Ethical by choice or by circumstance? An honest look…
From our inception in 2001, our mission has been to supply Ultimate teams with high quality technical game wear, uniquely designed by the players themselves from a large range of colours, designs and configurations in both male and female cuts. Our aim was to give each team an individual look that set themselves apart from the other teams they regularly play against on the Ultimate circuit, (a particular feature of the UK and European Ultimate playing system) without the need to order outside of the EU from other Ultimate suppliers in North America.
With a sport like Ultimate, a player base can start from just 5 players on a iron-man beach ultimate and this meant that logistically, we could only manufacture in the UK, because unlike other factories overseas, a local manufacturer could offer the diversity of garment design our customers needed in such low quantities and in such short lead times.
By employing a local workforce in garment manufacture, through to printing and personalisation, we were quick to realise our unique position, that we could trace our product from design through to development, manufacture, production and transport and, under our name, we could begin to guarantee the welfare of every worker involved.
That’s not to say that from the humble beginnings of Lookfly, we could paint a perfect picture of our future. In the beginning, for example, we did not know where the fabric that we used to make our shirts and shorts came from, because our demand was so small and our supply was restricted to Wholesalers who would not provide any detail about where it was made or the working conditions of those involved.
It was clear that in order to supply the growing demand for cutting edge technical fabric in our products and ensure that a key element of our business did not have a negative impact on the lives of others, we had to take control of our own fabric manufacture. Within 3 years, largely thanks to a growing customer base, we were able to enlist the help of our first UK-based fabric mill, allowing us to implement that much needed traceability to all aspects of our business.
Even today, not everything that Lookfly makes and sells is made in the UK. However, we believe that it is possible for a business to do the right thing on behalf of others and still be profitable. For example, our Ultimate gloves are made in Pakistan, in a factory that is regularly inspected by our associates to ensure good employment practise, no child labour, a safe and clean working environment and fair pay for all and is tested to European working standards rather than the legal (and often inadequate) levels of the country they are in.
It is important to us that we supply the Ultimate Frisbee community without creating a negative impact on the lives of others. This means that we must conduct ourselves in a transparent and socially responsible way.
Lookfly Ltd and our immediate associates are compliant with all UK and European employment law and recognise any new laws that are introduced. It is our policy to ensure that the manufacturing of everything we offer whether made in the UK or overseas is traceable and that every worker involved is treated with respect, given safe and comfortable working conditions and is paid a decent wage.