Behind the Scenes: Developing an Eco Conscious Brand
What inspired you to create an eco range?
How do you turn a plastic bottle into a material to work with?
First, the bottles are collected and cleaned. After this the bottles are cut down into tiny plastic chips that can easily be melted. Once in liquid form, the substance can be pulled out into a fine thread just like any other material that we use. The thread can then be woven into the RPET material that you would recognise from our bags.
After this process is complete the material is then treated with a water resistant coating to make sure it is not just protected from a rain shower, but to avoid staining from milk spills or other accidents.
How many plastic bottles does it take per bag?
Each bag has a custom label inside telling you exactly how many bottles have been saved from landfill to make your bag. Our changing bags are usually made from between 30-40 bottles whereas the larger cabin bags use 50-60 bottles. As a company we have already saved over 150,000 bottles on our bags. So that is 150,000 fewer in landfill or our oceans.
Is the RPET material harder to work with?
The final material is so similar to the ones used on our non-eco ranges it would be hard to tell the difference just by looking at them. This means it handles exactly the same as any other material we would use. The only noticeable difference is we have chosen a more eco friendly backing for the RPET. We add this for structure and stability but the eco friendly version has a slightly softer hand-feel, making the material a little more malleable.
The final material is still just as durable though and a bonus is it’s less likely to harden and crack over time which can happen when you add backing to materials.
Is the process of making the plastic bottles into a material also eco-friendly?
The recycled materials we use are all certified the GRS (Global Recycled Standard). This is an international certification that aims to promote the use of recycled materials and a more sustainable supply chain.
They don’t just look at if the final product meets the necessary criteria to call it recycled, but they audit the whole manufacturing process and will only certify manufacturers with responsible production processes. This includes strict social requirements for the workers and not permitting any harmful chemicals to be used throughout the production process so yes the whole process is certified as eco-friendly.