Ethical products you can trace right back to the maker

Where Does It Come From clothes, Ipswich

Where Does It Come From clothes, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

A little over a year from launching her sustainable clothing business - Ipswich mum Jo Salter has seen considerable progress and a growing interest in what she is doing.

Ipswich businesswoman Jo Salter

Ipswich businesswoman Jo Salter - Credit: Archant

Jo, mum to two sons Luke,10, and William,7, was looking for a business she could run - initially from home - which would tick all the FairTrade boxes.

As shoppers we have come used to cheapr clothes and garment makers in the Third World being exploited, while making clothes we buy from our High Street stores or on the internet.

Sadly, in recent years, we have also seen garment workers killed in disasters in Bangladesh where there are not the health and safety factory controls there would be in the more developed industrial world.

Jo Salter has seen her Where Does It Come From? clothing business grow.

Where Does It Come From label

Where Does It Come From label - Credit: Archant

She said: “It has been really good. I have had a lot of support from people. I do a lot of business with local people.

“Our clothes are traceable all the way to the people who make them.”

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Her business had success in the Suffolk Green Awards this year, with a third place in the Greenest Product section and in the top five for Greenest Microbusinesses.

“We have launched a collection of ladies scarves, which were in time for Christmas, and were very popular as Christmas presents.

“They are hand-painted.

“And we are about to launch our first organic cotton offering - hand-printed children’s shirts.

“As with our first range of denim clothes they are traced right back to the cotton in the field, and come with their story.”

Jo Salter added: “It has all been very interesting, and exciting. It has been a very busy year.

“I am hoping to extend the range of clothes and get more suppliers

“This is `slow’ trading.

“We are part of a sustainable, green agenda.”

It is an ethical, sensible business, she explained.

“We live in a throwaway society.

“Industry wants to encourage people to buy, buy, buy - and if you keep things, you buy less.

“The denim jeans we sell is all hand-woven denim - so it lasts a long time.

“My sons wear them and they really last.

“The boys have been very good, very supportive. They want to be involved.

“They would like to come out to India with me when I go, but they are probably a bit young at the moment.”

Jo wants to add more adult clothing to the range.

“I have been talking with a supplier of adult T-shirts - but the cotton is still being grown.

“This has taken over my life.”

“I took part in a panel at the World Factory production at the Wolsey Theatre and I have been in to talk to the children in a couple of primary schools about fair trade.”