Throughout TALA’s website, there is an apparent effort to be transparent in the company’s practices, with information about the specific materials they use and factories in which the products are made. TALA goes as far as having a sustainability ambassador, who is called Summer Dean, which is an intriguing concept. Although I would prefer more specific information on what this role entails and what exactly she is providing for the community, it is encouraging to see someone who is so keen to advocate for sustainability involved in the company.
I was impressed by the transparency TALA showed when detailing the materials they use in their clothing. They claim to focus on creating lasting pieces which are sustainably produced, and this aim is apparent when they disclose their fabrics. The fabrics they list as being used in their pieces include Q-NOVA, Recover, lyocell, bamboo, cotton, LENZING ECOVERO Viscose, and recycled Nylon; each listed item is accompanied by a paragraph explaining in what way it is sustainable, including certifications verifying their claims. For example, Q-NOVA is a regenerated waste material that would otherwise have been disposed of and is also certified by the Global Recycling Standard (GRS) and EU Ecolabel; The GRS certifies recycled content, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions.
There is also some information about the microfibres which are released when washing any synthetic fibres. They are very transparent in admitting these are the greatest source of microplastics in the oceans and offer a ‘Fibre Filter bag’, which can be used in the washing machine to trap the fibres. This indicates a genuine effort to stick to their sustainability claims through admitting openly the issues that remain with their clothing. However, the Fibre Filter bag they advertise in this section does not seem to be currently sold on the website which is disappointing. Bringing this item back into stock will help to solidify their claims further.
TALA also provide a promising section on their website dedicated to the factories that produce their clothing items. They claim to look at several factors when choosing where their products are made which include: materials, price, labour practices, and the environmental work of the factories. I would appreciate a clear outline of what being accepted in accordance with these factors entails, for example quantifying their standards. TALA have factories in Portugal, Turkey, China, Italy, and Vietnam, and each of these locations is listed with accompanying certifications to show they are compliant with environmental standards and adhere to sufficient labour laws. Namely, the factory in Turkey meets all Business Social Compliance Initiative requirements, which covers source materials, manufacturing quality, labour, and working conditions.
TALA’s factories in China, Turkey and Portugal each have local independent teams who ensure compliance to their “high standards”, and claim to be also working on improving said standards in line with best-practice international standards which protect the integrity of workers’ conditions and wages. Again, clearer and specific details of the standards they use would be beneficial here to increase their sustainability rating.
TALA was founded by Grace Beverley, a social media influencer who wishes to deliver sustainably-produced activewear without a huge price tag. The company seems to prioritise building a community within its consumer base, with the “TALA talks” blog including articles on several social causes they promote. There are articles devoted to discussing pride month (with information about the Albert Kennedy Trust) and the world’s ocean day. Their “Sustaina-series” includes valuable information about shopping sustainably and ethically, therefore making this blog a valuable resource for TALA’s consumer base.
“TALA plants trees with Treepoints” details an initiative they took part in whereby Treepoints would manage the plantation of trees in several locations around the world with each purchase. Although it is encouraging to see this initiative, it would be improved by holding an initiative that included a monetary donation from TALA themselves, rather than depending on Treepoints to deliver the rewards of the initiative.