About ford and guy

zero waste organic dungarees

Established in 2020 by Suzie Ford, ford & guy hand make sustainable clothing and accessories along with sewing patterns. All of our items are made by us in our workshop in Nottingham, UK.

Suzie is a self-taught dressmaker with a passion for combining playful silhouettes with painted patterns. She combines this with her background in research to produce items as sustainably as possible. Her first career was in research into infectious disease. Suzie completed her PhD in Biology at the University of Oxford and worked as an academic researcher in Australia, America and the UK. In 2020, she switched up her career to pursue a lifelong passion for design. Suzie started ford & guy with her husband to provide sustainable and ethical handmade products.

“Our main aim is to increase access to, and choice in, responsible products that last. This is not to increase overall product consumption, but to change the way that we think about the fashion industry.

As consumers, our money directs how the fashion industry functions. Consequently, we have power to make it more ethical for the people that work in it. Not only this, but we have an opportunity to reduce our impact on the environment. We can do this by choosing sustainable and biodegradable clothing whilst wearing items for longer. Another aim of our business is to set an example that this is a viable business model.”

Suzie Ford
Image for sustainable zero waste clothing

Ethical and sustainable

Ethical and sustainable fashion should prioritise both human rights and the health of the environment. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Furthermore, the lack of transparency in the supply chain can hide modern day slavery and dangerous working conditions.

Case study

The Fashion Revolution remind us about what happened at Rana Plaza:

“Rana Plaza was a factory complex in Savar, Bangladesh, where more than 5,000 people worked making clothes for some of the biggest global fashion brands and retailers. The victims were mostly young women.

This tragedy was preventable. In the aftermath, survivors told stories of how they noticed cracks in the building and knew the building was hazardous just days before the collapse. Multiple workers told their supervisors that they were afraid to enter the building and continue working. The retails shops and banks on the ground floor shut down their operations, but the demand of an insatiable fashion industry forced garment workers to keep working. The ugly truth is that some of us may have bought and wore the clothes they made.

People had to dig through the rubble looking for clothing labels in order to figure out which brands were sourcing from Rana Plaza. In some cases, it took weeks for brands to determine why their labels were found in the ruins and what sort of purchasing agreements they had with those suppliers. The culpable brands weren’t limited to fast fashion retailers but included mid-priced brands too.

This is because the vast majority of today’s fashion brands and retailers do not own their manufacturing facilities. Fashion supply chains are highly globalised, complex and opaque. Business relationships are often very murky and subcontracting is common. This lack of transparency costs lives.

The reality is that our clothes have gone on a long journey before they reach stores and webshops, passing through the hands of cotton farmers, spinners, weavers, dyers, sewers and many more.”

Our process

At ford & guy, we make all our items ourselves in our workshop in Nottingham, England. For every item that we make, we ensure that we:

  • source ethical and sustainable fabrics. This means that we use certified organic cotton, along with low maintenance crops such as linen and bamboo. Because of this, our products minimise waste and avoid pollution. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic fabrics also standardise social and working conditions for employees in the manufacturing process.
  • use fabric that is OEKO-TEX 100 Standard certified as free from harmful substances.
  • use dyes and processes that are environmentally friendly and minimise waste.
  • re-use all fabric scraps where possible. We sort them into ‘small’ and ‘tiny’ and use the small bits for small pattern pieces such as pockets and small products such as face scrubbies (make-up remover pads) and hair scrunchies.
  • We pay for the scraps and threads that we don’t re-use to be recycled within the UK. This either becomes further fabric or loft insulation.
  • design clothes that are comfortable and timeless so that you want to wear them for longer.”

You can follow us on our Instagram account at @fordandguy. In addition, you can search our product range here.

Credits: Photography by @LucyBethPhotography