Seasalt Sustainability FAQs

We share the latest information and answers to your frequently asked questions about our sustainability commitments.

What does sustainability mean to Seasalt?

Our goals have always been simple: to craft beautiful clothing that inspires and endures, share our love of Cornwall, and make better choices for our people and planet.

Our new sustainability strategy is structured around four pillars. They are Product, Environment, Innovation and Community. We have a dedicated Sustainability Team that develops and leads the sustainability strategy. They also advise and support departments across the business to make sure we continuously deliver on our environmental and social commitments.

Read more about sustainability at Seasalt here.

How do you raise money for charity?

As part of Seasalt Giving, we make donations from the sale of designated product within our collections.  Last year we raised over £100K for our charity partners.

Read more about Seasalt Giving here.

Which charities do you support?

We’ve launched a new partnership with Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity. This new collaboration signals a step up in our involvement in one of the causes we believe in most passionately – mental health.

As well as this, we’ve committed to donating £1 million to our charity partners between 2021 and 2025. We also support charities local to each of our shops and donate our handmade window props to local schools and community projects.

In addition to providing charities with financial support, we love to share our time and skills through our volunteering programme and have committed to giving 20,000 volunteering hours by 2025.

How can I get support for my project or charity?

We’ve committed to delivering 20,000 volunteering hours to smaller local charities across the UK by 2025. This will see us share our professional skills, expertise and creativity where it’s needed most.

If you are a charity and you need some volunteers, please email sustainability@seasaltcornwall.co.uk. We can then share volunteering opportunities with our employees, and they can sign up to help their chosen charities.

If you are a local community project, hospital or school and would like to reuse our handmade window props, then please ask for more information in your nearest shop.

Where are Seasalt products made?

All our collections are designed in Cornwall. Our primary manufacturers are in India, Turkey, China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bulgaria. We support UK manufacturers where possible and sell Leach pottery, Trevarno Skincare and St Eval home fragrances. If you’re curious about your garment’s country of origin, look on its label or at its details online.

What fabrics do you use?

We use natural fibres wherever possible and are proud to have been the first clothing company to achieve Soil Association organic cotton GOTS certification in 2005.

Over 60% of our fabrics are made of 100% natural fibres, including organic cotton, cotton, bamboo, linen and wool. We’ve committed to converting more of our fabrics to more sustainable alternatives by 2024. These commitments include:

100% GOTS Organic Cotton​

100% Global Organic Textile Standard-certified cotton to be used across all products by 2024.

100% LWG Leather 

100% of our leather to be sourced from gold and silver rated Leather Working Group tanneries by 2024.

100% RWS Wool ​

100% of the wool used in our collections to be certified by the Responsible Wool Standard by 2024.

100% Closed Loop Viscose ​

100% of the viscose used in our collections to be responsibly sourced and made using closed loop systems by 2024.

We also created our trademarked waterproof organic cotton fabric Tin Cloth® and continue to innovate and work towards more sustainable fabric options. If you’d like to read more about how we’re doing this, you can find more information in our latest Sustainability Report.

Do you use any chemicals when making your products?

We do. All the dyes and chemicals we use in production conform to the EU regulations for the restricted use of chemicals REACH, and we spot check suppliers every season. We have a detailed Production Standards Manual that clearly sets out what chemicals can and can’t be used in the production of our clothing.

How do you ensure workers in the supply chain are treated fairly?

We’re full members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and our Compliance and Ethics Team makes sure that all our suppliers commit to the ETI Base Code of practice, an internationally recognised code of labour practice designed to protect workers’ rights. You can read more about this in our Sustainability Report.

Manufacturing products abroad comes with a responsibility to the partners we work with as well as their employees. We work with trusted suppliers and commit to long term relationships to ensure we bring you the best quality products. We also make sure we have an in-depth understanding of each supplier, their facilities and working conditions. Our Design, Buying and Technologist teams are in daily contact with our suppliers and make regular visits to carry out audits.

