At True Tribe HQ, we’re committed to creating ethical luxury, sourcing sustainable textiles and educating our team and you about some of the environmental issues facing the planet and how we can contribute to the solution. To this end, we want to take you behind the scenes, to share with you our vision and efforts to bring the slow fashion movement into the conscious of every fashion consumer.
It’s often said that charity starts at home and we believe that making an impact in your local community is the best way to start a revolution. Our Atelier is based in Karachi, Pakistan and to us there’s no better place to start making a difference. Currently, Pakistan uses more than 50 billions single-use plastic bags each year. The environmental cost of this alone is unprecedented and can be seen not only in the larger trends of climate change, but also on the countries streets, beaches and seas. The country’s population is also forecasted to hit 300 million by 2050, so by educating the younger generation about the impact of plastic use and the benefits of recycling and sustainable living, we have a chance to impact change on a meaningful level.
Every single day, 8 million pieces of plastic pollutants find their way into the world’s oceans. This figure is both startling and hard to comprehend. To put that into context, according to the Ellen MacArthur foundation, by 2050, the ocean will have more plastic in it by weight than fish.
In order to start making waves, True Tribe initiated a beach clean-up programme in the Mubarak Village of Balochistan Pakistan in order to remove the swathes plastic polluting the beaches near the village. Our Founder, Alexandre, along with True Tribe staff and volunteers, cleared waste from the sand, rocks and water to prevent injury to local wildlife and to help stop this waste getting swept out into the ocean. This initiative also aims to educate children in underdeveloped areas of Pakistan about the consequences of plastic pollution, and how technology can be used to turn plastic waste into a luxury product. So, future generations will be skilled and prepared to commit to a more sustainable way of living and protecting their environment.
On the product side, True Tribe uses Econyl’s regenerated nylon, made from plastic waste, to produce each of our collections. This method of production highly reduces the carbon footprint of our garments, making them form of sustainable luxury that our customers can buy with peace of mind. Our commitment to creating a sustainable production and supply chain is paramount to our company values and is reflected in everything we do.
Once collected, the plastic waste is processed by Econyl’s factory to undergo a purification and regeneration process. Econyl cleans, shreds and undergoes a chemical process called depolymerisation to convert the waste into nylon. The nylon is then re-polymerised and turned into yarn. Simply put, this chemical process is quite similar to what happens when we digest food - what we eat is broken down into its basic building blocks and then put back together to form something new. This method is time consuming and labour-intensive but a necessary step towards a more environmentally-friendly mindset. There are certainly cheaper and quicker ways to make our product but we choose daily to take the path of integrity rather than profit.
Our Karachi-based Atelier also reflects our values in every way possible. Working conditions differ drastically from the usual working conditions found in many Pakistan workshops. Our space is bright, welcoming and an inviting place to come every day. We train skilled local craftsmen in the art of French textiles in order to transport years of know-how from Parisian ateliers to Pakistan.
True Tribe’s vision is to help Pakistan to evolve its textile industry from fast to slow fashion, to achieve a conscious business model that focuses on ethical craftsmanship and sustainably sourced fabrics. A pair of shorts created under the fast fashion model takes about 20 mins to make from start to finish. A True Tribe pair takes about 4 hours to make. We believe that quality takes time and that the price of slow fashion is one worth paying for the knowledge that what you are buying has been made ethically and sustainably.
Each pair of True Tribe shorts features the name of the craftsman who made them on the label. Look out for Handsome Shak, Nas The Grand and Honest Sal on your next purchase and take a look at our video to see these expert craftsman in action making your shorts by hand. All of our crafters take pride in their work and earn a fair salary that reflects a quality product and of course, our deep respect for the work they do and the need for ethical production methods.
From our beach clean-up initiatives and the way we source our materials to the making of the finished product, we believe that slow fashion is the only way to move the fashion industry forward today. We thank our team and customers for being the change they want to see in the world and for your continuing support of our vision and commitment to changing how we buy, both now and in the future.