our sustainability story
what you buy matters
At the core essence of Nature Baby brand is the desire to make pure and natural clothing and bedding for babies which is long lasting which can be used for multiple children and passed down through families, rather than being used for a period of a few months then becoming part of an increasing landfill. Keeping clothes for longer, and making responsibly, are the most important things we can do to reduce the impact our clothes have on the world. Nature Baby is proud to be the most-searched childrenswear brand on TradeMe in New Zealand, and with dedicated Facebook pages to re-sell pre-loved Nature Baby garments. This demonstrates the high quality of our clothes and how they are still loved and circulated months and years after they have left our shops.
We think it is better to use sustainable materials. Using certified organic materials is better for baby and the planet, as strict regulations apply and harmful chemicals are not used. GOTS certified organic cotton accounts for 85% of our range. We use GOTS certified organic merino wool tops for 4% and ZQ accredited NZ merino wool for 10%. The remaining 1% is non-certified (our swimwear range). We are continually working to source the best organic and sustainable fabrics for our garments.
Supply chains are very complex - for example a cotton bodysuit goes through cotton picking to ginning to spinning before it is sewn into a garment, labelled, packaged and sent to us. We rely on certifications to validate the stages of the process. At the moment, 87% of our range is certified by the textile gold standard and internationally recognised GOTS and SA8000, which covers environmental responsibility as well as social responsibility (to ensure all workers making our products are getting a fair deal). Additionally we always make an effort to source natural trims and accessories, for example our corozo nut buttons which are produced from a Tagua nut, which is a sustainable natural product and long lasting. ALL of our factories are audited to an SA8000, Fairtrade, BSCI or the WRAP Standard, and we continue to improve our range to ensure our collections are made in the most ethical and sustainable way.
We are proud to have 100% transparency of our tier one garment factories, and of our tier two fabric and dyeing houses. As 91% of the cotton we use is GOTS certified organic, this is fully traced by the certification authorities. We have 6 main apparel factories, 11 fabric suppliers and dye houses, and 8 mills.
who makes our clothes
98% of our range is produced in India. 1% is produced in China and 1% is produced in Fiji. We have one factory in India which produces 85% of our collection, where we have had a longstanding relationship and visit them at least once a year, they are like an extended part of the Nature Baby team.
We have a Code of Conduct for the factories we work with, that covers the following:
- all labour is child free
- have a safe and healthy work place
- have rights to collective bargaining
- no discrimination, based on race, gender or sexual orientation
- be paid the minimum wage and comply with all laws relating to benefits and overtime
- no excessive use of over time
how our factories are audited
The frequency of audits is dependent on the factories' performance, however the majority of our suppliers are audited annually as required by the GOTS program.
The 2017/18 audit results of our factories reflect the strict requirements and a number of years of experience working with GOTS, Fairtrade and SA8000 programs. Our main factory, which manufacturers 85% of our product, performed well across all requirements of our Code of Conduct. However, we are fully aware of the limitations of audits and are currently working with a consultant to explore a ‘beyond audit” approach for the next stage of our Responsible Sourcing Program.
To reduce our carbon foot print we endeavour to ship as much as we can by sea. Because we only produce two main seasonal ranges per year, and we are not a fast fashion company we find this relatively easy. In line with the Paris Agreement 2016 (UNFCCC), Nature Baby is committed to being carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest, but look to achieve this as early as possible. We are continually assessing our impact on the environment, and will complete a full Sustainability Report by 2025. As we are aware of our carbon footprint increasing as we grow, we would like to be able to invest in tree planting schemes and protection of forest areas to offset any carbon emissions. As current supporters of Green Peace and NZ Forest and Bird, we already have invested interest in protecting and preserving our environment.
how we package
All of our packaging is made from recycled and recyclable materials. Online orders are shipped in recyclable boxes and packaging, and our shopping bags have always been paper. All our garments are packed in polybags to ensure they are kept clean throughout transit and in storage, we use bio-bags made from potato starch, which are fully biodegradable. These bags are collected from our stores and warehouse and commercially composted. We demand as much of the goods that are shipped to us are shipped in recyclable/compostable packaging as possible, and are looking to make that a standard across the company.
looking to the future
Sustainability is at the heart of Nature Baby, and all of our staff are focused toward having a conscious mind and our goal of looking after the people and the planet. Sustainability is a journey, and we continually work to meet the highest standards, including new initiatives as the world becomes more conscious around sustainability and ethics. For a company like us to reach all of its sustainability goals, there are some areas of focus for us:
- Extending our code of conduct with our extended supply chain and stake-holders
- Improved training of workers in the factories to increase their understanding of our values
- Increased employee involvement in identifying and communicating and Health and Safety risks in our factories.
- Completing a full Sustainability report by 2025
Whilst all our factories 100% close off any non-compliance, there are always areas for improvement, and we are really passionate about continuing to work with our factories to make sure we are meeting the highest standards of social responsibility. We have a few areas of focus that we are looking to work with our factories on.
- In India: improve Due Diligence and Code of Conduct communications with their extended supply chain and stakeholders / improve training of new workers to increase their understanding of the values & requirements of our Code of Conduct / increase employee involvement in identifying & communicating health and safety risks.
- In China: increase contributions to Government Insurance schemes / root cause analysis to identify how to reduce overtime / increase employee involvement in identifying and communicating Health and Safety risks
- In Fiji: train additional First Aiders with improved scheduling of refresher courses for existing trainers / improve documentation of worker committee meetings / improve documentation of Fire Drill training, scheduling and completion.