19th August 2020
Since Morris wrote this during the Victorian era, it’s fair to say that the environmental consequences to our actions aren’t a new worry. Stepping back from fast fashion is important so that we don’t continue to destroy the environment. Therefore, we wanted to give you a blog to give you a little more information about our awareness of the environment when producing goods.
We’ll start with the fact that we’re not fast fashion. Morris designs have been fashionable for over a hundred years, the word ‘timeless’ comes to mind.
“There is no square mile of earth’s inhabitable surface that is not beautiful in it’s own way, if we men will only abstain from wilfully destroying that beauty” – William Morris
Since 1994, we’ve been printing our fabric and manufacturing our products in the United Kingdom. Our 100% cotton is purchased from Pakistani cotton mills. These mills are externally inspected and accredited, they’re long established and famous for both their processes and quality.
Natural fabric, it’s not contributing to “throw away” culture. This is because the 100% cotton is high quality, it has a longevity and quality that lower quality fabrics don’t have. On today’s market, there’s lots of poly cotton mixes which contain oil based plastic which is inferior. This is because it sheds fibres upon washing – that goes into our water systems which is of course, damaging. It also won’t last as long in terms of it’s quality and since it contains oil and mixes of polyester fibres, it’s not super friendly to the environment.
We do think you should be aware of where your products are created, so be sure to read how cotton is grown and produced. Pakistan is one of the leading cotton-growing countries, so a quick online search can tell you more about that.
So we have the cotton, let’s move onto the printing! Our fabric is printed in the North of England. Here in Northern England, we’re historically known to have a great textile industry. Though that has admittedly declined in the years since the glory years, there’s still some fabulous working mills. We all want to produce high quality goods in a world of fast paced buying. There’s no need for fast purchasing when it comes to interiors, they should be bought to last.
Our printer users an aqueous print system. To break that down for you, it’s a water based system with no solvents involved. No dye, but a pigment colour so our colours cannot run. This system is to oeko tex 100 European standard. Our print works complies with all UK standards of waste removal. The waste water is actually pumped into the main sewer, checked twice monthly with spot checks to make sure there’s no contamination.
This might be an overshare, we don’t usually chat about sewers with our friends, but we want to give you transparency so that you can trust us to buy fabric from! We all want to make better purchases and so we’re always working to be better in our processes.
Once we’ve got our fabric printed, we’re onto manufacturing! Of course, this isn’t relevant for just our William Morris fabric that we sell by the 1/2 metre. All our products are manufactured in the United Kingdom, created by highly skilled, full time UK machinists. They have the benefits of good wages, pensions and holiday pay. This is and always will be, very important to us to make sure our supply chain is ethical.
When shopping online or in store, it’s easy to be removed from the manufacturing process, but when we see environmental scandals, then it brings home to everyone that there is a massive need to not be removed. It’s important to ask questions, to be curious and to check out the processes companies have in place.
As always, it’s important to spare a thought about where things have been made, and we can assure you that with every Laura’s Beau product, it’s ethnically made in the UK.
Now the last phase before you receive your order, the packaging! We’re always trying to improve this but of course like anything, we’re not completely perfect. We’re conscious of what we’re doing when it comes to packaging and are making changes where we can. We want our choices to be conscious of the environment. Our fabric orders we’ve changed from plastic bags to being packaged in paper bags for example, a small change but when we’re sending out lots of fabric, it does make a difference.
Our postage bags are all recyclable so be sure to recycle them once you receive your products! We’re committed to always trying to improve processes and move away from overusing plastic. But, where we do need to, we’re then making the conscious decision to make them recyclable. As with everything, it’s a work in progress. We’re still striving to make changes where we can. Just know we’re aware of the environment and our repercussions as a society on this so we want to do our bit!
Making high quality products that are environmentally friendly, printed and manufactured in the UK may buck the trends that are happening in the textile business where more trade is moved abroad, mainly for cost reasons. We just wanted to let you know what we’re doing because we’re sure it’s important to you too.
If you do have any other questions surrounding our environmental policies, we’re happy to chat so just get in touch!