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WE ARE THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THAT BRORA IS CARBON NEUTRAL FOR 2020!

WE ARE THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THAT BRORA IS CARBON NEUTRAL FOR 2020!

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We are committed to making the best possible quality clothes and delivering them to our customers worldwide, however, we do NOT want to have a negative impact on our planet. Brora has always been focused on ethical design and production, but we are learning from climate science to ensure we are taking full accountability for our entire supply chain, energy output and packaging, indeed all areas of the business that affect our carbon footprint. Thus, we can make sure we’re reducing our emissions everywhere possible and becoming carbon neutral by investing in key initiatives to support efforts against climate change.

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To achieve carbon neutrality, we first had to calculate Brora’s entire carbon footprint associated with our operations and products, from the farmers and shepherds at the beginning of our supply chains through to the use and end-of-life phases when our garments have been worn and loved by our customers for a lifetime. We have worked with BeZero Carbon to calculate our emissions for Scope 1, 2 and Scope 3. Most companies, when they talk about their ‘carbon footprint’ don’t factor in their production line (Scope 3), mainly because they neglect what’s going on there, or because it will significantly increase their overall total emissions. At Brora, we know that transparency is key to accountability and that is why, with the help of BeZero Carbon and the GHG Protocol Standards, we have conducted a full assessment of our CO2e emissions, including all the indirect emissions from all our suppliers worldwide.

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Because we work mainly with Scottish cashmere, organic cotton, wool, and linen, Brora already has strong sustainability credentials as these are ethically produced natural fibres. In 2020 we decided we wanted to go further with our carbon solutions and paired up with BeZero Carbon, who helped us identify and quantify the negative impact we have on the environment and reduce it to zero through smart decarbonisation.

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Direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, e.g company cars & heating

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Indirect emissions, e.g. electricity

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All other indirect emissions that occur in a company's value chain

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To run a modern fashion brand, there are always going to be aspects and activities that emit carbon emissions. Firstly, we source our raw materials and fabrics from across the globe and secondly, although much of our clothing is made locally some of our specialists are further afield. We employ a head office team and shop staff which includes operational emissions from employees commuting, water and electricity use and heating of our premises. Then there are of course the emissions caused by the customer-use phase.

Top sources of emissions:

(1) Materials & pre-processing

(2) Product use phase

(3) Brora company emissions

(4) Production

(5) Distribution and storage

(6) End-of-life

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A Life Cycle Assessment addresses the environmental aspects and impacts throughout the consecutive and interlinked stages of a product’s life from raw material acquisition through to final disposal. We carried out a GHG Emissions Life Cycle Assessment following the GHG Protocol’s Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard and used a cradle-to-grave approach for our four key materials.

Find out more about our materials and how we intend to maintain sustainable supply chains.

Scottish Cashmere
Cotton
Linen
Wool

So how do we do better?

With the help of the BeZero Carbon team we re-evaluated our business to examine Brora’s wider climate impact, through our supply chain, operations and what happens to our clothes after you buy them. We have also measured the climate impact of every item of our clothing so we can identify areas for improvement. So, now that we understand our carbon emissions, we must first reduce them where possible and offset the rest so that our global impact is Net Zero and we are carbon neutral.

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How are we carbon neutral?

We have reduced our carbon emissions where we can; optimising our shipping, examining our energy consumption, and redesigning all our packaging to reduce plastic waste. We have made changes to the fabrics we use where necessary, for example switching from regular cotton to organic cotton to make our lovely white embroidered shirts, pyjamas, and cotton clothing. We will conduct a new assessment with BeZero Carbon every year to measure our emission reductions and see where we can improve further and systematically reduce our impact.

How do we offset our emissions?

We are now investing in a variety of climate-positive projects which we wholeheartedly believe are environmentally beneficial and which neutralise our carbon emissions through carbon sequestration. We chose to invest in projects that align most closely with our activities, for example in dealing with soil carbon and textile waste. We believe in putting back where we are taking out, so after much consideration, we have chosen four projects, based in the UK, India, the USA and Mongolia. For example, our cashmere is all woven, spun, dyed, and knitted in Scotland but the raw fibre comes from goats in Mongolia; one of the projects we are financially supporting is a Grassland Conservation project in Mongolia. However, we have also invested in a reforestation project in Scotland, even though it will take between fifteen and thirty years for us to benefit from these newly planted trees and offset any of our carbon emissions through this scheme. We wanted to invest in projects worldwide as Brora is obviously a global company and Climate Change is obviously a global issue. Emissions have a global impact, greenhouse gasses are produced and absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere which is all-encompassing.

VIEW OUR PROJECTS

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Every year we pledge to remain an environmentally sustainable brand by working with BeZero Carbon to reduce and offset our carbon emissions, ensuring Brora is fully carbon neutral.

