From left to right: Vijaya Lakshmi and Mariyamma do the final checks on our SS19 collection at our GOTS certified factory in India.
Our ethical & fair-trade standards
When we asked parents why they love Aster & Oak, they said our designs are unique and our clothing is so soft and comfortable for playing and snuggling in – but did you know, we also have a deeper purpose?
We want to make the world a better place by maintaining high ethical standards in all areas of our business. We personally hand illustrate, design and track every step of the manufacturing process of our products - from the soil the cotton is grown in, right up to your door. A lot goes into a tiny outfit for a baby, and we want to ensure every step in the supply chain supports the environment and human rights.
Fair trade and social responsibility
What exactly is fair trade? Fair Trade Australia provides this definition - ‘Fair trade is about stable prices, decent working conditions and the empowerment of farmers and workers around the world.’ When consumers purchase fair trade products, they’re helping the people who make and grow the products they depend on.
Aster & Oak is an advocate for fair trade. We are committed to ensuring our baby and children’s clothing are genuine fair trade products. We want our products to have a meaningful and positive impact on everyone involved in their creation.
This year marks the 6th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more in 2013. Despite cracks appearing in the building the day before, garment factory workers were told they must go to work. Fashion greatly impacts human lives around the world. We encourage you as the consumer, to ask brands #whomademyclothes?
We only partner with organisations that provide fair and safe working conditions.
These are some of our strict expectations, that are audited by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS):
Safe and healthy work environments
The Rana Plaza factory collapse is a deeply sad example of employees being forced into unsafe working conditions. We require the working environments of our partners to be structurally safe, hygienic, and supportive of physical and mental health and well-being.
Our workers are paid far above the minimum wage set by the International Labor Organisation, an agency of the United Nations. Fair wages means that workers can care for themselves, their families, and their communities.
We only support inclusive workplaces that do not discriminate on the basis of gender, age, ethnicity, political preference, religion or sexual orientation. Diverse and inclusive workplaces are healthier and happier places to be.
Minimum age requirements
We demand minimum age requirements for all workers. We want to stop child and underage labour around the world, so children have the freedom to play and be educated.
Fair working hours
Working hours should be fair and have a fixed schedule. Standard working hours should apply, with weekends and holidays. All overtime should be voluntary, and paid at a much higher rate.
No bonded labour
Bonded labour should not exist, even though millions of workers are in bonded labour around the world. As a form of slavery, workers are forced to work to repay a debt. They must work even if they are sick, and are punished if they try to escape.
Ethically made fabrics
Our clothing is made with GOTS Certified 100% ORGANIC Cotton, and dyed with GOTS certified vegetable dyes or non-toxic synthetic dyes. Not only is this softer, healthier and more comfortable against a baby's skin, our cotton has a positive impact on the environment.
We ONLY manufacture small runs to prevent mass wastage of unsold clothing. We do not contribute to fast fashion, and our items are high-quality, durable and long-lasting. They can be resold, or passed on to younger children.
Quality control and compliance
We are certified by GOTS, which is a worldwide standard for organic fibres. There are strict rules we must adhere to, certifications to apply for and social and environmental criteria. Fibres must be free from harmful chemicals, processes must reduce wastage and environmental harm, and workers must be employed safely and fairly.
If you have any other questions about our manufacturing processes or ethical / fair trades, feel free to contact us.