The craft industry is HUGE, producing trillions and trillions of tiny components and sending them all over the world. But it's also hugely important for promoting good mental health and the teaching of useful skills from one generation to the next. So how do we, in our little corner of this craftiverse, do our bit to protect our precious planet?
Firstly, we think about the end use of each item and do our very best to minimise waste without compromising our crafters' experience. Everything within our kits should be used within the project to make something long-lasting. Or, if not used, saved for another project another day. The exception is of course the paper instructions, which we hope will be kept and passed on to friends or referred back to later.
And the needle? This is just a brilliant addition to any crafter's kit. But if it breaks, it is made of steel, which can sometimes be recycled at your local recycling centre. In the studio, we store up all broken needles and other sharps in a glass jar until full and then dispose of them in empty metal sweet tins!
NATURAL CRUELTY-FREE WOOL FIBRES
We support organic farming and everything that it does for our rural landscape and our British heritage, which is why we love working with wool fibres in our craft. The natural wool that we source for our kits comes from cruelty-free farms, is entirely renewable and sustainable and has been used in crafts for thousands of years. There's literally nothing more satisfying than taking a handful of fluff and poking it into a gorgeous little creature. The best bit is when people exclaim, "How did you make that?" And we say - "It's easy!"
RECYCLED COTTON CORD FROM 'USED-UP' WASTE
Our macramé cord is made from cotton textiles that have been labelled 'used up' and destined for landfill. Our producer saves these materials and shreds them up to make sumptuously soft cords and ropes. No water or chemicals are used in the process at all. And, even better, they use the dust from the shredding process to colour the ropes. In our opinion, their colour choices are delicious and the end product is so incredibly soft and gorgeous to work with too.
INSTRUCTIONS PRINTED ON SUSTAINABLY MADE PAPERS
Ok, we're pretty proud of our colourful instruction cards. Between us, we have over 40 years' of print packaging and magazine experience so there is no way we're willing to compromise our printed designs! We love colour, we love photographs and we love lots and lots of steps to make everything as easy-to-follow as possible. We print our instructions on high-quality silk card to show them off and make them collectible too. But it's a myth that only brown matte paper is eco-friendly. The gloss on the paper is made using clay, which is a natural biodegradable material. And new paper takes three times less energy to produce than recycled paper. The key is to use manufacturers, like ours, that run sustainable forests and plant more trees than they cut down. And to produce materials that should never make it into landfill but be used and re-used and passed on. Also, we made the decision to create separate cards instead of stapled booklets as these are so much easier to recycle.
PACKAGING AND POSTING
Our cartons are made from recycled card here in the UK. The card is widely recyclable too, although we reuse old kit boxes here in the studio to file away our stock. Always reluctant to throw anything out, we're good at finding uses for old cartons and hope our crafters will do the same!
Unfortunately, we have to protect our kits against damage on their journey to our customers and this presented us with our biggest challenge. Mail bags get thrown away and this is unavoidable - isn't it? After researching the various options, we discovered that plastic and paper biodegrade at the same rate when placed in landfill but, while plastic sequesters its carbon, paper leaks as it degrades. Paper also uses 4 times the energy of plastic to produce. To balance out its environmental impact, The Environment Agency UK suggests that a paper bag should be used three times and a plastic bag should be used four times, although a plastic bag would last many uses while a paper one is often redundant after just one use. So, we made the decision to use plastic mailing bags, making sure to think about where those bags come from, how they will be used and how they will be disposed of. Consequently, our mailing bags are made from recycled plastic. They can be saved and reused or widely recycled with other soft plastics. And we can rest assured that our products will reach our customers intact!
So, if you feel the mental load of every single purchase and how this will damage the environment, you can rest assured that we feel the same and are doing our best every step of the way.
If you fancy giving one of our kits a try, they are nearly all suitable for beginners unless otherwise specified in the description. Here are some of our newest kits:
Or head to the shop page here and check out our whole range of planet-friendly craft kits