The Journey to Sustainable Packaging

New Ethical PackagingTwo years ago, I decided it was time for me to update my packaging. I had no idea at the time that it would take so long before I finally had something I felt was perfect.

I started my journey in 2107, after receiving an email from a packaging firm. I had some ideas, so I asked them to send me some samples. When I held those sample boxes, my heart sank as although they were beautiful, I knew deep down they weren’t ethical.

Boxes that were made in factories in China with non-recycled cardboard, foam, chemical dyes and who knows what else. I searched long and hard for more sustainable options, but it is still not possible to order custom made jewellery boxes with ethical credentials.

I began to explore other options. I tried velvet and silk bags, but the combination together was a nightmare to sew on the machine and I was unable to garner any transparency on the origin of the fabric.

Once again, it was back to the drawing board. I started scouring Pinterest for packaging ideas. After a while, I came across some tiny wool drawstring sacks designed for children’s treasures. What followed was a lightbulb moment. Knitted pouches!

It did not all end happily there, though. I was thinking about luxury cashmere or mohair. So I started to dig a little deeper and, what do you know, wool has got some pretty dirty credentials. Cruelty to sheep and goats (if you don’t know about mulesing google it), chemical dyes, and a negative impact on the environment from intensive farming methods using harsh chemicals.

More research pursued, until one day, I found The Little Grey Sheep Company, which owns a small farm on the borders of Surrey and Hampshire. ‘Well Manor Farm’ is a sustainable wool farm run by two women.

Emma and Susie farm in a non intensive way. They carefully graze previoulsy unprotected areas on the farm so that the natural fauna and flora has a chance to thrive. They have planted acres and acres of hedgerows with a commitment to preserving the environment and enhancing biodiversity.

Their 100 strong sheep are not given antibiotics but rather are checked for parasites by hand. Neither are any chemical fertilizers used.

After chatting to Emma at the farm, she suggested her Gotland 4 ply, made from their own pedigree flock of Gotland sheep.

Once I take delivery of the yarn, it is passed onto a local knitter here in Ashburton and spun into these magical pouches. I hope you love them too.