This topic is vast and not one that Crockett & Jones is going to solve, if it is at all solvable. But it is something that we specialise in… we think. Sustainability runs through the veins of our company ethos – To produce high quality footwear that represents value for money.
What is ‘Sustainability in Fashion’ and how does this affect and impact on Crockett & Jones and our customers?
To begin with, sustainability is a rather broad adjective that companies can approach from many different perspectives. Sustainability, whatever that might mean, must be considered from both a branded (manufacturer) and consumer perspective, with equal responsibility on both parties.
There is no doubt that the most important issue for sustainability is the impact that global industries (in our case, C&J being drawn into ‘fashion’) have on our environment and we all have our part to play. We are yet to see whether ‘carbon neutrality’, an offset as opposed to a problem solved, is as sustainable for our planet’s eco-system as some might think. We are all aware, or at least we should be, that more so than ever, we are living (and have been for some time) in a throwaway society. Very few of us can escape that statement, but all of us have the choice to buy with longevity in mind where we can.
We believe the Crockett & Jones ethos is unquestionably sustainable not only for our business but also for the tiny sub-section of fashion that we thrive in, and we think others could learn a thing or two from a heritage businesses like ours. The wider question is, will consumers continue to agree with us and will other, much larger and impactful organisations take note?
The phrase ‘Sustainable Luxury’ has been circulating the luxury goods sector over the past few years, yet at Crockett & Jones the mentality of long-termism, which directly impacts the sustainability of a product, has sat at its core since day dot. It has always been our methodology to produce high quality, repairable products at affordable prices. Unbeknown to many a customer (maybe), Crockett & Jones enforces ‘Sustainable Luxury’ on anyone choosing to invest in our footwear.
There are a few ways in which we have successfully achieved the continuation of our traditional production method, ultimately allowing for a more sustainable product. They all hinge around our continual drive for quality.
Materials - In our opinion, you can only produce high quality shoes by utilising and fully understanding high quality materials. All of the leathers used in the production of Crockett & Jones shoes are a by-product of the meat industry, which if not used would be waste. By utilising high quality, natural materials in the production of our shoes we ensure they age well, in accordance with their owners!
Repairable - One of the benefits of owning a pair of Goodyear welted shoes is that you can have them re-soled without damaging the uppers, thereby prolonging their lifespan. Think of it as wearing your own second hand footwear!
Timeless Product Development - As a family run business, Crockett & Jones is not at the mercy of shareholder pressure or greed driven strategies and we do not overproduce our products or flood the market with seasonal changes. Sustaining our production to meet the demand from sales is a balancing act that requires great skill and even greater knowledge. Continually studying sales data to understand customer demand in turn minimises seasonal wastage and reduces product discounting.
Remaining committed to producing timeless, stylish and wearable classics, we consciously try not to chop and change our product collections too much. This is not lazy development, it is 100% intentional. Supporting our repeat business, it ensures customers are able to re-purchase their trusty pair of Boston in Dark Brown suede, or Connaught in Black Calf, that they may have loved for a decade or more.
Choosing materials and colourways that stand the test of time means that your Coniston Derby boots in Tan Scotch Grain, purchased in the mid-90s, remains as relevant today as they were when they left our factory. Not standing still, Coniston is now not just in Tan anymore. New versions in Dark Brown Scotch Grain, the very popular Dark Brown Rough-Out Suede and a new for this season Slate Suede rendition.
The result of the above is a collection of footwear that truly stands the test of time and with ‘longevity’, a word seldom used in ‘fashion’ at its core. We pride ourselves on knowing the history of footwear and understanding what our customers expect from Crockett & Jones. Even our product collections display thoughtful sustainability!
Consumers, in all their might, have a responsibility to ‘buy less, and buy better’. Consumers are powerful and we thank our customer for recognising that fact. You are our greatest ambassadors, fully appreciating the wonders that make our English manufacturing company, great. Continue to think long-term, build your collections and send your shoes back to be repaired and rejuvenated when required.
You can rely on Crockett & Jones. We, and our sustainable products, are going nowhere!