We began in 2013 and have continued to source all of our raw hairs around Asia. They are usually collected in bulk per origin and any of our factories who don't have their own individual wefting/ machine/ wig making facilities will be taken to China or North Korea specifically with our personal transporter and wefted/ ventilated there.
Over the most recent years, we have travelled to our suppliers abroad to work with our factories on new innovative ideas and designs (and also maintain our close relationships). Within this time especially, we also wanted to overcome and put to ease our concerns of ethical behaviours within our supply chain. In doing so, we was quickly able to learn that many vendors in Asia are also middle men and report back to bigger factories who do the real leg work. Trust is super important (along with a good sales/ order history) and our top factories which we work with til today since 2014 have trusted us enough to meet their main factories as we have brought a lot of business, ideas and investments to them also. This helps us control the narrative and stipulate exactly how our specific supply chains are to be run. During this time, we met with our various suppliers on a round trip and always witnessed clean and friendly environments wherever our extensions were being cleaned/ treated or made.
We’re really proud of our chain partners and the relationships we’ve cultivated and we still have personal contacts up until today and often stay in touch physically with some of the staff who occasionally travel to London for tours! In this industry, we believe it's extremely important to maintain really close relationships with our suppliers as it's not the type of industry where you can move factories/vendor’s carelessly as this compromises quality, basic understanding/ agreements and ethical concerns especially as unfortunately the human hair trade is still widely unregulated. We previously used to offer a wider range of origins including Russian, Filipino, Mongolian and Cambodian hair but had to cut ties with these suppliers over the years as although some of their end product ‘quality’ seemed perfect, once we visited or learned of their true practices (and even the way they treated us), we weren't happy to morally continue.
As mentioned, there are truly a lot of concerns in our industry regarding CSR and ethical issues but we believe our brands ethics and values displayed as follows are reasons we’ve become increasingly and consistently successful:
- Buying and sourcing
- Animal testing and Chemicals
- No animal testing/ animals are harmed/ used. Our hairs are 100% raw human hair strands from consenting single donors.
- Our hairs are never chemically processed or tampered with mixed fibres, plastics or animal/ foreign substances.
- Sourcing and retrieval
- In some parts of Asia, there is no religious aspect to selling their hair. For example donors reasons we see a lot of are: temple donations/ religion, a source of income, fashion etc. Some of our donors around Asia have been taught how to simply cut their hairs themselves as this would be most comfortable and easier. This way our buyers can collect and buy on their next scheduled town visit.
- Some of our hairs in certain origins e.g. India come from temple hair donations here again our buyer have really good relationships with reputable temples.
- Our factories also do have relationships with some salons who offer ‘fallen’ hair (strands pulled from each single salon client while cutting their hair) with strict requirements from us e.g. approval from both client and salon for resale although the method is not too common with us.
- Cleaning includes overnight shampoos, soaks, conditioning treatments and steam treatments for care and styling.
- Charity donations
- Over the past two years, we have been offering donations at checkout and we match each donation which us helped raise thousands. Our past and current charities include:
- The Little Princess Trust
- NHS RELIEF CHARITY
- Wholesale / further supply chains
- We offer wholesale to customers around the world which we can help do our part by offering he same ethical values
- We keep close contacts wit our partner factories abroad and have the luxury of having a really close relationship with a lady I personally met in Vietnam a few years ago and has now moved to London permanently (and is currently my nail technician here in London) who can vouch for our supply chain as she undergoes donating her locks to our factories every few years when she returns!
- Consent and fair trade
- Our hair extensions are never from children under 18 years even if they have the ‘consent’ of their parents
- Signatures are obtained and willingly signed between donors and our factories staff who have a team of buyers which elevates any language barriers. Their contacts are always stored with them for such reasons along with confidentiality but helps ensure future personal contact
- We’re constantly reviewing how much we pay and donators from men AND women are given a really fair price (almost up to ten times the average amount) to sell their hairs to us with no obligation or pressure.
- All hair batches are each batched per single donor and stored accordingly with our factories with tagged codes are able to be traced back to source.
- Working conditions
- Our team in Asia work 8am to 4pm which allows us time here in the UK to place any orders daily (due to time zone differences but also have windows for live communication and still meet factory hours for collections and cut off times.
- Our very small team here in the UK also have a good working relationship and environment.
- Environmental/ transportation
- We do use a combination of ground, air and sea travel and try our utmost to ensure we’ re working as efficiently as possible. Where we can bulk order we will to save on environmental impacts and arrange buyer collections every so often - even if it means some items need to be pulled from inventory for our customers to only 'pre-order' until we’re ready to restock.
- Covid precautions
- In March 2020 we released a Covid statement online and to every subscriber on our mailing list with an update. Full details can be seen here: https://hairvirginity.com/blogs/news/hairvirginity-covid-19-announcement