Meet the supplier: making our Larissa Shirts organic

This season we’re sharing a behind-the-scenes look at where our clothes are made and the partnerships that bring our products to life.

At Seasalt we’re organic cotton pioneers and have used these fibres in signature products such as our Sailor Stripes for years. However, when we wanted to move our famous Larissa Shirts to organic fabric, we encountered challenges.

“Organic cotton fibres are shorter and thicker than standard cotton” explains Lucy Panniers, our Director of Technical Compliance. “Our Larissa Shirts have a silky finish perfect for creating the casual crinkle appearance – it was challenging to get the organic fibres spun fine enough to create the same feel and texture.”

Fortunately, our Indian supplier Afflatus were willing to work with us, developing their expertise to master the techniques needed to go organic. It has taken years of ambition and a collaborative effort, but we’re excited that Afflatus’ mills and expert spinners are now able to produce organic Larissas.

We’ve been working with Afflatus since 2014, drawn to their skill and ability to produce high-quality products. In particular, Afflatus are able to deliver our unique Seasalt prints. Our in-house artists pour love, care and creativity into their designs, using everything from pencils and sketchbooks to watercolours and woodblocks to express their Cornish inspiration as prints for our dresses, scarves, skirts and more. Afflatus have worked with us to translate these designs into wearable works of art. Our Newtown, Line Strokes and Chacewater Dresses are just some of the printed styles they produced for us this autumn.

Like all our supplier partnerships we started small, asking Afflatus to make just 10 of our products. Afflatus is now one of our most important suppliers, producing 43 styles for us this winter in a vast range of our Cornish colours and soft, natural fabrics. Our technical team works with them across our ranges, from beautifully woven summer dresses to T-Shirts with lovely textures.

The long-term relationship we have with Afflatus has been crucial during the last few months and has enabled us to operate safely during the global pandemic. Afflatus have provided us with regular updates on the situation in India and the impact of COVID on their business. We’ve tried to support all our suppliers through these difficult times, and have worked together to navigate local lockdowns, product delivery and, most importantly, the safety of staff. It’s been no mean feat, but we’re proud that we’ve been able to keep our commitments to each other. Remarkably, throughout this time our technical team has continued to work with Afflatus on new products and developments, including converting some of our classic styles to sustainable fabrics.

Afflatus are committed to doing business in the best way possible and have values that align with our own. They look after their staff and have forward thinking environmental policies and plans. Afflatus work with many other respected brands who, like Seasalt, are members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), which is one way we connect to a wider community of fashion brands and stay ahead of human rights issues.  These connections mean that not only are we working towards the best possible practice in our supply chains, we’re also helping to improve the way business is done across the industry.

Learn more about where our clothes are made and how we work with suppliers in our blog from Lucy Panniers, Seasalt’s Director of Technical Compliance.

Shop our latest collection