTRALIAN MERINO WOOL
Knitted in Melbourne and signature to our brand since 2004. Our Australian merino wool has an extra fine quality count of 19.5 microns for our relaxed fully fashioned knits, and a superfine 17.5 micron for our lightweight layering knits. We use ethical non-mulesed wool which is certified by Bluesign®. This ensures the entire manufacturing process from shearing to spinning has no harmful impact on the people or planet. Our wool is sourced from a family-run farm in Victoria and sent offshore to be spun and dyed. The offshore mill meets the following certificates and standards: Bluesign®, OEKO-TEX®, REACH, DETOX By Greenpeace and RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) .
RECYCLED WOOL COATING
Wool is one of the most sustainable natural fibres. It is renewable, naturally biodegradable, and possesses self-cleaning and moisture wicking properties allowing it to breath even in the warmer months. The wool used in our signature coating is woven in a third-generation Italian mill, accredited by GRS (Global Recycled Standard) and OEKO-TEX®.
Traceable to inner Mongolia, our high-quality cashmere is grown following sustainable and ethical practices. Legal requirements are followed to allow for the natural regrowth of pastures, and DNA testing is performed regularly on shorn fibres to ensure 100% purity. Cashmere breathes, is lightweight and considered stronger than wool which means when you invest in a cashmere garment you are purchasing a piece that will last for years to come.
ORGANIC COTTON RIB
Our signature 2x2 organic cotton rib is knitted in Melbourne using GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified cotton; Ensuring that the textile, environmental and social standard for this organic fibre meets global standards. Depending on the garment, we will sometimes blend our rib with 3% elastane to aid shape, recover and garment longevity. The everlasting attributes of each of our designs is our most important commitment.
ORGANIC COTTON JERSEY
Knitted in Melbourne our organic cotton jersey is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified ensuring that the cotton is grown and manufactured using practices that are sustainable and ethical. Compared to regular cotton, organic cotton uses far less water to grow, reducing CO2 emissions by over 40%. It is grown chemical-free and knitted into a luxurious, soft jersey in Melbourne.
Knitted in Melbourne, our 100% cotton fleece remains one of our signature textiles. Proudly made in Australia and trimmed with our organic cotton rib.
Bamboo is a regenerated fibre made from the pulp of bamboo. We purposely blend a percentage of polyester to stabilise the yarn. This helps give the fibre longevity and durability. The raw material (bamboo) is a biodegradable resource and uses far less water to farm. It does however require a large volume of water to process for textile use. To counter this, our mill filters the water waste and after approved re-testing, the water is chemical free and recycled. Unique fibre advantages of bamboo include natural antibacterial properties, durability, it is also breathable and easy to care for.
Cupro (often referred to as Vegan silk) is a bi-product of the cotton industry, spun from tiny cotton fibres that are usually discarded in cotton production. Made in Japan, our Cupro is blended with acetate, made from regenerated wood pulp and is also biodegradable. Like most Japanese fabrics, it is manufactured following strict environmental guidelines, including, water management and responsible chemical disposal processes. Our heavy weight cupro contains Triacetate, a sustainable fibre with FSC certification (Forest Management Certification).The cupro component is a sustainable fibre from Asahi Kasei with a GRS certification. The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of Recycled Content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices.
Our silk textiles are produced by a single company with a vertical operation. This means our entire manufacturing process is traceable and certifiably ethical from farming, harvesting, spinning and final production. Our silk is certified by OEKO-TEX ethical practices standard. The dye house has the same OEKO-TEX certification, ensuring no harsh chemicals are being used to create our colours and prints.
Linen is a naturally grown fibre that requires minimal energy and water to grow. The entire flax plant is used in the production of linen, ensuring no waste at the harvesting stage. We blend cotton into this lightweight jersey fabrication, meaning that even as a blend, the garment is biodegradable. Our linen cotton is breathable, lightweight and transeasonal.
Our Denim is made from cotton and is occasionally blended with elastane to encourage stretch and recovery. At a minimum, 85% of our denim collection is proudly made in Australia each season. The design team work closely with our suppliers to create bespoke finishes. Each finish, detail and wash is carefully considered and tested to ensure we reach premium results. We are working closely with our suppliers towards producing all denim locally using eco-wash practices and chemical free distressing.
Viscose is a regenerated fibre, made from wood pulp. It is commonly made from naturally fast-growing plants such as bamboo, ensuring it's grown using minimal water and no harsh chemicals. Being natural, it also has the quality of being biodegradable. Often blended with fibres such as Bamboo, Polyester or Rayon to encourage durability, soft hand feel and lustrous finish.
Each V&W garment is designed with longevity in mind. Classic silhouettes engineered with premium fabrications ensures our garments are worn for years to come, with the intent to be handed down. In 2020 we launched V&W Home, which in part aims to repurpose archived & excess fabric into bespoke cushions, face masks, silk eye masks and other seasonal additions. We also make accessory dust bags from excess fabric rolls in our studio to use with various accessories.
Original hangers are reused throughout our supply chain to avoid contribution to landfill. Our partnerships with Hopeworks & Fitted For Work ensure excess fabric and archive stock is donated to a community in need.
We as a business are constantly striving to do better, for our industry and our customers. We are in the process of sampling new V&W packaging which is sustainably sourced, produced and recyclable or biodegradable. We aim to implement use of this new packaging throughout the company by the end of 2021.
In 2022, we will engage with sustainability experts to audit, assess and implement a comprehensive transparency report, as well as outlining realistic goals we can set and strive towards.
In 2022, we aim to launch a V&W take-back program where customers can drop off old V&W garments at a V&W boutique and we will facilitate donating these garments on their behalf to organisations such as Fitted For Work, Thread Together and Hopeworks. This will help us to ensure that we make every effort that no V&W garment ends up in landfill.
Each year on World Oceans Day we will donate a percentage of our sales to an oceans charity.
Our goals for the future are a work in progress and will continue to evolve with the assistance of our community, experts and industry leaders in sustainability.
We value our communities ideas, knowledge and feedback. If you would like to get in touch with us, please email email@example.com