Tackling Climate Change – are you doing your share?

Since our inception 9 years ago, The Croft House has always considered our environmental impact as a priority.

Ethically made, sustainable products

Our entire product range is based around natural yarns. These are sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable at end of life. Did you know that a huge amount of microplastic found in our water is thought to be man-made fibres which are shed every time synthetic fabrics are washed? Some of the yarns we use are undyed wool meaning they do not have to go through chemical dying. In addition, we have sourced buttons made from natural materials which also have these properties – these are either shell buttons, a waste product from the shellfish industry, or made from corozo, a plant-based material which encourages protection of the rain forests.

We manufacture our whole range in Scotland and all our yarns are made here in the UK. Most of the yarn we use is spun only 10 miles away from our home. You can’t get much more local than that! The stringent manufacturing controls within the UK mean that all our products and yarns are ethically made. We try as much as possible to use a seamless knitting technique which is zero-waste.

Climate conscious working

Earlier this year (2021) we made the move to our new premises. Our new building is more energy efficient due to increased insulation. It is light and airy, meaning we only need to use artificial light when necessary and when we do it is modern, energy efficient LED lighting.

We use an electricity supplier which produces 100% renewable energy.

Even our company vehicle is electric.

Carbon neutral delivery

In order to minimise our carbon footprint further, as of 2022 we now only use a carbon-neutral express delivery service to reach our US customers, and give this as an option for customers in most other international locations.

The search for “Green packaging”

Packaging has always been a focus for us. We have spent countless hours researching and trialling packaging types. We have to consider the storage of our products prior to purchase and also our mailing packaging, allowing us to complete your delivery in perfect condition. Our research has led to one question...

Is there such a thing as good packaging?

We have found that the best packaging for our needs are 100% recycled plastic polymailers. As a small business which uses only a small quantity of packaging, it is very difficult to be innovative. A few years ago, we switched to polymailers with a biodegradable additive which unfortunately started to biodegrade on the shelves before we could use them! We have found time and time again that our limited packaging needs mean many innovative mailing products are out of reach….and so we must wait until they become more mainstream.

We have spent a lot of time researching if we should make the move to paper, however this is not as environmentally friendly as you may think compared to plastic. Yes, it does biodegrade, however the manufacturing processes of paper must be considered as it has a large carbon footprint. The use of virgin timber to make wood pulp can lead to deforestation and the process of paper making uses large quantities of water.

Plastics are bad due to our throw-away society. However, if we value plastic and reuse it time and time again then it is no longer waste. It should be viewed as a precious commodity. Did you know we reuse plastic packaging in our warehouse and recycle any which can no longer be used? We also recycle our plastic packaging which is reused by customers to return items for refund or exchange. 

In addition, the weight of packaging needs to be considered. Bulky and heavy packaging ultimately has a bigger environmental cost when it comes to fuel usage during transportation. We are often asked why we don’t wrap our knitwear in tissue. When we store our products in plastic to keep them safe from environmental factors, it seams misleading to then remove this packaging to send it to customers in tissue, never mind the increase in packaging this would create. We want our knitwear to always be safe and secure, so it reaches you in top condition.

The conclusion we have drawn is that the best packaging is NO packaging!

We have always minimised packaging as much as possible both in our warehouse and during transportation. And we’ve gone further than many ecommerce retailers - we have our returns information on our website. Why waste paper in every parcel when very few customers need a returns form?

We continue to monitor packaging options and innovations as part of our ongoing commitment to reduce our impact.

We will continue to do our part…. are you doing yours?