To us, sustainability means respect and pride for the world we live in, the people we work with, and the products we create. It means we think about the entire life cycle of our product. This philosophy drives us to be considerate and accountable. It is also a constant work in progress, which means there is always an opportunity for us to do better whenever we can.
WHO MAKES YOUR LINGERIE?
The delicate pieces of lingerie you wear are skillfully put together by the experienced seamstresses at our workshops at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Dalian, China. We visit each workshop before starting work with them, to ensure our lingerie is made under comfortable conditions.
Our Vietnam workshop is a small scale one, employing 5 seamstresses full time and the rest are home-based tailors, striving to earn additional wages. These full-time seamstresses work in a fully air-conditioned office within a modern building. Hygiene and cleanliness standards are definitely there. They work 9 hours a day, with breaks in between, and they get to take days off like any of us do. They are paid comfortably and in fact, hold quite a fair bit of bargaining power at this workshop! Our workshop manager sources and purchases fabrics in classic Vietnamese style, riding a motorbike to the wholesale markets, then heading back to the workshop with the purchases strapped securely to the back of her bike.
Our Chinese workshop is larger scale, and they specialise in serving the Japanese lingerie market. We last paid them a visit in 2019 and were extremely impressed by their cleanliness and work standards. The workshop maintains top notch conditions at all times due to constant work place and quality control inspections from their Japanese clients, without which, they would not be able to export to Japan. Due to the strict requirements of their largest clientele, this workshop has to offer higher salaries to attract the best seamstresses. We count ourselves lucky that this workshop agreed to take us on as a client.
Apart from our lingerie workshops, we have also visited our lace and hardware suppliers. We are glad and relieved to have found reliable partners to work with. In their own words, they "hope to support the dreams of a young business owner".
We want to be transparent here and help you understand that it is not possible for lingerie to be made out of 100% natural materials, simply due to the use of hardware, wires, bonings and straps. As such, we take two approaches to sustainability here.
Small-batch lingerie produced at our workshop in Ho Chi Minh City is not always fully traceable. However, between supporting the livelihoods of over 20 people directly related to our business and giving up this workshop for the sake of material traceability, we choose the former.
Lingerie produced at our workshop in Dalian, China, is straightforward. All our partners are OEKO-TEX 100 certified, right down to the hardware. We also use natural fibres whenever possible. For example, our lingerie pieces are lined with cotton instead of polyester, and our loungewear styles are made of silk.
We do not produce large volumes of lingerie for the sake of business growth. Our ethos has always been to invest in essential collections which will stay with you for years.
To support our vision of ensuring our lingerie last as long as they can, we offer minor refurbishing services for worn out pieces! We also help to do fit correction services to your existing pieces like shortening of bands or changing of straps. Understanding that every body is different and that our bodies may change through different stages of life, we are more than happy to extend these services to assist you to find the right fit and extend the lifespan of your lingerie.
All orders are packed in a satin bag packaging, which allows you to reuse it for travel and other storage purposes. Some of our customers have even made scent pillows out of them! Our paper packaging are made from recycled paper, and gift box packaging will only be given when requested.
We are currently working to remove the use of polymailers.
Perk by Kate's vision is to fulfill the lingerie needs of women of all body shapes. We get a huge sense of satisfaction when we manage to design products to serve different requirements. We currently have 12 sizes, fitting ladies from 30A to 40C. Our work is not done. We are still working on developing lingerie to fit ladies with cup sizes D and above, and band sizes 40 and above.
Sustainability also means building a community by thinking local first, by supporting an industry of friends and local artisans. In so doing, we ultimately strengthen the base of our whole community. It encourages risk taking. It encourages exploration of creativity. It keeps our Singaporean character unique and alive. Our lingerie studio carries the products of some Singapore's best artisans. In partnership with some local brands, we are pleased to offer you special privileges.
IT COMES FULL CIRCLE
We collect and donate used bras in good condition to the Uplift Project, a registered charitable organisation that provides bras to women in disadvantaged communities in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Philippines, Bali, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Botswana, Uganda and Pakistan, the Northern Territory and the Kimberley regions in Australia. These ladies in disadvantaged communities are unable to obtain or afford any form of undergarment, and in many cases, the undergarments provided by the Uplift Project may be the only ones these ladies will ever own. Perk by Kate has donated and sent more than 10,000 bras direct to the recipients in Philippines and we will continue to do so.