We can’t talk about durability without talking about quality. In the end, what matters most to us is offering the best possible quality at the best possible price. That is why a great amount of time is spent searching for the right fabrics, the right quality and the right suppliers to make sure we can do just that and deliver the premium items our customers expect from us. Here’s a summary of the different angles from which we approach durability.
Our preference always goes out to working with natural fabrics like cotton, silk, wool, cashmere and linen (among others) simply because they feel better on the skin, age better and actually are durable. In contrast to synthetic fabrics, they’re breathable, recyclable, biodegradable and naturally repellent to mold and dirt. Also, natural fabrics don’t contain micro plastics, so they don’t add to the mass of plastic in our oceans. It’s important that we emphasize the importance of the longevity of high-quality natural fabrics: they can be worn longer, passed on to new owners and are easy to repair. At the final stage of their cycle, they’re also easier to recycle.
When do we use synthetic fabrics? Usually that happens when a fabric (like polyester) can add solidity to a garment or to if it makes maintenance easier, both reasons also help extend the lifecycle of a product.
We have a direct relationship with all of our suppliers worldwide.
So, we can proudly say that every supplier we work with – no matter where - is a supplier we found ourselves. We visit each of them at least once a year and try to construct a long-lasting relationship, sometimes going back to the start of Bellerose in the late 1980s. Why is this important? Direct communication enables us to explain the quality we’re after and to work together with the supplier to reach the desired quality. Cutting out the middleman also allows for a larger part of our payments to arrive directly with the suppliers and their workers.
Quality items simply last longer. It’s always possible that something escapes our attention or that a specific product doesn’t meet our standards, but we do everything we can to prevent this. We have our own Quality Control department that conducts wearing and washing tests on all items, both in the sample phase of the product and the actual production phase.
Plus, in terms of style we go for timeless cuts that can be worn for years and years, not throwaway trends. This will enable you to wear our clothes longer. If you would happen to not enjoy one of our garments anymore, we want to make sure it can find a new home easily. We know that there’s a huge market for secondhand Bellerose clothes, be it through apps like Vinted or local flea markets and garage sales. We love seeing that, as it proves that quality does last.
We offer free repairs on all Bellerose clothing. No matter if you bought your sweatshirt last month or 7 years ago. If there’s an issue with it, we’ll fix it for you, for free. In our Ghent flagship store we even have an in-house repair atelier and we intend on installing the same concept in other key stores as well.
To summarize, we’d like to state the following: As weird as it may seem, we’d rather have you buy 3 items that you’ll actually wear for years instead of 10 you’ll never wear. Clothes look best when they’re worn and lived in, we work hard to assure quality that will last and a style that won’t look silly in a few years. The people that make your clothes work hard on delivering the best product they can. So please, take your time to reflect. Try before you buy, compare qualities and styles and don’t hesitate to ask us for advice.
Establishing lasting relationships with our suppliers worldwide is one of our main goals. A relationship can only last if it’s built on mutual respect and trust, but of course, the bases must be covered in contractually. A handshake won’t do. We visit all of our suppliers, engage with its owners and workers because we like seeing things for ourselves. We work with a social compliance charter that is an integral part of each contract. Next to that, it’s important to note that, because we export globally, we must apply strict regulations to make sure our clothes are conformed with legislations worldwide, from Europe, Japan and Korea to the United States and Australia. Read on to see what’s in this charter our compliance charter.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to enhance social justice and safeguard decent work with international standards. This includes many things, but some of its most important fundaments are:
To read more on the ILO conventions, go here.
REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization & Restriction of Chemicals. It’s European regulation that was established in 2006, addressing the production and use of chemical substances and their impact on human health, and the environment. The main aims of REACH are to ensure a high level of protection for human health and the environment, including the promotion of alternative test methods, as well as the free circulation of substances on the internal market and the enhancement of competitiveness and innovation.
To read more on REACH, go here.
To protect workers and everyone that comes into contact with our garments, AZO colorants (dyes and pigments) exceeding 20 micrograms of specific aromatic amines (specified in a list of 24 substances, including benzidine, biphenyl, chloramine etc.) per 1 gram cannot be used.
To read more on the AZO free certficate, go here.