OUR SUSTAINABILITY PROMISE
Weaving a Greener Future
Ulster Weavers has been in business since 1880 – by 2025, we’ll be 145 years old. Our heritage is steeped in weaving homegrown high-quality linens – sustainability is in our roots. Now it’s time for us to continue to lay the foundations for the next 145 years.
That’s why we are making a fresh commitment to continue building a better community around our people, creating a better, increasingly sustainable product for a better planet.
Our commitments begin with our people. Ulster Weavers has always been a family-owned business with deep roots in the local community. We’re reaffirming that commitment to our community with a range of new initiatives.
Less Than Perfect:
Ulster Weavers’ “Less Than Perfect” sale is a new, annual event that will celebrate our imperfections. Lovingly crafted homewares will always have the occasional inconsistency – little reminders that our fabrics are made using time-honoured traditions. We will sell these perfectly good seconds to raise money for charities that are close to our heart. Our customers will enjoy Ulster Weavers’ products at discounted rates, our charities will receive much-needed funds, and hundreds of metres of fabric will be diverted from waste.
2025 by 2025:
We want to create new bonds with the organisations that ensure our communities are great places to live.
Our “2025 by 2025” initiative will see Ulster Weavers’ colleagues donating at least 2025 hours of their time volunteering and raising funds for local charities.
Our Sustainability Champions will coordinate with our appointed charities and partners to ensure that we keep our promises.
Ulster Weavers has earned a reputation for creating beautiful products that stand the test of time. Now, we are making changes to ensure that we minimise our impact on the environment by reducing our material consumption by 30% by 2025.
A Virtuous Cycle
We use virgin materials in our products and packaging, but we aim to change that. We are working with our suppliers to source recycled – and recyclable – material.
In some cases, we will have to use virgin materials. We will ensure that these materials are sustainably sourced and consider the environment and the communities that grow our fibres.
Made to Last
We design products that are made to last and that won’t change. Unlike cheaper alternatives the durability of our products counteracts the ‘consume & dispose’ culture, reducing the medium-long costs and impacts associated with low cost and low quality items.
Our homewares may cost a little more but, with the proper care, they can withstand the rigours of everyday use far longer than cheaper alternatives. That means less consumption and less waste.
A Little Goes a Long Way
We’re reducing the size of our tea towels a little bit to make a big change. Ulster Weavers' tea towels have always been generously sized.
Still, by bringing them into line with the standard market size, we can save over four metric tonnes of raw material every year. We'll be doing the same with our aprons, too.
Just What You Were Looking For
Increasingly, our customers are looking for ways to reduce their impact on the environment.
We want to help you achieve your sustainability ambitions by providing products that encourage a move away from disposable to reusable.
We are committed to reducing our impact on the planet by using fewer resources more efficiently – and encouraging our suppliers and partners to do the same. Our goal is to reduce our carbon emissions by 60% by 2025.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
We plan to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill by 50% by 2025. We will achieve this goal in many ways – by redesigning our products, using more recycled and recyclable materials, and working with our partners to repurpose unused fabric.
There’s a lot that goes into our products – but does it all need to be there? We will be re-evaluating how we make things to remove any unnecessary components like tags, bags, boxes, and tape. At the same time, we are improving our onsite recycling and ensuring that our online orders are packaged in recycled materials.
Our fabric test samples and off-cuts might represent waste to us, but they are a valuable resource for others. We’ve partnered with Shared Threads, a local charity that uses these materials to make period products.
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) estimates that, around the world, most girls miss five days of schooling each month for want of pads or tampons. A shocking 23% of girls leave school when they begin menstruation. We want our fabric to help young women get the education they need.
Fabric production requires a lot of water, so we’re paying more attention to how we use it. We’re researching and introducing sustainable alternatives to the chemical-based pigments, dyes, coatings, and finishing that we currently use.
This is a work in progress and a challenge that the entire textile industry is trying to tackle. We will continue to work at the forefront of these efforts to reduce our chemical footprint.
A good place to start is our wastewater. We currently send our production wastewater for disposal off-site, but that’s changing. We’re introducing a pH-based water filtration system to clean our water within our facilities and protect waterways from chemical pollution at the source.
Meanwhile, single-use plastics pose a serious threat to marine wildlife and ecosystems. There’s no good reason for this. We’re doing our bit by eradicating single-use plastics on our sites by 2025.
Close to Home
We are reconfirming our commitment to collaborate with local makers and creators. Our customers look to us for lovingly crafted, quality homeware. It’s only right that we should deepen our partnerships with the people who are doing just that, right here. Not only does manufacturing locally help our community, but it reduces our carbon footprint.
Sharing Our Vision
All in all, we aim to prioritise our planet over price. That will require us to work with partners who share our sustainability vision, values, and ambitions. Our products support other businesses and communities farther afield. We will share our knowledge and experience with them to help them make the small changes that can add up to a big difference.