Sustainability and ethics
At Mimi and Lula, we are not only focused on creating all things sparkly for the little people of the world, we also care about looking after the planet that they will inherit.
From day one we have always been conscious of our environmental footprint and continually strive to keep learning and making decisions that are in the best interests of our planet and the people who call it home. We are constantly looking for more sustainable ways that we can make, transport and package our products.
We want to be certain that you are as happy and excited about the choices we make and the way we operate our business as you are about our products. Read on to find out what we are doing now and the areas where we are working to improve further:
Our policy at Mimi & Lula is to use minimal plastic packaging. Our hair accessories are presented on 100% recyclable card and our swing tags used for bags and dress-up are also all made of card and secured with string rather than plastic.
Our web orders are gift wrapped in a fully biodegradable and recyclable paper bag with a paper sticker to seal. Even the stickers are made from an uncoated, environmentally friendly wood-free paper, sourced from sustainable and managed forests across Europe.
We use a very small amount of bubble wrap to protect those delicate wands in transit but rest assured this is recyclable.
Where cardboard boxes are used, the vast majority of these are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. If your order arrives in a padded envelope you can be sure these are made with at least 60% recycled materials and all of these are FSC certified.
All of the materials and components we use are strictly non-toxic, and tests are carried out where appropriate for:
Nickel (on metals with skin-contact parts)
We comply with REACH standards and do not use any of the harmful chemicals listed here https://echa.europa.eu/web/guest/candidate-list-table
The main materials we use are:
Polyurethane or ‘vegan leather’ is one of the main materials that we use for our hair accessories and bags. It is a polymer that is made from fossil fuels, and is commonly used in fashion as an alternative to leather. It’s environmentally a much better option than leather and also better than other plastics e.g. thermoplastics (95% of landfill consists of thermoplastics compared to 2% polyurethane). We are hoping that innovations around how polyurethane (or PU) is produced will make it more biodegradable in the near future, e.g. advances in vegetable based plastics derived from plant oils. We are also exploring recycled PU although this is not yet available on the market for us.
The base of all of our hair clips is iron which is one of the most environmentally friendly metals.
Polyester is a fabric that we do use in small amounts in our hair accessories, for example in our grosgrain ribbon bows. We are looking to replace with recycled polyester wherever possible, but are meeting obstacles such as high minimum order quantities for the recycled versions. This would mean we would have to buy more than we need for each order which is arguably worse for the environment. We are hoping that as demand for recycled polyester increases, it will become more readily available and more accessible to us.
We are also starting to use more cotton for Spring Summer '22 and exploring organic cotton, although again we are having difficulty with minimum order amounts.
Cellullose acetate is an eco-friendly material that we are excited to be using. It is a type of plastic that is derived from natural cotton and wood fibres. Unlike most typical synthetic plastics, those made with cellulose acetate break down after use into cellulose and acetic acid by the action of water in the natural environment. These materials eventually return to the environment with no adverse impact. What’s more, water and microorganisms eventually decompose the cellulose into carbon dioxide and water that can be used to nourish plants once again.
Another eco-friendly material that we are excited to grow is paper wicker, which we use in our wicker cross body bags.
We only use what we need – we don’t overbuy materials, or over produce. We do small production runs, for the exact amount that is required for our wholesale and web orders. Most importantly, we design well-made quality products that we hope will last and be treasured.
All of our products are designed in London and then manufactured in China and Taiwan. The finished products are then transported to the UK. We aim to use sea freight wherever possible rather than air freight, reducing our carbon footprint.
We don’t run a head office, but instead our small team all work remotely from their own homes, reducing travel pollution and the environmental impact of running an office.
At Mimi & Lula we treat people how we would like to be treated. This extends to all of our relationships, from suppliers, to service providers, our wonderful employees and most importantly of all, our customers. We aim to be fair, honest and fun at the same time!
We have built long standing and trusting relationships with the factories that we use with relationships going back as far as 15 years. We ensure that our factories share the same values as us and relevant checks are made to ensure they are fully compliant with fair treatment of staff and fair levels of pay. We do not use factories in the Xinjiang region of China.
Our small and diverse team based in the UK all work flexibly around their families and personal situations. As busy working parents ourselves, flexibility is fundamental to our way of working and it is something that we actively encourage.
Our chosen charity to support as a business is Family Action who support some of the poorest families in the UK. We’ve worked with them since 2020 through profit donation and supporting their annual Christmas toy appeal with the donation of gifts. For more information visit https://www.family-action.org.uk/