The Crafty (Eco-Friendly) Fox - 2022
Updated: Aug 17, 2022
"We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.”, Barack Obama.
Whether it is Barack Obama, David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg, or one's self, there are so many voices raising climate change and pollution issues nowadays (with the impact these have on our planet and everything we share it with), it can make us feel anxious, and at a loss as to how one business, or one individual, can help improve matters.
At The Crafty Fox, being Eco-Friendly is one of our key values, which means we strive to be as environmentally aware as possible throughout all aspects of our business. It isn't easy by any means, we know we won't get everything right but we certainly try and each little improvement is still an improvement. Hopefully, billions of small improvements across the world will add up to be enough to improve things for the generations to come.
When we renovated our Drogheda store, we exceeded the existing building regulations, investing in thicker insulation, LED motion controlled lighting, efficient heating and special windows. As a result the commercial BER rating went from a forgettable 'F' to a brilliant 'B2', which is amazing and of course means reduced heating and energy usage, and lower utility bills.
Often we don't see what people are doing behind the scenes, but it's heartening to know that manufacturers and suppliers are working really hard to offer more alternative Eco-Friendly products. Our main haberdashery supplier has over 20,000 products in plastic-free packaging to the consumer. We are always on the lookout for more to add to our range. Of course, to make a real difference, we rely on you guys to choose these over the other options when you shop, but the great thing is that unlike organic foods, these products normally cost no more than the original.
We have been selling NewLife ribbon for three years now, a high quality double satin ribbon woven from 100% recycled plastic waste fibres, supplied on recycled cardboard reels, and wrapped with a protective biodegradeable film. This satin ribbon is amazingly soft and silky and comes in a great range of colours!
We are also switching all our Gutermann 100m sew-all polyester thread to Gutermann100% recycled rPET thread (recycled bottles). We have tried and tested these and are very pleased with the quality which is just as good as the original. Around 1000m of thread is produced from just one plastic bottle, and both the thread and spools are fully recyclable and supplied back into the recycling loop. The manufacturing process also uses all the same machines, so there is no hidden impact of switching.
In terms of Yarn, admittedly there are a lot of acrylic yarns on the market, but there are also some wonderful eco-friendly yarns available. You will find an incredibly soft vegan yarn Silky Touch by Rico instore along with a 100% Organic Cotton Aran both with fabulous supporting patterns.
As your local Stylecraft stockist, we are delighted to offer their 100% recycled yarn ReCreate DK. This yarn is made entirely from recycled, upcycled and reused fibres. The wool and acrylic are recovered from garments that would have otherwise gone to landfill and like the thread, the polyester component comes from recycled bottles which are shredded and then spun into yarn. If you think this would make the yarn a little harsh, you needn’t worry. The blend is beautifully soft with a lovely bounce to it and is great for both knit and crochet.
ReCreate comes in a classic palette of eight colours (Ecru, Rose, Cherry, Dijon, Smoke, Sky, Ink and Charcoal) and features in a collection of easy-to-wear garments including this season’s must-have slipover and on-trend fuller sleeves with cable, lace and Fair Isle to tempt you. Why not grab some to try today.
Products with zero plastic packaging are being stocked as much as possible. We are moving to ranges that have reduced or no plastic. Our NewLife ribbon mentioned earlier for one, and we offer Milward NoPack knitting needles and crochet hooks as we phase out the plastic and card packaged versions.
The vast majority of our fabrics are 100% natural Oeko-Tex certified cotton. This certificate means you can be certain that every aspect of the fabric has been tested for harmful substances and that it is harmless for human health. These tests are carried out by independent institutes and go beyond national and international requirements.
We have a number of 100% organic cotton fabrics from Europe that are GOTS Certified. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognised as the world's leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.
The ReCreate yarn mentioned above is made to the Global Recycled Standard which monitors the entire production cycle from collection to reclamation and finally production to make sure the materials used are traceable and are recycled to a very high standard and no chemicals that are harmful to the environment are used.
We spend quite a lot of time considering packaging, as the benefits and drawbacks of using recycleable V's recycled is not always straightforward, particularly when both are available!
All of our packaging is recycled or recyclable. In-store we use paper bags, and hope they can be re-used. Our carrier is particularly strong so can be used for your other shopping. For online orders, we use cardboard boxes which can be reused and recycled; recycled plastic mailing sacks which use very little processing when being made and are therefore considered a good sustainable option; or enviroflute envelopes which replace bubble wrap envelopes. They have no plastic but protect the contents using corrugated paper and the whole envelope can be recycled in your green bin.
For gift packaging we either use cellophane bags, which are 100% biodegradable (if they have a cardboard insert this should be removed and recycled first), paper wrapping, and our own Crafty Box which can be filled with all sorts of goodies. The latter is made and printed in Dublin, using a very sustainable process with little or no waste involved, and printed with vegan inks. The entire box is reusable and recyclable and as there are no print chemicals, causes little environmental harm. All are supplied by Irish companies to reduce transportation.
Reduce, Reuse, Recyle
Things are also improving in terms of display packaging reuse, including button tubes which are no longer supplied in these tubes. By supplying these loose, boxes are lighter and smaller, saving fuel on transportation.
There are rare occasions where we use non-recyclable packaging, like plastic bags or bubble wrap/air pillows for fragile orders, but we don't buy these products, instead we re-use packaging from our suppliers. If it comes to us we store it and re-use it rather than send it to landfill. Plastic bags from yarn packs and small strong cardboard boxes that are sent to us with scissors are re-used for packaging our online orders and are excellent for putting back into the post. Even the back of a delivery note makes a perfect notepad.
As you have probably seen in our social media posts, we have been using the brilliant Pedal Power for over a year now. They are the greenest (and fittest) delivery option available, bicycling our products to customers around the Drogheda area.
For non-standard post deliveries further afield within Ireland we are proud to use Greenway Couriers who have a 100% electric fleet thus removing lots of nasty CO2 emissions from the environment.
All the small steps get you a long way down the road...
So that's how we at The Crafty Fox play our very small part in helping the planet. Small steps that on their own are a sentence or a paragraph, but when you add it all up and write it all down, makes quite a long blog, so if you managed to get down to here we think you deserve a nice cup of fairtrade tea and hopefully we have inspired you to opt for an Eco-Friendly product (or a zero-waste crafting ideas book) next time you are buying!
The Crafty Fox Team