Sustainability, Eco friendly Fabrics & Our Environmental Focus

Here are the measures we are taking to help keep our business sustainable and eco-friendly.  Our environmental efforts focus on our overall environmental impact on the World.

At Vanessa Arbuthnott sustainable, environmental, and ethical business practices are the foundation of what we do, and we strive to reduce the impact of our production and work processes in line with this.

Our goal is to develop the best in functional design whilst ensuring long lasting products with minimum damage to the environment.

We choose to work only with ethical and accredited suppliers and make business decisions based on the impact on the wider global picture – people and places.

Vanessa believes there can be nothing more pressing than making sure we are not damaging the planet even further. A subject awfully close to Vanessa’s heart; with her love of the natural world evident in the very essence of her designs.

Eco-friendly Fabrics & Products

We have asked our suppliers about their sustainable and ethical practice so we can be transparent about the provenance of our products. The base cloth for our printed linens and linen unions are woven in the north of England using linen and certified organic cotton yarns from Belgium and Turkey. We also commission and buy hand loomed woven linen and organic cotton linen unions from Kerala. During weaving, no chemicals are involved and the only wet processing done is starching the yarn which is with a food water-soluble starch. 

The ecological footprint of flax is exemplary: One hectare of flax absorbs 3.7 tonnes of CO2 each year. Linen plants require no irrigation and almost zero insecticide and herbicide.

We create our unique linen union by weaving organic cotton with eco-friendly flax used for most of our collections.  We believe we may be the only company who does this. 

Why we feel this is important is because nonorganic cotton is one of the world’s dirtiest crops to grow, due to its reliance on the heavy use of pesticides which are hazardous to human and animal health. Pesticide use has serious adverse effects on biodiversity and contaminates local water supplies. The more people who buy only organic, the more will be produced and hopefully this terrible situation will improve.

Having lived in the Cotswolds for 35 years, Vanessa continues to work with local, specialist and highly skilled craftspeople to make all our bespoke made to measure pieces here in the UK.  They use traditional methods and take real pride in what they do. “I care deeply about what I make and how it is made, from sourcing sustainable fabrics to supporting my local community.

We also work with two small businesses: Solva Woollen Mill in Wales and Harris Tweed in the Outer Hebrides to produce beautiful rugs and tweeds.

Mission Statement 2022

● Eco-friendly fabrics – linens and organic cotton.

● All paper and nonwoven substrates sourced from FSC or PEFC certified forests; dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC number is SGSCH-COC-020053.  PEFC number is GB14/90767.

● Nearly 100% compostable packaging (we’re working on the parcel tape!).

● Recycled paper and biodegradable cardboard.

● Water-based inks in all our wallpapers. They are non-toxic and very low in VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). No solvent inks or vinyl substrates are used.

● All our waste paper is shredded and used as bedding for Vanessa’s ducks and chickens, which in turn makes compost for the vegetable patch.

● Energy from renewable sources, air to air heat source pump in our headquarters in Cirencester…next move is to install solar panels.

● Limit our carbon footprint by using local craftspeople in the UK where possible.

● Ever mindful of printing and postage we continuously reduce the number of hard copy brochures we produce and send out. Encouraging electronic uptake where possible.

● Member of Blue Patch – innovative business directory for beautiful, well-crafted sustainable products and ethical services.

People and Supply Chain Promise

The fair and ethical treatment of employees is fundamental, and I expect my clients and suppliers to attain the same ethical standards. And I am committed to meeting the principles of ethical trading as defined in the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code.”

Vanessa Arbuthnott Goals for the Future

We continue to research innovative, pioneering solutions for the future and are committed to improving manufacturing processes in line with this.

● We are yet to find a sustainable parcel tape, having tried bamboo which sadly did not have the strength to keep the packaging intact of parcels in transit. If you have any suggestions please do get in touch!

● We will fund the planting of 500 trees near Cirencester.

● We will install solar panels on our office roof.