Look great and do good: Manchester startup apparel brand Pirkani proves that British fashion can be environmentally sustainable and ethical
With environment and ethical sustainability to its core, Pirkani, a graduate startup apparel brand aims to lead the fashion industry from its founding city, Manchester. Pirkani's minimalism inspired 100% organic cotton t-shirts promise to last longer than the fast-fashion alternatives while keeping the planet's wellbeing at the forefront.
The lack of transparency in the fashion industry has recently been in the spotlight with the publication of the Fashion Revolution's Transparency Index 2021. Of 250 brands assessed none scored higher than 71% and average was as low as 23%. The mainstream fashion labels and well-established retailers remain obstinate to changing their behaviours while consumers are increasing aware of the problem and want better shopping options. Newspaper headlines have accused the global fashion industry as being the second-worst polluter after the oil industry. Grave statistics are showing that the textile industry produces 20% of all industrial polluted water and some garment workers endure 96 hour weeks for minimum pay. For an increasing number of concerned consumers the status quo is unsustainable and they are turning to new labels that reflect their environmental and ethical values.
Founder and a recent electrical engineering graduate of the University of Manchester, Dr. Moiz Pirkani, believes, "We all have a vital role to play towards climate change as our choices today are critical to the future of our planet in not more than 20 years. The embrace of sustainable fashion and the circular economy is at the heart of Pirkani's mission to become one of the new fashion brands that emerge with the advent of increased conscious consumerism".
The optimism of the company and its founder stems in part from the experiences of studying and living in Manchester. Pirkani was founded with the help of the University of Manchester based Masood Entrepreneurship Centre (MEC) and incorporated the iconic Manchester Bee motif into some of the designs. For Pirkani, the bee with the infinite loop represents both the enduring Manchester spirit and the importance of the honey bee to our global ecosystem.
While the massive behemoths brands and retailers of the fashion industry might be slow to adapt, a new generation of emerging fashion brands is committed to change. A raft of new fashion startups exists here in the UK, with ethical consumption and sustainability at their core. Pirkani is a perfect example of this; an innovative apparel brand going to extreme lengths to produce sustainable fashion and ensure it leaves a positive impact on the planet at every stage of the production. The brand's minimalist graphic t-shirts are made by fair-paid expert garment workers in Turkey and Pakistan and woven with responsibly sourced 100% organic cotton. Using yarn dyeing techniques that are free from harmful chemicals and safe for human use, Pirkani avoids polluting waters and causing any harm to the garment's human capital. In addition to creating an ethical product by ethical means, Pirkani has also partnered with suppliers and producers who also value environmental sustainability. The carbon footprint across the entire supply chain is subsidised to support their goal of becoming a carbon-negative entity by 2024.