What is your approach to animal welfare?

Our Production Standards Manual requires all our suppliers to commit to high standards of animal welfare. We only source leather and suede that is a by-product of the food industry, where animals have been treated in a humane way.

We are also members of the Leather Working Group (LWG). The LWG is an international, not-for-profit membership organisation responsible for the world’s largest leather sustainability program. LWG is committed to improving environmental stewardship in the leather manufacturing industry, as well as traceability of materials.

We work with Leather Working Group certified tanneries. Leather Working Group (LWG) certification is an assurance that the leather we use is kinder to the environment and better for workers. We’re aiming for all our leather footwear and bags to be made with Gold and Silver rated leather by 2024.

In addition, our wool yarns are sourced exclusively from farms that do not practice mulesing and use responsible harvesting methods, such as clipping and shearing. We do not use Angora in our products.

Read more in our Sustainability Report.

How does Seasalt consider the environment?

We recognise the way we run our business has a direct impact on the planet and we are working hard to improve our environmental performance across all areas of the company. By making responsible decisions about decreasing waste, energy use, travel and water use, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint. If you’d like to read more about how we’re doing this, you can find more information in our Sustainability Report.

What are you doing to reduce single-use plastic in packaging?

We’re working to eliminate the use of all unnecessary consumable materials at Seasalt, including single-use plastic in our packaging. We’ve already removed 18 tonnes of single-use plastic from our business each year by replacing mailbags, packing tape and bubble wrap with environmentally friendly and recyclable alternatives. We’ve also removed individual plastic garment bags from our online orders, which we collect and recycle through our recycling partners.

If you’d like to read more about how we’re doing this, you can find more information in our Sustainability Report.

Why are your face coverings manufactured in China?

We understand your concerns and would like to give you some context around our decision to manufacture our face coverings in China so we hope you can see that we haven’t taken our decisions lightly. When it became clear that face coverings were likely to become mandatory as part of the easing of lockdown, we reached out to our suppliers in China, India, Vietnam and Turkey but many of their factories were closed due to the devastating effects of the global pandemic.

As China came out of lockdown earlier than other countries, our trusted supplier, who we have worked with for more than twelve years, was able to help us on this occasion and we are confident that the factories he sources have skillsets and quality levels that are second to none. 

Our regular visits and checks (pre-COVID) reassure us that workers are well protected.

While we are constantly on the lookout for UK suppliers that can manufacture in volume to meet our quality standards at the right price and guarantee good working conditions, this has been a challenge.

We have always been committed to contributing to the UK economy and the high street. From the start, when we were just one shop in Penzance almost 40 years ago, it was our ambition that Seasalt would become one of Cornwall’s biggest and best employers. Doing things in the right way is still our priority today now that we employ over 1000 people around the UK, with more than 500 in Cornwall. Supporting charity has also always been very important to us and we are really pleased that the contributions from the sale of face coverings will add significantly to our charity donation for this year, raising £16k in just the first week of sales alone and over £100k to date. You can read more about our Sustainability work and the charities we support here.

With regard to our products, we make sure to include the country of manufacture both on the product label and product page on our website so that it is clear to our customers. We ensure that all of our suppliers, whether in the UK or overseas, comply with the standards laid out by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and that they are members of Sedex (an organisation working to improve working conditions with global supply chains).

Our face coverings are all made from GOTS certified fabrics, guaranteeing workers’ rights. After two years as foundation members of the ETI, we have recently graduated to become full members, reflecting our commitment to ensuring the highest standards of ethics throughout our supply chain.  In addition, our factories are regularly audited and we follow up on all audit findings to ensure social compliance.

Despite the massive impact of COVID-19 on retail, we are doing everything we can to maintain jobs and livelihoods, here in the UK and for all of those in our supply chain, who we have a responsibility towards.  We have always worked with global suppliers, from the very early days of our business.  Our suppliers have been an important part of our Seasalt story and we feel strongly about supporting them through this incredibly difficult time.

