It’s not just lip service: sustainability is important to us, and as a business we’re very conscious of our environmental impact. We do our best to reduce, reuse and recycle everything we possibly can, and as a result, we currently only produce one bin bag for landfill every 2 weeks, and are looking for ways to reduce this further. We believe stongly 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 …
We’re 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…
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 where possible; larger bags are used to protect rolls of fabric for our customers and makers; smaller pieces are cut up and heat sealed to create packaging for orders we are posting, and anything too small or damaged is separated by colour and taken to our local waste recycling centre.
Little bits and bobs: fabric samples, mis-cuts and odds and ends of ribbons and trims are turned into craft packs, filled with all sorts of useful crafty things. They’re great for children to experiement with, or for your own small craft projects. all packaged up in compostable cellulose bags. They are great for children, craft projects or sustainable gift ideas. 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.
Recycled products: we are always on the lookout for sustainable products to stock in our shop. These include fabrics made from recycled fibres such as plastic bottles, recycled threads from Gutermann, and Better Cotton Initiative furnishing fabrics. Occasionally we source vintage stock from auctions or old factories, which is a great way of finding some fabulous and unique designs while keeping our carbon footprint low, plus we can offer these one-of-a-kind products at great prices to our customers!
We love remnants! We parcel up the short ends of rolls or ex display pieces and put them in our remnants basket. The pieces are labelled with a size/ shape and a (brilliant) price. It’s a great place to look if you want a bargain for your project, and definitely worth a rummage for small or medium projects as piece sizes vary and can be quite large.
All the team at Livingstone Textiles are strong believers in sustainability, which makes us pretty thrifty makers too! We love sharing the projects we’ve 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 makes, how-to’s and tutorials.
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.
Local: We try to ensure that the fabrics we buy are from sustainable sources where possible, so we source lots of things such as our paper bags, foam, cushion pads, rope, haberdashery, upholstery supplies and our natural linens from smaller local businesses. Buying locally supports small businesses, plus it reduces packaging and delivery miles.
Ecologically responsible: We now stock a growing range of furnishing fabrics containing BCI cotton, and we are proud to help promote this initiative. Cotton can be a thirsty, polluting product, but the Better Cotton Initiative is striving to transform cotton production, producing more sustainable cotton from the ground up. Better Cotton is grown in a way that protects and restores the environment, while also improving farmers’ livelihoods. This cotton is then fed into the cotton supply chain to reduce dependence on unsustainably-produced cotton.
Zero waste: Occasionally we find hidden treasures at auction 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 potentially keep unwanted fabrics out of landfill, and keep things sustainable for us, as we are not buying new materials straight out of the mills whichcan be costly in resources and transport miles.
We are adding to our stock all the time and we are always looking out for new suppliers who support our ethos of sustainability, whether it is through organic materials, recycled materials or just fabric 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).