Low and Behold was originally established as a company aiming to challenge the impacts of consumption. It did this through the Fast Fashion Project – selling organic cotton T-shirts from 2006 to 2010.
While the fast fashion project is no longer our main focus and the t-shirts are now all sold, we are still working with textiles, but now with more of a focus on reuse and recycling.
In order to create a low-impact T-shirt, we found a factory that had organic certification for both its materials and its printing. We challenged it to reduce the packaging that is rife in the sector and were able to bag T-shirts in bundles of 10, instead of individually, which is the industry standard. Our designers developed a hangtag made entirely from recycled materials and 100% recyclable, which we think was a UK first.
We ran stalls at events all around the country from Glasgow Organic Fair to Glastonbury Festival and much in-between. We encouraged members of the public to bring us their unwanted T-shirts in order to receive a discount on new one, thereby educating people about the impacts of fast fashion. This meant that sometimes we came back from shows with more T-shirts than we arrived with.
Low and Behold did not just sell T-shirts, we also ran a research project with the University of Wolverhampton to investigate whether native nettle could be a suitable clothing fabric (it can, but needs more work on how to harvest). According to the Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor of Aston University:
“Philippa Roberts of Low & Behold, an INDEX innovation voucher winning company, gave an excellent presentation about the scheme at the AWM annual conference.”
We ran student seminars on the impacts of fast fashion and the results of our research. The T-shirts that customers gave us to recycle were in turn given back to these educational establishments for them to use in practise projects and skills development.
While the recession severely impacted the market for ethical clothing, our happy customers are proof of the success of the project:
“If only more companies were like yours it would be a joy to do the shopping!” SS
“I just wanted to say a big thank you for acting so quickly with my son’s birthday present. He got it yesterday and was delighted.” PK
“I wore my new t-shirt on Monday and everyone ?a) loved the colour? b) thought I had lost weight!? So all in all I think it’s excellent!” FJR
Examples of the T-shirts produced
Unfortunately if you are looking for our t-shirts,
we have now sold out, so I’m afraid that’s it!