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4 ways to reduce your carbon footprint this autumn...

October 28th, 2020

September 2020 was the hottest month on record! As someone who loves the warm weather, I must really remind myself that unexpected sunny weeks should be a wakeup call. It’s easy when the pandemic is so present in our lives and minds to let the climate emergency take a back seat but now more than ever, we should be doing our bit. A way to start is by looking up your carbon footprint. The goal is to be climate neutral by reducing our impact on the planet.

Eating seasonally

Supermarkets have made seasonal eating non-existent, as you can access any type of fresh food, any time of year. However, if we eat the food that’s in season its less likely to have been imported meaning a lower carbon footprint. It’s a win win, because its fresher and supports farms closer to home. This time of year, it’s a pleasure to eat seasonally as harvest season is upon us. All the best vegetables are in season; broccoli, squash, pumpkins, potatoes. Some of us in the Iron and Velvet team have joined the Big Food Switch movement to encourage us to eat consciously and more sustainably.

Driving

We all know cutting down on driving time is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint. This isn’t realistic for everyone especially now as its darker and colder at the commuting times so biking to work isn’t as appealing. Public transport and carpooling are also more dangerous options during the pandemic. What we would suggest is change the way you drive. Tips you (probably) already know but might need reminding are: move up your gears quicker, brake / accelerate smoothly and driving 70 mph uses 25% less fuel than 85 mph. Saving the planet is in line with law and saving you petrol. If you have the means an electric car is the dream, our boss has just purchased one and is the envy of the office.


Donating

Offset your carbon footprint with organisations like Ecologi and Bulb. They are supporting incredible projects and initiatives. It can be overwhelming as there are lots of projects so we would recommend that you research specific ones in more depth. An interesting project to read up on is The Great Green wall. This project supports landscape restoration, reforestation and is positively affecting the lives of people living in the Sahel. It’s inspiring to see nature protecting us from climate change.

Did you know you can donate without giving away any pennies? Change your browser to Ecosia. They use their profit to plant trees. Every search request removes 1kg of energy from the environment. If you are going to shop on Amazon, use AmazonSmile. You can pick a charity that supports climate change initiatives and Jeff Bezos will donate for you.

Cleaning

Use our cleaning products to reduce your carbon footprint. We manufacture everything in the UK using low energy machinery. All our web orders are sent via Royal mail meaning no extra emissions on the roads. Our boxes are as small as we can get them and they are recycled and recyclable meaning virtually no waste. Order online now to receive through your letter box in the following few days.

We’d like to remind you all that: just 100 companies are responsible for over 70% of emissions. And BP the world’s 6th largest polluter coined the term ‘carbon footprint’ in the first place to shift the blame to consumers. These companies are the real issue. During this pandemic you’ll be surprised to know that despite being locked up in our homes, emissions have only dropped by 8%.

We aren’t saying this to belittle individual impact - because we can and should as individuals do the best we can to care for this planet – we are simply reminding you induvial guilt is needed.







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.






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