We are keenly aware of our impact on people and the planet. We create clothes and home products that are durable - both in their life cycle and in their style - making it possible to use them for many years, if not decades to come. As a responsible business, we want to leave the environments and communities we touch improved upon by our conscious actions.
By looking at our impact areas, we have set out a roadmap to enrich and educate, contribute through collaboration, cherish our materials and minimise our waste. Community is at the heart of every facet of our business and we believe our best path forward isn’t as a singular voice but a collaborative one, working closely with our customers, suppliers and makers. Together, we hope to create long-lasting and low-impact products to be cherished both today and tomorrow.
Our annual Social Conscience Report outlines progress against our commitments, the challenges we face and our next steps.
Read our Social Conscience Report (opens as a PDF file in a new window)
Enrich & Educate
We hope to educate and inspire you to make more informed choices and for you to regularly engage in sustainable practices aided by our clothing care, repair and community initiatives.
- We offer online care advice for all fabrics to ensure they last.
- We run repair workshops across the UK and online, with helpful guides to mastering traditional techniques such as Sashiko, the ancient and highly intricate Japanese method of patching and mending.
- We have established New Makers, a programme encouraging and supporting rising talent in the fields of craft and design. Through this not-for-profit initiative, we are able to give emerging makers a platform along with one-on-one mentoring.
- We will launch our TOAST Mentorship Programme to support creative students and graduates each year from 2023, offering guided experience in various departments of the business.
- We will expand our New Makers programme, offering up our platform to ten craftspeople across a broad range of artistic disciplines.
- We aim to provide more detailed supplier and product information, allowing you to make more informed choices with each purchase.
Contribute through Collaboration
We believe that everyone within our communities should be treated with fairness and thoughtfulness and we strive to work collaboratively to achieve fair wages, equality and a supportive culture.
- We have long-standing relationships with our makers, suppliers and artisans - we have been working with our top 25 suppliers for at least eight years.
- We ensure our suppliers follow our ethical policy, and we work in collaboration with each and every one, addressing any issues that arise by finding suitable long-term solutions.
- We support emerging artists and makers, providing a platform to share their work and, where possible, commissioning them for future projects.
- By 2025, we will ensure that all suppliers pay employee wages that not only meet national legal standards or industry benchmark standards (whichever is higher), but are also high enough to meet all necessary living costs and provide some discretionary income.
- We are committed to diversifying our networks in each area of our business – from our makers and contributors to our podcast guests and editorial content. Ongoing, we aim to provide an inclusive setting, one where we celebrate and nurture our growing community of thoughtful, diverse creatives, both locally and internationally.
- We will seek out seasonal collaborations with makers, supporting the diverse global craft community. 10% of our collections will be produced by small-scale makers that utilise craft techniques such as block printing, embroidery or hand weaving.
- We will support creative communities through long-term commitments to global and local charities and organisations.
Cherish Materials & Make
For over twenty years, we have honoured the importance of timeless design and quality, long-lasting garments. Our circular principles continue to guide our approach to product design, materials and manufacture, and our initiatives will help you to play a part in conscious consumption.
- We aim to use natural fibres that are biodegradable. In some instances, we may choose to use synthetic materials that have a lower environmental impact and ensure our products last as long as possible. Whatever raw materials we choose, we aim to use the resources as carefully as possible.
- We consistently collaborate with our mills and dyers to explore more sustainable methods of making, transitioning to these as they become available.
- We continually seek out innovative and cleaner denim production methods. This includes the use of organic cotton and recycled cotton, locally sourced materials and for some of our range, Indigo Flow - the cleanest and most sustainable method of Indigo dyeing currently available. This method achieves up to 70% reduction in water use, better dye penetration and ensures clean water at the end of the process that is fit for reuse.
- When selecting fabrics and yarns we consider all aspects from origin, durability, look, feel and texture, and choose the right materials for the right garment.
- 85% of our products use purely natural fibres (Cotton, Hemp, Linen, Sustainable Viscose, Wool, Cashmere).
- Our customer packaging is made from paper and is fully recyclable. We are continually striving to keep our carbon footprint low – purposefully using materials that are near to our manufacturers.
- We resell all non-faulty items that have been returned by our customers ensuring TOAST garments never end up in landfill.
- We will ensure 85% of our products continue to use natural fibres and we will increase our use of certified materials in our collections.
- 80% of our cotton will be organic by 2023. This will include our core garment dyed products, yarn-dyed cotton and jersey fabrics.
- We will share the audit results of our top 25 suppliers by 2023, and ensure we are sharing best practice to address any areas highlighted for improvement.
- We will commit to mapping the supply chain of our core womenswear and menswear products from farm to warehouse by 2023.
- We will collaborate with our mills to ensure we have visibility on the provenance of all our fibres, enabling us to make educated decisions when selecting the highest quality fabric or yarn.
- We will determine the production miles used in the creation of our core womenswear and menswear products. Analysis of this data will allow us to identify where we can increase our locally sourced materials and lower production miles.
- We will increase our use of recycled fibres and reduce our dependence on finite resources - with recycled alternatives to polyamide, polyester & nylon used in socks, swimwear and knitwear yarns.
We have always believed in the importance of timeless design. Our garments are made to last, becoming more beautiful as they age. Together with our customers, we treat pre-loved garments as a resource to recycle, rather than waste. We have developed new construction methods and sourced alternatives to plastics that allow us to minimise waste. Our aim is to foster longevity and support you to do the same. We will continue to introduce new production and repurposing initiatives to further reduce our waste.
- We offer a free repair service in our shops, where customers can bring back torn or worn garments and have them repaired by our in-house technician.
- TOAST Circle, our in-shop clothes swapping initiative, extends a garment’s life beyond its first wearer. Currently, customers can exchange an item they’ve worn and loved for another cherished item in four TOAST shops across the UK.
- Made to Order, our seasonless edit of transitional pieces, ensures that the artisans we partner with produce only to demand, minimising waste.
- All our DHL deliveries (UK and International) are climate neutral, by offsetting through a range of climate protection projects that promote the economy in less developed countries and improve the lives of local people. In the second half of 2019, we offset 305,980kg of CO2e (equivalent to 756,824 miles driven in an average car).
- We will have eliminated all single use virgin plastic from our supply chain by 2023.
- We will continue to produce leaner, more focused collections to reduce our levels of surplus stock.
- We will repurpose surplus materials in future collections. We will reuse unsellable garments returned to TOAST by upcycling to create unique designs.
- We will create platforms for sharing preloved TOAST garments through swapping and resale.
As part of our commitment to creative communities, we are currently supporting Crafts Council UK, the national charity for craft. Funds raised through our seasonal events programme and activities will support the work they do to inspire making, empower learning and nurture craft businesses. We jointly believe craft skills and knowledge enrich and uplift us as individuals, and, in doing so, will change our world for the better. We are proud to be an advocate for their projects, which are focused on social justice, environmental responsibility and talent development in the craft sector.
Find more information about how you can support Crafts Council and their important work on their website.