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Top Picks: Ethical Gifts Guide

November 27, 2017

Top Picks: Ethical Gifts Guide

 

Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Be creative and have fun with your gift giving! 

Featured: a cotton t-shirt for your ethical capsule wardrobe/pot plants to spruce up your home or office. 

 


As a follow on from our recent article A Merry, Ethical Christmas, we have gathered our top Ethical Gift Guides, for when we do decide to purchase a gift for a loved one and want to make a positive impact by doing so.

When we do head out to the shops, let’s keep in mind that money is power, and we can use this power this Christmas as a chance to cast our vote, and vote for the brands and products that look after our world and it’s people. With increased consumer and brand awareness around the negative effects of garment production and the fashion industry, there are more and more brands popping up all over the world offering ethically and sustainably produced and sourced products. In support of this, there are loads of blogs and bloggers out there advocating for these brands, providing detailed information on where to shop, what to look for and what impact we can make as consumers.

 

Here is a collated list of our favourite Gift Guides, to help you easily gather information and shop ethically this Christmas.

A Minimalist Christmas

The Good Edit

Have yourself a minimalist Christmas with these easy tips from Good On You. Similar to our guide, the article shows us that gifts don’t have to physical and sometimes a little thought and creativity can go a long way.

Exclusive, limited-edition Gifts

The Social Outfit

Our friends from The Social Outfit have collated their top gift ideas in a visually beautiful and festive way. Browse their collection of limited-run clothing and accessories, as well as bits and pieces from collaborations and ethical brands stocked in their store.

Presents for everyone

Sustainably Chic

From clothing to homewares to travel and babies, this collection of Gift Guides has you sorted for all your family and friends. Browse curated gifts for all budgets and even score yourself a discount code or two.

Zero-waste (and very useful) gifts

Eco Warrior Princess

Gifts can be difficult, especially if we aren’t sure the receiver wants, needs and will actually use what we buy them. Everyday, useful, zero-waste gifts, such as those included in this guide, will ensure your choices will make a difference to someone's everyday life and their impact on the environment.  

Feminist inspired gift giving

#womenmade, by Future of Women

Celebrating creative and adventurous women, Future of Women bring you a marketplace packed full of brands and products created by women, all over the world.

Gifts for Him & Her

The Good Trade

Her: ethical AND beautiful gifts that support artisan craftsmanship, communities and the environment.

Him:  meaningful, minimalist gifts for a conscious lifestyle.

An information packed Podcast

Still Being Molly  

If you have limited shopping and internet browsing time, try something a little different and listen to this podcast on your way to work or while you’re baking Christmas treats for top tips on brands and products. Read through the list in the blog post for discount codes.

Gifts that Give Back

Redemption Market

A comprehensive list of ethical, sustainable and fair trade brands from all over the world. Broken into categories, the list provides a good selection of brands where you will be sure to find a gift for everyone.

Christmas and beyond

Project Just

This guide is a great first stop to browse resources, gather your information and shop smarter. Gather your thoughts on shopping through these resources and take actions into your Christmas shopping and beyond.

A little gift giving to yourself

The Green Hub’s 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

Enter the competition to win products from an extensive list of ethical and sustainable brands. Explore The Green Hub to find brands and products through their directory, read about industry issues through their blog and be inspired to live a sustainable lifestyle.

 


Our Design Process
Design

We collaborate as an entire team, combining design and production priorities

Our design and sourcing processes are inter-linked. Sometimes we design and then source fabrics we wish to produce in, and other times we discover fabric we love and can create accordingly, quickly.

Our Product

Meticulously designed for everyday wear, focusing on quality above all else. 

Inspiration

You inspire us -- our #DorsuCrew. We love talking to you and learning about what you do, what you need, and how clothing fits into your life. Every day, we meet fellow travellers from around the globe, visiting us during their holidays in Kampot. They buy Dorsu for our quality; withstanding weeks or months of adventures. When they return home, they have their go-to essentials for work, weekends, and holidays.

We make our own rules and don't abide by trends, mass consumption or over-production. By investing our time and talent into thoughtful design, we'll create pieces that will be mainstays in your closet.

In-house Pattern Making

Our patterns are made in-house by our Co-Founder and Head of Production & Design, Kunthear. With years of experience and training, she opts for the traditional method of measuring and cutting paper to transform concepts into complete, graded patterns.

