Carlie Ballard garments are made in a small workshop in Lucknow India, offering the dignity of employment, fair pay and excellent working conditions to a talented bunch of artisans. All of the profits from the workshop are dedicated to growing its capacity to employ, train and support the families of the women it has been established to assist.
The team love to giggle at work, they gossip, eat cake, drink chai, listen to the radio, sing and share their stories like any other workplace. They work normal hours, have a weekend, have a lunch break and have a wonderful support network.
Working Conditions at our Cut Make and Trim workshop:
- 5 x 8-hour days a week for the standard salary, not 6 as is the norm. When a 6thday is worked they are paid overtime.
- Flexible working hours, especially important to women with family obligations
- Interest-free loans
- Financial support for any training/education undertaken
- Paid study leave
- Literacy classes during working hours
- Assistance and support with personal or family problems, including health problems, led from the top down by all-female management team
- Children welcome after school, in school holidays or when ill
- Encouraged to train to further their skills within the workshop
We are dedicated to using sustainable fabrics including organic cotton which is GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) and handwoven fabric which has a minimal carbon footprint and ensures traditional fabric-making remains relevant into the future.
Our designs are created to reduce the amount of accessories required to complete our garment, including plastics and metals for buttons and zips. We are continuing to research and source alternatives where possible.
We are currently transitioning our handloom fabric from conventional cotton to GOTS certified organic cotton.
We are always looking at ways to reduce our material waste. We are currently making one-off, small quantities of styles and drawstring bags to use up excess fabric from our collections to sell in our partner store The Darley Store in Manly.
Handloom fabric accounts for 90% of the fabric in our collection at present.
Indian Handloom is the second largest employer and income generator in India behind agriculture. India is the home of hand loom, with their skill and creative expertise respected globally.
Besides the importance of employment generated by the hand-loom industry, it is also one of the most sustainable approaches to fabric making. Hand-loom has a low carbon footprint requiring minimal infrastructure, technology and power to operate.
Our next collection will be delivered in oxo-biodegradable bags which become water, carbon dioxide and biomass in 180 days and leave no trace on our earth.
Dead Stock alleviation
We work very closely with our team in India to ensure we are reactive to the demands of our customers. Making small runs, making to order for our wholesale customers and re-ordering our handloom fabric as required. This allows us to have limited stock on hand and reduces our excess stock at the end of the season to be de-valued and sold at a reduced price to clear.
This is an opportunity for you to reduce your garment's environmental footprint by following some simple steps. Over washing of garment's, or using dry cleaners can mean our garments can create up to 75% of their environmental footprint from laundering alone.
GINETEX, the international association for textile and garment care labels has released a trademarked symbol called 'Clevercare' which offers sustainable garment care information to reduce the impact of the laundering processes.
These are their 5 simple steps to clever and sustainable garment care:
1. Don't wash your clothes too often.
2. Lower the temperature when machine washing.
3. Think of reducing the amount you use a dryer.
4. Ironing only when necessary.
5. Use dry clean only when absolutely necessary.
You can read further about these steps at the Clevercare website.