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Founder & Creative Director Victoria with Tommy Ricketts, CEO of BeZero Carbon
www.bezerocarbon.com

 

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The carbon emissions produced in making one average Brora cashmere jumper which may be worn for a lifetime is 11 kg C02e.This is the equivalent to the emissions produced by charging a smartphone 185 times or a 45 min commute to work in a car.

Through our projects we are offsetting and therefore neutralising the carbon emissions produced in the making of our cashmere.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR PROJECTS

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Every season, we carefully select the best cashmere fibres from the native goat of the Mongolian plateaux, carefully removing the coarse hairs to ensure our cashmere is Grade A. Only the finest and longest fibres are used by Brora, so that you can be sure your garment will be of exceptional quality.

Cashmere fibres can only be collected in the spring, when the goats naturally moult and only 200 grams of the precious fibre are produced per animal. On average, it takes the cashmere fibre of four goats to make a single Brora jumper while two cashmere goats are needed to knit a scarf.

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For our Mongolian herders, cashmere is the main source of income. As a member of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance, the mill that produces all of our cashmere is committed to securing goat herders’ livelihoods, restoring grasslands, and ensuring the wellbeing of animals. Funds from the programme are used to train communities of Mongolian herders and promote sustainability.

LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW WE'RE SUPPORTING THE MONGOLIAN GRASSLANDS

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Traditional Skills

Our cashmere wouldn’t be complete without the renowned colours which are blended using the latest technology combined with traditional expertise. In its original form, cashmere comes in grey, brown and white. At Brora, up to seven colours are used to create our much-loved and unique hues.

Our cashmere wouldn’t be complete without the renowned colours which are blended using the latest technology combined with traditional expertise. In its original form, cashmere comes in grey, brown and white. At Brora, up to seven colours are used to create our much-loved and unique hues.

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By buying Brora, you are supporting British manufacturing and helping preserve traditional craft. Since the brand was founded almost 30 years ago, all of our cashmere has been made at one of the oldest mills in Scotland, which started with a staff of just ten. Today, they employ around 300 people from the local community, providing more training and apprenticeship opportunities than any other business in the Scottish textile industry.

At the mill, the skills involved in working with cashmere have been passed down from generation to generation. Every step of the way they apply their expertise and, in doing so, take their part in creating the highest quality, long lasting cashmere that will stand the test of time. There are over 50 processes involved in making any one of our cashmere designs and as many as 37 people can be involved in the creation.

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While they continue to invest in the latest technologies, many of the steps involved in creating quality cashmere are still carried out by hand, such as the cutting of a neckline. Cashmere offcuts are put to good use and made into elbow patches or even mattress fillers.

All of our cashmere designs are washed in soft, Scottish water. This not only helps make them long lasting and luxurious but naturally reduces the number of chemicals used in the manufacturing process. The levels of those which are used are carefully monitored and all feature on the approved list of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Foundation.

Sourcing cashmere from Scotland’s only ‘vertical’ mill, means that each part of the manufacturing process takes place within a single location, minimising the movement of our products and reducing airfreight. As a result, we have complete control over quality as well as their impact on the planet.

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The Natural Way

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Our cashmere production is based on over 200 years of expertise and is as gentle with the environment as it is with the delicate fibres. For example, many brands will buy cheaper dark fibres and heavily bleach them ahead of dyeing. In contrast, we select fibres close to the desired end colour, minimising both the amount of bleach and dye used. While these chemicals have an obvious environmental impact, they can also be hugely damaging to cashmere, thus reducing the quality and lifespan. This process, along with the mill’s other environmental commitments are managed using the ISO 9001 Environmental Management Standard and we know exactly how each process is carried out because of our close supplier relationships and regular visits.

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Once your cashmere garment is complete, it is brushed with the dried heads of the teasel plant so that the hooked ends can gently tease out and align the cashmere fibres to produce the characteristic ripple finish of our woven products.

Just like fine wine, quality cashmere only gets better with time as the softest fibres form on the surface to make it even more luxurious. Although each cashmere fibre is six times finer than human hair, it is capable of making a jumper that can be treasured for generations.

Fashion is one of the world’s most polluting industries with an estimated 11 million items of clothing being sent to landfill every week in the UK. At Brora, we’re not about fast fashion. While it may be cheap, the cost on the planet is high and we believe that your wardrobe shouldn’t cost the earth. Reducing clothing consumption by purchasing fewer, higher quality garments and wearing them for longer is the single biggest change we can make to reduce the environmental impact of our wardrobe.

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Cashmere Care - A Sustainable Choice

Unlike man-made alternatives, cashmere holds antibacterial properties. Choosing garments made from this natural fibre means less and lower temperature washing. When washed, any shed cashmere fibres will biodegrade rather than breaking down into microplastics which pollute the world’s oceans. 30% of Brora’s total carbon emissions for 2020 were attributed to how our customers use our products after they’re purchased. Studies show that clothing is washed far more often than required, you can do your bit to reduce emissions by making sure you aren’t washing after every single wear.

LEARN HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR CASHMERE

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