Dorsu Collections

Each year, we release new collections of carefully-selected, exciting designs in limited edition colours. Sitting alongside is our Core Collection, available year-round in beloved neutrals.

Our Production Process
Step 1: Cutting

The first step in the cutting process is washing the fabric, to test shrinkage and colour fastness. Our cutter, Samorn, cuts paper patterns from the originals, laying them on the material in a way that minimises wastage. Cutting up to 25 layers at a time, we bundle each piece according to size.

Step 2: Production room

The cut and bundled pieces are then moved into the production room and delegated along the production line. It’s fast and straightforward, ensuring we create consistent end-products.

Step 3: Initial quality control

The sewn products are washed and individually measured against their specifications, checking they’re true-to-size.

Step 4: Finishing & final quality control

The final step in production is ironing and the second check for shrinkage, warping, and construction or fabric faults. The final garments are folded, packed and stored for sale. Some are moved directly into our studio store (located at the front of our production space), while others go to our flagship store in Kampot, or sent to Tasmania for international retail.

Safety

All production staff undergo extensive training and skills development to ensure safe, efficient and quality work by all team members. We train all new staff on our internal Human Resources policy, including occupational health & safety procedures, fire safety and evacuation, and child protection. We update and renew training annually, with ongoing instruction on equipment safety and maintenance, as well as the protocols to assess risk and responsibly address incidents in the workplace.


Fair and safe employment is the responsibility of all companies, and we prioritise the physical and emotional wellbeing of our employees above everything else.

Customer Service & Sales
In-Store Retail

We have two storefronts in Kampot, Cambodia: at the Old Market and the front of our Road 33 production studio, led by our Retail Sales Manager. All team members take part in quarterly training on our new ranges -- design, material, and styling -- and relay customer feedback to the design team. 

Also,  if you live and work in Cambodia, our In-Store Retail Team are the people organising in-country delivery, answering your messages, and calling couriers to make sure your package arrives safely and timely. 

Online Retail

We ship our Australia and international orders from Australia. However, our E-Commerce Manager works in our Kampot production studio, making sure our international customers can have the same experience as you were to visit us in person.

We welcome your feedback and are open to answering any questions you may have about sizing, construction, material, or our production practices. 

Wholesale & Custom Orders

We ship all bulk orders from our Road 33 production studio. Most of the time, these are made-to-order. As a result of having a close-knit team, we can offer a seamless buying experience. Our sales staff speak to our Production Manager, face-to-face so that you can have the most accurate updates on the status of your order. 

Learn More About Factory Remnants

Our fabric is remnant cotton jersey sourced from independent suppliers in Phnom Penh.

Remnant fabric (also known as "deadstock" or "surplus") is unused and unwanted leftover rolls of cloth in its original condition.

As a result of Cambodia’s pervasive garment manufacturing industry and issues that occur along the fashion industry’s incredibly complex supply chain, vast amounts of fabric are deemed unusable by brands on a daily basis. This waste arises due to reasons such as incorrect or oversupply of cloth, last minute changes in production schedules and the ever-increasing need for brands to be immediately responsive and adaptive to fashion trends.

These fabric leftovers are sold on from brands and factories to a local fabric supply industry, who then sell on through the Cambodian supply chain. We scour the warehouses of our preferred suppliers and purchase rolls of fabric per kilogram. When sourcing for our collections, we buy up to 100 kilograms of a Key colour (like Periwinkle) and up to 300 kilograms of a Core colour (like black and navy).

Due to the nature of factory remnants, we can't guarantee consistency in the fabric blends. Consequently, we burn-test every fabric we buy to ensure it has very little or no synthetic fibres.

We pre-wash a sample of every new fabric, testing for colour fastness and shrinkage.

We know our using factory remnants has limitations. We know we can’t trace the true origins of our material. But we are doing what we can, within the context in which we work. Cambodia doesn't have cotton mills or weaving fa, so we are limited by access. As a small brand, we experience financial barriers of meeting minimum order quantities of suppliers outside of Cambodia and then importing this into the country. We are acutely aware of our impact on the local economy, and we choose to place our money where it has the most significant impact.

Dorsu Employment & Safety Policies
Safety
Policies

All Dorsu team members are required to read, understand, sign and abide by our internal human resource policy that is inclusive of: