A bespoke garment from Anderson & Sheppard is one of the most sustainable items of clothing you can own. We produce all of our clothing entirely from our cutting rooms and workshops at Old Burlington Street and the immediate vicinity. Our clothing is built to last and contains generous amounts of inlay, allowing for it to be altered over the years as your shape changes, or as it is passed down between generations.
Handwork is our essential tool of the trade. Machine work is kept to a minimum and only used where it is vital to the reinforcement of clothing. It takes upwards of 60 hours to produce a suit, with perhaps only 20 minutes of this time involving a sewing machine! Compared to other industries, our carbon footprint is kept very low.
We nurture talent and run our own in-house apprenticeship programme, with trainees studying both within our Academy and alongside their mentors in our workshops; our apprentices earn a realistic salary during their apprenticeship that encourages them to remain within the programme. All of these initiatives help ensure the future of our craft and company.
Bespoke tailoring is a precise art with little wastage. We order cloth in accordance with each customer’s individual size, and uniquely trim each garment. We regularly donate unused cloth and spare trimmings to students.
The majority of the materials that we use are recyclable, with many of them derived from natural sources. We recycle all of our cutting room and workshop offcuts and source recycled materials in the production of our hangers and packaging.
The durability of our clothing means that we regularly see it recycled as it is passed down from one generation to another. Take a peek at our alterations rails and you will find clothing that is generations old.
We work primarily with British and Italian mills. The majority of cloths are woven in England, Scotland and the North of Italy. We ensure that every mill we work with practises an ethical code that respects both the care and well being of the animals and of the environment.
Despite their centuries-old heritage, many of our suppliers, such as Johnstons of Elgin and Alberto Canonico Barberis, are forward focused and work directly with farmers in the UK, Australia and New Zealand to influence best practices for animal welfare and sustainability. They also seek to implement ecologically friendly procedures within their mills, such as responsible water purification after the dyeing process and restricting the use of chemicals.
Anderson & Sheppard has an established relationship with the Campaign for Wool and in September 2016 participated in the first-ever Dumfries House Wool Conference. Described by HRH The Prince of Wales as the “Davos of Wool,” it was the largest and most prestigious international gathering of wool experts ever held in the United Kingdom.
Animal welfare, sustainability and quality, together with environmental issues, were focus of the symposium, its zenith being the signing of The Dumfries House Wool Declaration. “Custodians of the wool industry” pledged a commitment to protect the environment, uphold the best possible practices for sheep welfare, growing, trading, manufacturing and selling wool, and wool-related products at all times.