Here at Livingstone Textiles we are very conscious of our environmental impact and try to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum. We strongly hold the belief that things should not be single use and nothing should be simply thrown away without a thought as everything has to go somewhere!
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle …
To minimise the waste we produce, we do our best to reduce, reuse and recycle everything we possibly can. As a result, we currently only produce 1 black bin bag of waste for landfill every 2 weeks and are always looking for ways to reduce this further. Whilst always thinking of ways we can reduce the amount of waste we get to begin with.
Here are a few of the ways in which we keep our waste to a minimum…
Reuse plastic packaging, we receive fabrics from our suppliers in large tough plastic bags which are great for protecting the fabric but not so great for the environment. So, in order to get as much use out of them as possible we reuse them, saving larger bags to protect rolls of fabric our customers have purchased and the smaller pieces are cut up and heat sealed to protect orders we are posting, anything too small or damaged is taken to our local waste recycling centre.
Left over fabric samples and haberdashery are turned into handy craft packs, these packs are made up from all sorts of useful crafty things. These include the small end of roll pieces or samples we have left over, short ends of ribbon or tape etc, and small items of haberdashery. All packaged up in reused bags (where possible). They are great for those who are learning to sew or do crafts, children, or just for small sustainable projects. We carefully sort through and co-ordinate the packs by colour or a theme, so keep an eye out for our seasonal packs throughout the year. We have now packaged these in biodegradable cellophane bags.
Remnants basket. We parcel up the short ends of rolls or ex display pieces and put them in our remnant’s basket. The pieces are labelled with a size/ shape and a discounted price. It’s a great place to look if you want a bargain for your project, it’s definitely worth a rummage for small or medium projects as piece sizes vary and can be quite large.
How to guides
As a team at livingstone textiles we are all strong believers in these values and are pretty thrifty makers, so we like to share with you the projects we have been making, especially when they are reducing single use items! So, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest or check back into our website regularly to see our latest hints, tips and makes! Follow the links for some of our recent posts. Sandwich holder, 7 simple eco friendly makes, produce bags and more.
Where possible we source our fabrics from sustainable suppliers and have several recycled products in stock including double width fabric, fabric from 95% recycled bottles and 100% recycled polyester threads to choose from, we also stock a range of eco felts which are made from recycled materials.
We try to ensure that the fabrics we buy are from sustainable sources where possible and source lots of things from smaller local businesses such as our paper bags, foam, cushion pads, rope, haberdashery, upholstery supplies and our natural linens. Occasionally we also find hidden treasures at auctions which allows us to bring variety to our shops and gives our customers the opportunity to purchase one off items that can’t be found anywhere else! These auction finds are special fabrics that are not just from our standard suppliers, keeping things sustainable as we are not buying new materials straight out of the mills which can sometimes be overseas and costly in resources to produce. Sourcing things from these smaller companies and auctions also means we are reducing the amount of packaging we receive as they are mostly delivered directly to us by the company when they are in the area.
We are adding to our stock all the time and we are always looking out for new suppliers to source new sustainable fabrics from, whether they are made from organic plants, recycled materials or just produced in a more sustainable way, we believe that these are important factors to consider when purchasing (oh and it has to look nice too).