Sustainability has been one of 2019’s biggest buzz words, and for good reason. With the declaration of a global climate crisis (better late than never, eh?), more and more companies are jumping on board to release eco, low waste, sustainable products in response to the devastating impact our modern lifestyles are having on the natural world. But are these just greenwashing tactics and a snappy marketing trend?
Inspired by this excellent podcast from Make It British, we’ve realised that here at Openhouse we have been acting as a sustainable company for many years already! So we’re taking you behind the scenes to understand how…
The jewel in our crown is our amazing micrAgard material
Just as we are encouraged to buy our fresh produce from local farmers and suppliers, we should be careful to learn about where our products are sourced from. Our micrAgard fabric is made exclusively for us here in the UK, so has a low carbon footprint. It has a number of properties that make it a really sustainable product:
- UV stable so it is safe to dispose of as it won’t degrade and emit toxins
- wipe clean so it doesn’t need to be disposed of if it comes into contact with unpleasant substances – for our customers, this can be anything from mud to blood to vomit and worse!
- stronger than PVC against heavy weights, tearing and fire damage meaning it is super long lasting by nature
Our products are built to last
At Openhouse our number one focus is quality. That means products that are perfect for the job, and built to last. This does mean that we are sometimes more expensive than our competitors but it is important to consider your Openhouse product as an investment and the cost will spread for many years. After all the old saying “buy cheap, buy twice” rings true – we often have customers come to us after getting a product cheaper from someone else, only to find that it hasn’t done the job and is broken, wishing they had just come to us in the first place!
We offer a repair service
In the great British spirit of make-do and mend, we encourage all our customers to send their products to us for repairs and replacement parts. All products come with a 12 month warranty, though we’re proud to say the people who need to make use of this are few and far between. Extending a product lifespan is a crucial way of reducing the need for new raw material.
The bags that do come in for repairs are sometimes up to five years old or more and are being used day in, day out – so it’s probably fair that they deserve a spruce up after so long!
We are a British manufacturer
We source our materials directly here in the UK to reduce our carbon footprint from shipping in materials from overseas, as well as supporting the British economy. In choosing a British company you, too, are helping the British economy and keeping these manufacturing skills alive in the UK. Some of our talented sewing machinists have worked here for nearly 20 years!
We work to reduce our waste wherever possible
The first step in our manufacturing process is using a high-spec laser cutter. Combined with the precision of our cutting staff, there is minimal wastage as they carefully create a jigsaw of individual pieces for every product. The accuracy and skill of our sewing machinists also creates minimal wastage out on the sewing floor, and we post all our empty spools back to our thread supplier for reuse. Finally, we always encourage our customers to reuse and correctly recycle any packaging they receive from us, just as we do on site.