World First Products

October 15th, 2020

2020, what a year. For obvious reasons this year will go down in history as a bizarre one. A stressful one. An unexpected one.

Pandemic aside this year has been a year of great change. We renovated and moved into a bigger factory. Invested in power saving equipment to lower our energy use. Purchased manufacturing equipment which uses less than 40% of the energy needed to run. We have solar panels in the pipeline.

This is Rob. He is our warehouse manager. He oversees production and packing of the sachets. He runs the newly installed planet saving machines mentioned above and is always looking for ways we can be even more efficientOur move has meant we have a new development lab…which means long awaited new products can be produced. This is Alex, our MD, chemist and the brain behind our sachets. He has been working away in his new lab on lots of exciting product ideas. His wife, Tess manages our social media channels while juggling their 2 children at home !

What cleaning products are you interested in us producing ? Keep your eyes peeled ready for when our new products drop. We will be releasing what we believe to be a world first...eeks !

We are celebrating being granted a Made In Britain membership

We now have an official certification to recognise our products are good quality, great value and British made. We want you to be able to trust that we have sustainable and ethical practises.

John Pearce, chief executive of Made in Britain;

‘We’re delighted that Iron & Velvet has joined the community of more than 1200 British manufactures. The more the mark is used and seen, the more it is recognised as a mark of quality. We look forward to watching Iron & Velvet grow with our help and support.'

Black History Month

October 6th, 2020

Since the #BlackLivesMatter protests this summer we at Iron & Velvet have been learning and educating ourselves further about the injustices black people have and still are facing. This Black History Month we'd like to highlight some incredible women who we wish we'd learnt about at school. Black history isn’t separate to British history.

Olive Morris

Olive Morris came to the UK as part of the Windrush generation. After witnessing police officers beating a Nigerian diplomat, she stepped forward to help him resulting in her being kicked in the chest by the police and arrested. She was only 17 or 18 at this point. From this point she dedicated her life to Black rights activism. She was part of the Black Panther Movement 1968, an active member of the Manchester Black Women’s Cooperative, led marches for the Black Workers Movement, co-founded Brixton Black Women’s Group and the Organisation of Women of Asian and Africa Descent. She did all this and much more in just 27 years on this earth as she sadly died early from cancer.
Claudia Jones

We’ve all heard of the Notting Hill carnival. We’ve seen millions of people attend West London and celebrate Caribbean culture and community. It’s the second largest street party in the world! What many people don’t know is that it was founded by Claudia Jones as an attempt to unify the community and get rid of racism.
As if founding the second largest street party in the world wasn’t enough, she achieved lots more. She founded Britain’s first major black newspaper; The West Indian Gazette. She was imprisoned and deported from America for her political activism. (1)
Lilian Bader 

She joined the Navy, Army & Air force institute when the second world war broke out but was asked to leave when they discovered her father Barbadian. Later on when the RAF were accepting black recruits she was allowed to join but was ‘the only coloured person in this sea of white faces’. She was the first black women to join the British Armed Forces.
Una Marson

A Jamaican feminist. She founded her own magazine and she openly, regularly and passionately wrote about problems faced by black migrants. Her activism ended up with her being the first black women to be employed by the BBC. [1] Her poetry reached many people. This is an extract from her poem Little Brown Girl :
‘Don’t you feel very strange
To be so often alone
In a crowd of whites?
Do you remember you are brown
Or do you forget?
Or do the people staring at you
Remind you of your colour?’(2)

We hope you don’t mind the side-track away from cleaning / sustainable living for this newsletter. We feel as a brand we have a responsibility to keep learning and to be active in the fight against racism.

Our stockists deserve the spotlight...

September 28th, 2020

There’s no question that moves need to be made in order to save our planet and push against the decline that we see happening to our environment. We are so proud of the Iron and Velvet community. Our stockists are constantly looking at ways they can be more sustainable. Whether it’s using eco-friendly packaging, being involved in carbon offset programmes, taking part in clean up days or donating profits etc. We are always learning from them and I am sure you will as well.

A handful of our stockists that we are spotlighting this month :

Friendly Turtle

This company is named Friendly Turtle because the founder is an avid diver. He has witnessed first-hand plastic pollution in the oceans and the effects it has on wildlife. Not only does this business make plastic free options more accessible they also donate 5% of all profits annually to The Marine Conservation Society!

As if running a sustainable business is not enough the owners of &Keep are public speakers educating people on plastic pollution. Natasha is a Eco Schools Green Flag Assessor and a Keep Britain Tidy #litterheros Ambassador. On top of that they regularly donate to charitable organisations.

A box subscription service with your monthly supply of cleaning products. The easiest way to swap into a plastic free cleaning routine as they have done the research and product testing for you. All high quality, vegan and good for the planet.

At least 10% of their profits go elsewhere! In 2020 they are donating to National Emergency Trust which assists people in times of crisis. Thank you Si-su!
The Greener Cleaner

This cleaning agency based in Brighton, Hove or Lewes who recommend exclusively green houshold cleaners and cleaning products for you. They have taken the time to educate customers on harsh chemicals found in cleaners and have even got a shop where you can purchase green cleaning products yourself.
Eco Bonobo

A family business that have recently had their first birthday. Congratulations Eco Bonobo! Natasha (Another one) who runs the business truly is the queen of the farmers market, always has such beautiful displays.

It's 2020 and the climate change clock that was unveiled in Manhattan a week ago only has 7 years left on it before climate change irreversibly alters human existence.

The least we expect is for companies to start thinking about their impact on our planet. If a business doesn't have a statement about sustainability then why are we supporting them? Especially when, as we have seen above, so many companies are going over and above.

Disclaimer: We understand it is a great privilege to be able to pick and choose where we shop / avoid certain brands. This option isn't available to everyone and we are grateful we can make these choices.

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