Category Archives: Working at Cotton Roots

Are businesses doing enough to encourage sustainability?

“Business sustainability, also known as corporate sustainability, is the management and coordination of environmental, social and financial demands and concerns to ensure responsible, ethical and ongoing success.”

The global population has now reached over seven billion, resources are increasingly scarce and climate change is a reality. The more we take a sustainable and ethical approach in our daily lives, the better. The same goes for businesses; the more companies that incorporate sustainability into their lifestyles – the better. The two go hand in hand.

Consumers are generally aware of the environmental impact of energy use, transportation, waste and recycling, with basic environmentally friendly actions, such as switching off lights, reusing shopping bags and opting for paperless bills now a part of their daily lifestyles. But far fewer are aware of the relative impacts of their leisure and lifestyle choices and the goods and services they consume.

Brands and retailers have a good opportunity to help consumers understand the broader impacts of their lifestyles and the products they use but are they doing enough? Shouldn’t all businesses be highlighting the importance of sharing environment related information with consumers to help them make the right choice for the environment and a sustainable future?

In 2013, research from the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Consumption initiative revealed these findings:

  1. Sustainability needs a makeover: Consumers need to be excited and motivated by sustainability in order to engage. Business needs to use language that is more familiar and offer consumers incentives and sustainable choices that are more relevant to their lives and aspirations.
  1. Companies need to use six key strategies to seize the opportunity and enable more sustainable lifestyles. They can strengthen the consumer case for sustainability, engage their marketers, better integrate sustainability into research and development, create platforms for consumer collaboration, activate employees as advocates, and quantify outcomes.

There is a significant opportunity for businesses to help consumers make major changes in their lifestyles and purchasing habits. Just by providing better information and labelling, increasing awareness about the issues that are important to their company, helping raise money for causes that are important to their stakeholders and ensuring sustainability takes centre stage when it comes to product innovation.

At Cotton Roots, we are passionate about making clothing which are fairly made, ethical sourced and sustainable in creation and we believe strongly in promoting this cause.

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Here are just some of the things we do at Cotton Roots, which we hope encourages more people to think of ways they too, can lead a sustainable lifestyle:

  • 95 percent of all the bags we use to package our garments are recyclable.
  • We find use for all of garments and donate clothes to Willen Hospice which is local to us, or to World in Need www.winint.org
  • Where we can’t use some of the by-products of our manufacturing process we try and find another use for them
  • We often have small amount of rayon thread left on spools. Local schools and universities use the spare thread
  • We also collect our off-cuts of FAIRTRADE and organic fabric. We have found university students really appreciate these pieces of material for use in often ground-breaking fashion designs.
  • Our cardboard is donated to schools when it is useful, otherwise it is sorted for recycling.
  • Whenever we can we purchase items which are pre-used.
  • We purchase our electricity from Ecoctricity. After much research we selected Ecotricity as the energy supplier most committed to renewable energy.
  • We have recently found a printer that uses vegetable oil inks. We also use recycled paper throughout the company or paper which uses FSC managed forests.

What about you? What do you think? Do you think businesses are doing enough to promote sustainability?

Guinness Book of Record Attempt – Fairtrade Washing Line – Will we get permission?

Well we have a plan.

Quite a big one – or should I say long one?

The Cotton Roots team have applied have applied to the Guinness Book of Records organisation for permission to try and set a record – for the worlds longest washing line filled up with exclusively Fairtrade clothing.  It takes around four to five weeks for us to get a reply and it’s been about two weeks so far.  If we get permission we will start planning and I have some ideas brewing.  As we are based on the beautiful Rose Lane Farm, surrounded by gorgeous open fields it could be the perfect place.

OR……..we could try something more flamboyant like trying to surround ……….?  We are looking for ideas that are especially appropriate.  Please if you have any ideas just add it to the comment section below. It’s a thrilling plan – I am am gleeful – and you may have the final idea for the perfect place.  We hope to work closely with Stony Stratford people – the town has a very active, go get spirit and is also a Fairtrade town. It is very near and we could hopefully involve some of the pupils form local schools we supply.  In addition we also have some well know brands we work with for example Ecover, River Cottage, Dorset cereals, The Holocaust Trust, Christian Aid, Burts Bees the list goes on and on and perhaps we can all get involved together.  It would look absolutely fantastic wouldn’t it?  Their Fairtrade garments on the washing line along with all the others.

Well that’s our plan. We wait for the reply and keep our fingers crossed.

Go on help us with some suggestions!

Blasting the Company Horn

  

Company HORN

Here we are again. Another busy week.  We have lots of orders coming through and I am really pleased with how our Fairtrade company is doing. 

When things go well we have a “company horn”.  It is an old brass antique horn and if someone in the company has something to celebrate then they honk the horn!  This week it got honked twice.  

The first time Karen and Ros finished embroidering around 1000 fleece jackets. Whew! A real time for celebration and a good old honking of the horn.   

Ros and Karen honking!

The second time was was Ros received her Fire Marshall certificate.  Ros had been on a workshop to learn all about fires, how to stop them happening, how to put them out, and how to get everyone out of the building.  Everyone who has been on the course finds it very interesting.  So we are looking forward to Ros teaching us all she knows.

I am looking forward to the next time someone wants to “honk our horn!”

Lisa in the Vialene Bags

This is Lisa – our sales manager.  You can see she is a very serious person and grabs any opportunity to sit down and mess about!

We have been saving the waste vialene, (the stuff we use behind the embroidery to hold the fabric firmly) especially for a local charity – close to the heart of Milton Keynes people.  Willen Hospice does wonderful work and is very highly thought of.  We were really pleased when we found that our vialene can be reused for cloth manufacture and the proceeds go to the hospice.  We need a good home for all the polybags we now collect.  If you have any suggestions please let me know.

Karen and Ros have been diligently saving  the Vialene and now here is Lisa taking the opportunity for a sit down in comfort!  Ahhhhh…..

Lisa in the Vialene Bags