Why do you manufacture Seasalt products outside the UK?

We understand your concerns and would like to give you some context around our decision to manufacture our products in other countries outside of the UK and hope you can see that we do not take any of these decisions lightly. While we are constantly on the lookout for UK suppliers that can manufacture in volume to meet our quality standards at the right price and guarantee good working conditions, this has been a challenge. We have always worked with global suppliers since the early days of our business and we are proud of the strong relationships we have built with our trusted suppliers in India, China, Vietnam and Turkey over many years.  We are committed to only working with partners who share our brand values. Regular visits and checks (pre-COVID) reassure us that workers are well protected.

Here in the UK, we have always been committed to contributing to the economy and the high street. From the start, when we were just one shop in Penzance almost 40 years ago, it was our ambition that Seasalt would become one of Cornwall’s biggest and best employers. Doing things in the right way is still our priority today now that we employ over 1000 people around the UK, providing more than 500 jobs in Cornwall.

With regard to our products, we make sure to include the country of manufacture both on the product label and product page on our website so that it is clear to our customers. We ensure that all of our suppliers, whether in the UK or overseas, comply with the standards laid out by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and that they are members of Sedex (an organisation working to improve working conditions with global supply chains). 

After two years as foundation members of the ETI, we have recently graduated to become full members, reflecting our commitment to ensuring the highest standards of ethics throughout our supply chain.  In addition, our factories are regularly audited and we follow up on all audit findings to ensure social compliance.

You can read more about our Sustainability work and the charities we support here.

Are any of your products manufactured in the Xinjiang area of China?

We understand your concerns and would like to give you some reassurance around this issue from a Seasalt point of view as it is something we feel equally strongly about. We make sure that all of our suppliers, whether in the UK or overseas, comply with the standards laid out by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and that they are members of Sedex (an organisation working to improve working conditions with global supply chains). We are aware of the forced or bonded labour issue in the Xinjiang cotton industry in China and we are, of course, completely opposed to this terrible situation.  We are currently in the process of signing up to the call to action from the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region which requires signatories to commit to the steps outlined and make their commitments public (read more at:  https://enduyghurforcedlabour.org/call-to-action/).

We do not manufacture any of our products in this area of China and we have been working closely with our trusted Chinese suppliers to ensure that they do not use this type of labour in their factories. We have also checked that there is not a large percentage of Uyghur workers in any facility making our products as this could suggest that bonded workers were being transported to another region. We are pleased to say that we haven’t found any evidence of this. In March last year, we requested that our Chinese suppliers do not source cotton from the Xinjiang area of China, which they have agreed to. Our Compliance and Ethics team are ensuring compliance by mapping the origin of all Chinese cotton with the support of our suppliers.

Looking after the wellbeing of our wider Seasalt community, which includes our supplier partners and workers, has always been a priority for us and our team are focused on delivering a Sustainable Cotton plan to our business so we can minimize the risk of forced labour in our supply chain in the future. We are constantly reviewing our supplier base and we are committed to only working with those who share our values.  To further secure our cotton from China we have committed to ensure that all Chinese cotton is GOT's certified from 2023.

After two years as foundation members of the ETI, we have recently graduated to become full members, reflecting our commitment to ensuring the highest standards of ethics throughout our supply chain.

Our regular visits and checks (pre-COVID) to our Chinese suppliers reassure us that workers are well protected and one of the many ways we can continue to ensure good working conditions in our supply chain is by using Organic GOTS certified fabrics (https://www.global-standard.org/). We have been pioneers of Soil Association GOTS (Global Organic Textile standard) certified cotton since 2005. This guarantees not just the organic status of the cotton, but the rights and freedom of association of workers involved in the manufacture of cotton. 

You can also read more about this and our Sustainability work and products here. We will continue to bring you updates on our cotton sustainability progress in our annual report, our latest version has just been published.