The Crafty (Eco-Friendly) Fox
"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 our striking school students, there are so many voices raising climate change and pollution issues nowadays (with the impact these have on our planet and everything that lives on it), it can make us feel anxious, overwhelmed 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 will add up to be enough to improve things for the generations to come.
When we renovated our 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.
Manufacturers and suppliers are doing their bit too, offering more alternative Eco-Friendly products to add to our range, and we are always on the lookout for more. 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 over two years, 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!
Admittedly, there are a lot of acrylic yarns on the market, but also some wonderful new yarns coming on stream. 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.
The most recent addition to our range is Stylecraft's 100% recycled yarn ReCreate. We are very excited about this yarn because it 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 the polyester component comes from recycled bottles. Yes! Bottles! They 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 currently use cellophane bags, which are 100% biodegradable. If they have a cardboard insert this should be removed and recycled first. However, we are currently designing a new gift box (more exciting news on that in the coming weeks) which is being made and printed in Dublin. The whole manufacturing process is very sustainable with little or no waste involved. The printing uses vegan inks so the entire box is reusable and recyclable and as there are no print chemicals, causes little environmental harm. All are supplied by Irish companies.
Reduce, Reuse, Recyle
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 delivery option available and bike our products to customers around the Drogheda area. For deliveries further afield within Ireland we use Ecoxpress who have a 100% electric fleet thus removing lots of nasty CO2 emissions from the environment.
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