Stanley/Stella has been placed in the top 16 leading brands in the world for sustainable material sourcing in Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index.

“We are very proud to be ranked in the leader category alongside some major fashion and textile industry leaders. This ranking underlines how committed we are to driving positive change in the textile industry,” said Stanley/Stella.

“From the beginning, our mission has been to produce premium contemporary garments in a more responsible and ethical way, with the respect for the planet and its people. From day one, we chose not to use conventional cotton, but only to work with 100% organic cotton in our range of T-shirts and sweatshirts.”

The company explains that 95% of its production is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), with the remaining 5% made from natural materials, such as Tencel, Modal and linen, and recycled polyester.

Bruno Van Sieleghem, sustainability and PR manager at Stanley/Stella, said: “Being ranked as a leader helps us to show that change is possible – we are proud to be leading the way.

“Sustainability is becoming more and more important in the choices people make. It’s a big trend, and everyone is making big claims about being sustainable. There is a lot of ‘greenwashing’ out there now as more and more companies jump on the trend, but for Stanley/Stella, working in a sustainable way is a real conviction.

“Our dealers buy and promote Stanley/Stella for three main reasons: quality, sustainability and printability. But for sustainability they cannot directly test or monitor this – they have to rely on what we say and show, our certifications and social report for example, or by visiting our factories in Bangladesh or the cotton fields in India with us (a programme being put in place).

“This is a journey; it’s hard, but so worth it. Every day we are looking at where we can improve, from the cotton field to the shop floor. We are continuing to support the organic cotton movement by working closely with organic cotton farmers in India, as well as our social commitments, such as the grocery stores in Bangladesh. We’re also focusing on working with more recycled materials, and with all our official dealers to become GOTS-certified printers, so that the finished garments are fully sustainable and certified.”

Stanley/Stella notes that it avoids pesticides, insecticides and chemical fertilisers in its production, while promoting crop rotation, biodiversity and reduction in water consumption. It also says it ensures that the health of cotton farmers and their communities is respected and protected.