On being thoughtful

 

a trip to hull.


you’ll find the words ‘thoughtfully sourced’ on the labels attached to our socks. anyone who has set up a business will know how many decisions, tiny to huge, which have to be made along the way. we have tried wherever possible to incorporate thoughtfulness and fairness into each one, and decided to share those small steps here on our journal.


you’ll probably have heard us harking on about our packaging and last week we were lucky enough to visit one of G. F. Smith’s factories in Hull. The story of its beginning is fascinating: it involves a passion for paper, a voyage to New York and the playing of an organ in an event to cover a no-show. You have to read their story for yourself. 


We had a super tour of the factory. They are serious about protecting the environment and reducing their footprint. With this in mind, they recently launched their new range of paper called Extract Paper. It is made out post-consumed coffee cups and virgin fibres, and is FSC certified. Cupcycling, by James Cropper, is a UK-based mill that produces this paper. 

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They’ve recycled 6 million paper cups so far! We use this paper envelope, in Shell, to enable our socks to travel to you.


On the tour, we met Glenn, who is in charge of envelope making. He started in 1987. He showed us the tools used to cut the paper and then the machine that folds them, glues them and makes them
up.

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Our envelopes are a bespoke size so we were taken along to meet Denise who assembled our envelopes last year. She has been working there for over 30 years. It’s hard not to get over excited but it’s so inspiring to see such a
well-oiled machine up close.

This attention to detail and pride in a practice made us want to open up about our own process. Transparency and our impact on the environment is so important to us, and so this is where we are at but know there are always improvements to make.


The yarn which makes up A Woven Plane socks is Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, which means it is free from harmful substances 

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Our sock overrider label is made from Fedrigoni’s FSC certified paper. The label on our socks is fixed with thread instead of a plastic tag.

Our online sales packaging is made from G. F. Smith’s Extract Paper range, and our direct sales are handed over  in acid-free glassine paper envelopes, which are recyclable. Our mailbags are made from 100% recycled plastic, and they are fully recyclable.

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We re-use all of the plastic bags that our socks arrive in from the factory and we re-use the cardboard boxes that all of our packaging arrives in.

We don’t send paper copies of our invoices to clients who purchase our socks online – we think an electronic copy suffices.

It’s not an option anymore to ignore the environment or our individual responsibility towards it. Start by starting, and hopefully all of these small, and seemingly inconsequential steps, will create the bigger picture of change that we really need to see.

 
Sarah Johnson