NINE+QUARTER is an organic maternity and breastfeeding wear brand.
Natural and organic fabrics are ideal during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding because they let your skin breath and keep you fresh and cool.
Organic cotton is also gentler and kinder to the environment and the people involved in its production:
🌱 Organic cotton is grown without the use of synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides which makes it hypoallergenic and therefore far more gentle on your skin when it’s in contact with it all day.
🌱 Organic cotton produces less CO2e and often uses less water to grow, by better utilising rain versus irrigation systems.
🌱 Organic cotton is more regulated, and therefore typically more fairly traded.
Our mission is to offer pregnant and breastfeeding mums effortlessly-cool and comfortable maternity and breastfeeding clothes.
The fact that we have chosen to use organic and other naturally sustainable fabrics such as bamboo and modal is partly as a result of looking for quality, durable materials that are gentle on the skin, and partly because we want our clothes to have as little negative impact on people and resources as possible.
We aim to reduce waste generated from our clothes. Presently we do this by:
♻️ Being flexible with our order quantities. Where there is excess fabric we either increase our order volume by up to 25%, create another design (like our Emmi sweatshirt!) or save the fabric for a potential restock or new design.
♻️ Choosing quality fabrics and working with a highly skilled factory, to ensure our clothes last well beyond one pregnancy. Wear them postpartum, save them for your next pregnancy or pass them on to a friend.
♻️ Increasingly designing clothes that are both maternity, breastfeeding and postpartum-friendly so that you get more wear out of them.
♻️ Being smart about our packaging. In 2020 we opted for clothing bags (those transparent plastic bags that protect your clothes) in 100% recycled plastic, made from old plastic bags or bottles. In 2021 we’re reviewing our mailer bags (those blue/grey plastic bags that your orders get delivered in).
Our Emmi organic maternity and breastfeeding sweatshirt is one of the designs born out of the effort to minimise waste by finding ways to use leftover fabric.
WHO MADE MY CLOTHES?
Our first collection of clothes was made in a BSCI/SEDEX approved factory in India. Since then we have moved our manufacturing to a small female-led and family-owned factory in Portugal in order to reduce our carbon footprint and increase our manufacturing expertise. This is why some of our clothes state “Made in India” whereas others say “Made in Portugal”.
Whilst our current factory is too small to meet the minimum quantities required for the “big” standard certifications, the working conditions of our partners matter:
🧵 Our factory is female-led and family-owned.
🧵 Each member of staff is paid more than the minimum wage and is also given a bonus twice a year.
🧵 Benefits such as pension and insurance is given to all. Employees also benefit from a compensation fund should the factory face closure.
🧵 The working day is 8 hour long. All overtime is paid for.
🧵 Each employee is given 30 days in a row or 22 days holiday, plus public holidays.
Our clothes are manufactured by a female-led, family-owned factory in Portugal run by Angelina and her daughter Claudia (pictured here).
WHO SUPPLIED THE FABRICS THAT MAKE MY CLOTHES?
🧶 The mill who supplies our fabrics was founded in Portugal in 1977 and is considered a pioneer with some of the best environmental practices in the woven fabric industry.
🧶 Focus is on proper management of waste and the best use of raw materials.
🧶 As such it is certified: GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), GRS (Global Recycled Standard), OCS (Organic Content Standard), OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Classe I and BCI (Better Cotton Initiative).
The mill who supplies our fabrics is considered a pioneer with some of the best environmental practices in the woven fabric industry.
Whilst our factory is too small to afford the standard cotton certifications required for us to use the GOTS logo on our website and clothes, we are proud to be working with some of the best suppliers in the industry and reassured by the certified standards and practices of the mill who supplies our fabrics.
As a brand we want our clothes to have as little negative impact on people and resources as possible. This is something we feel passionately about and we are committed to making every collection more sustainable than the previous one.
In 2020 we:
- Introduced more environmentally friendly packaging by opting for clothing bags (those are the transparent plastic bags that protect your clothes) made out of 100% recycled plastic i.e old plastic bags and bottles.
- Eliminated the use of harsh chemicals by saying no to stone washing (one of the washing processes used to give clothes that "worn" look). Going forward we will only choose colours and designs that require a "soft" (i.e. regular laundry detergent) wash.
In 2021 we aim to:
- Review our mailer bags. (Those are the grey/blue plastic bags that your orders are packed and shipped in.)
- Reduce manufacturing waste further by looking at options to use leftover fabric
- Understand the full working conditions of our supply chain, including the farmers who supply the mill with yarn.
Please stay tuned!