The true cost of clothing is very well documented since the 90s however it is easily ignored.
Profits are always chosen over the welfare of workers and the environment.
The drive to make our own label was to build a company around a philosophy of respect that directly addresses these issues without compromise and of course a deep love of clothing.
Good Vibes, Karma, whatever you want to call it we just want to make and wear clothes that have been made in a good place we want to surround ourselves with this.
Our fundamental values are:
1. Only supporting organic agriculture.
2. Always respecting the people who grow, pick, spin, weave, sew and knit every SONO garment.
3. Carefully sourcing every element as local as possible, developing long lasting relationships with suppliers who share our same philosophy of respect.
4. Using wool from suppliers that respect animal welfare.
5. Avoiding petroleum based solutions and avoiding all plastics.
6. Keeping waste to a minimum.
7. Built in longevity to garment construction and design allowing clothes to be worn for decades instead of seasons.
We use cottons coming from biological crops not subject to pesticides, chemical fertilizers
and genetically modified seeds and wools produced from sheep reared in biological farms and free from any mulesing treatment.
SONO is a clothing project to change the perception of how we dress and consume in the 21st century.
SONO was and is a challenge, everyday questioning what we have learned so far and how we have lived all our lives.
A project to prove it is possible to create and manufacture designer clothing within the seasonal structure without compromise at any level.
It is also about having fun with clothes - dressing up is fun and feeling comfortable and great, whilst knowing that the most has been done to make this garment a fair-trade product.
Our garments are sewn by only a few factories and artisans that are all close to our studio here in London and one amazing factory in the Loire Valley, France, with the best practice at every level of technical detail, all seamstresses are fully employed and protected under French employment laws. The relationships have been built slowly over years, we know the names of everyone who makes our clothes and know for sure they are paid fairly.
Our knitwear is knitted by hand or on flatbed machine then linked and finished by hand 38km from our studio by an experienced team of ladies who live and breath knitting.
The yarn for our knitwear is from the Sesia Valley in Northern Italy. All wool is organic, natural and ensure that the sheep, goats and alpacas are looked after in the most humane and responsible way, the spinning and finishing techniques avoid all chemicals and use 100% renewable energy.
Our wool fabric is either woven raw without any chemical finishes in the UK or in Tuscany by an artisan and friend.
Our cotton is mainly woven in Veneto Italy using 100% GOTS (global organic standard) cotton yarns by a small family business.
Our Jersey is knitted in Carpi by another small family business using only GOTS organic cotton.
We use some Fair-trade organic cotton from India, with the kind help of a company in Wales that has worked with family based co-operatives for over 20 years. Woven by hand it has a beautiful irregular texture to it that is difficult to sew and preshrink and is only delivered by boat when it's finally ready, it always gives us a bit more headache but it is worth it because the fabrics wears in so well and the people are so kind and we believe in what they are doing.
We also use Tencel a highly breathable material (FCS certified) made from renewable wood fibre in Austria using a highly efficient, solvent free recycled water technique.
Our Cupro material is a sustainable fibre (regenerated cottonseed fibre) - made out of the mini fibres stuck to the cotton bud - which can't be used for spinning cotton.
Our Buttons are carved from organic corozo nut in Padua and dyed with plant based ecological dyes.
Our zippers are made from recycled brass in Switzerland, free from any harmful galvanisation processes and clean waste water.
Our garments are packed individually in paper bags to be sent to the stores.
We avoid plastic at every level and we try to recycle and reuse what we can.
We always try to not have too much stock and left overs, which is a task in itself as a fashion company.
There are people we learned who have been working for a fairer world since a long time and it is great to see that they stay with their standards which are not for the ultimate growth - they are for a fair product and everyone involved is getting it’s fair share.
We have always been responsible for our environmental footprint and constantly make changes to make sure our garments as sustainable as possible.
In our studio we use 100% renewable energy and try and ship as little back and forwards as possible. In our effort to do better, all our garments are packed by hand in the studio using 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable bags. We hope you don't mind receiving your order in a pre-loved box that we already have in our studio. We reuse whatever packaging we can to reduce waste. For our international orders we always use DHL's 'Go Green Climate Neutral' service.
We are working on reducing our energy as much as possible but where we can’t do this we offset our carbon foorprint.
SONO is 100% Carbon off-set using the golden standard initiative from Switzerland that focus’s carbon recapture on projects in developing companies, empowering and benefiting local communities with realistic but brave sustainable projects. We think they are examples of best practice and highly recommend them to anyone interested in managing their carbon: www.goldstandard.org
If you wish to do this too or just check your own carbon foot print there are so many helpful apps and websites.
We like being small and individual and grow slowly and being able to keep things working in the way we don’t need to be rushed into making big decisions quickly.
It is all part of the process and needs a lot of thought, this is also why sometimes the website doesn’t get updated, we can’t do everything super fast, we are only a small team, but we try.