Charlie Boots the shop:
Charlie Boots is based at 35 Broad street Bath, UK. We sell clothing, jewellery, accessories and homewares. Most items are UK made by independent designer/makers and we are particlarly supportive of those who have an ethical focus. This may be in the form of recycling, upcycling or using sustainable materials.
We also sell some vintage items and buy in a few things that appeal to our team of magpies.(obviously not worms although we do have a few 'Hungry Caterpillar' brooches)
A lot of what we sell is of a limited edition or a one-off so don't let it get away if your heart is setting on it. ...this has resulted in too many people leaving the shop with head down. It does however mean they don't miss the step like they did on the way in.
We offer you something covetable and unique whether you want to spend four pounds or fifty. There is currently only a small selection on the website of what we have available in the shop (this will be changing post June 2013) so do drop by if you can. If there is something you have seen which is not on the site then drop us a line.
Charlie Boots Clothing:
(Designed by Charlie)
Charlie Boots clothing aims to be feminine, flattering and versatile. Most garments are reversible so you have two designs in one garment. They are also couture finished with bound seams ensuring longevity. I do not believe in the trend for throwaway fashion which, by its very nature, is unsustainable and therefore unethical.
The pieces are designed to be classic pieces that you can treasure throughout the seasons. I design garments that can also be worn throughout the year because of their fabric and/or their ability to be layered with other items.
I use idiosyncratic pattern cutting and finishing techniques that I discover in my design exploration. If you add to this the vintage fabrics and a limit of ten items per design, it is not an empty claim when I say that these garments are genuinely unique.
I am dedicated to producing innovative limited edition clothing for a sophisticated woman who is not only conscious of herself but also others and the environment. Doing both of these things does pose challenges but they are ones that I embrace and I hope to grow and develop the business with them.
I feel that running a business ethically is about prioritising the use of materials and labour that meet at least one if not more requirements for impacting on positive social and environmental progression.
At the same time, I need to make clothes from good quality, attractive fabrics. It is because of this that some fabrics I use may only tick one box. However, all of the fabrics are either fair-trade certified, organic, sustainable, vintage or reclaimed. 95% of my fabrics are also bought in the UK.
The garments are also manufactured in the UK.
Sweatshops, child labour, chemicals utilised in fabric production that cause ill health and death; and huge carbon emissions through transportation have come to be accepted by the fashion industry as a whole over the last forty years. This is not an industry Charlie Boots wants to be a part of.
Charlie Boots is about creating very high quality, timeless, design-led wardrobe staples that have a clean conscience.
In my current collection I have used fabrics that are:
(and usually combined with fair trade too) These are made from organic materials which are free from non-natural pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers. Unlike conventional cotton, these are not bad for the workers, environment or organisms that depend on the surrounding plants and soil. According to the World Health Organisation, conventional cotton contributes to about 20,000 deaths and 3000000 chronic health problems each year. The organic cotton that I am currently using is certified by Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS).
Fair trade (as above)
Made with fair-trade principles in place, the manufacturers endeavour to ensure that workers, from harvesting materials to manufacturing, are paid fairly and not exploited in 'sweatshop' or equivalent conditions. It can also mean that that company is investing in the development of the community where it is made. This may be in education, building of infrastructure and demanding adequate health and safety standards.
This is fabric that has often been previously used to make other garments or products such as Kimonos or American feed sacks. My vintage fabrics date from the 1930's to the 1970's.
Hemp does not exhaust the soil, uses little water and requires no pesticides or herbicides. It makes a sustainable fabric. I have used one that is mixed with cotton and makes for a very soft but robust jersey.
Bamboo grows fast and needs little care. It is a better co2 extractor and oxygen emitter than trees and it is completely biodegradable and recyclable. It is permeable and absorbs moisture well. I use bamboo that has been made from a fibre that is oeko-tex standard 100, meaning it is even safe for baby products. There is controversy about the safety of chemicals used in the production of bamboo fabric. The bamboo I use comes from a company tha tworks very closely with their suppliers to produce fabrics in an ecologically responsible manner.
This includes the following fabrics:
-those that were heading for landfill or about to be made into industrial wipers
-from a company selling damaged stock (e.g. some of the roll maybe damaged- I don't produce garments made from the actual damaged part!)
-clearance and end-of line fabrics no longer fit for their intended purposes
-Second hand fabrics that I don't consider old enough to be classed as 'vintage'
-Sample fabric pieces from fabric wholesalers
-occasional new/unwanted fabrics that cross my path