You will probably have noticed I talk a lot about the values behind Burrow and Be, and that’s because our business values are a core pillar of what makes Burrow and Be, Burrow and Be. I am often contacted by people (usually fellow Mums) who are just starting out in business, and wanting to know if I have any advice on navigating their way through this world of retail.
Before anything else I will usually say - know your business values and everything else will flow from that.
From the very beginning it was a no-brainer to me that sustainability was (and is) central to all we do. Any time I have been unsure about something, checking back in on how that decision sits with a sustainability lens has always given clarity when I have needed it.
Which is why when it came time to design our new Winter 2021 Elemental Collection, I did significant research into what I wanted our new fabric to be.
We all know how amazing merino wool is with its temperature regulating and quick drying abilities and breathability (all of which makes it ideal for layering up for wee ones whose bodies don’t yet regulate their own temperature). I decided I wanted a merino blend however, because I wanted the fabric to be extra soft and luxurious against delicate skin.
Bamboo has a gorgeous hand feel and the blend of merino and bamboo was exactly how I wanted it to look, behave and feel. Over the years bamboo has had mixed reviews in sustainability so before I jumped in I needed to research further. We all know that bamboo takes up less land for the volume, is very hardy to the elements so this is a great environmental quality, however not all bamboo fabric is created equal.
As a product, bamboo is a natural wonder that is highly sustainable, eco-friendly and biodegradable. But, there are two ways in which bamboo is processed into a textile and therein lies the sustainability conflict. The mechanical process is more labour intensive (and costly), and involves crushing the bamboo and using natural enzymes to break it down so it can be made into a yarn. The chemical process is as you would expect - using chemicals to alter the fibres, which is obviously less labour intensive (and cheaper) than the mechanical process. But, it didn’t sit well with me to knowingly use a chemically treated product for our kids clothes, and the environmental impact of those chemicals is substantial.
As luck would have it, right around the time I was figuring all this out we were put into lockdown and I had time on my hands to research! And it was time well spent, researching the various bamboo fabric manufacturers and finding the right one to partner with that used the mechanical process to create their bamboo textile.
And now, we get to bring you the most gorgeous baby and kids clothes in this new Collection that feel absolutely amazing and have been created in another GOTS certified factory, and I can sleep at night knowing I am continuing to do my bit for the planet. It might cost us more to produce our products, but just like with all our organic cotton coming from GOTS Certified factories, I believe that our customers see the value in all the effort that we put in (and the end product) to reduce harm to the environment, and are prepared to pay a little extra because of that.
Sustainability is a bit of a buzz word these days, and I see a lot of businesses promoting their sustainable practices without a whole lot to back it up. We are not perfect but we are certainly on a journey to do the best we can when we can and I’m proud to be able to show my kids that every decision I make about what factories we use, what products we use and even what packaging we use (see our previous blog on our new fabric bags for our Wander leather kids shoes!), is all with their future in mind and giving them the best planet possible to inherit.