There has been much debate recently over how eco-friendly some of the UK made products are and whether they’re harmful, or helpful, to our environment. It is difficult to make an informed decision without weighing up the pros and cons, so that’s exactly what we’re going to do now. Hopefully, we’ll find out how ‘green’ UK handmade products are.
Let’s start off with the bad news; not all handmade products from the UK are eco-friendly. Well, we kind of expected that one didn’t we? The fact is, some companies still use manufacturing methods that are dangerous for the environment. A product can be classed as handmade if all the components are put together by hand, but what about how those components were put together? If there is a lot of plastic in a product, for example, then chances are certain methods were used which will not be very environmentally friendly. The best way to check what the company means by ‘handmade’ is by asking them directly. Most companies will be more than happy to tell you exactly how their product is made, as long as they don’t have anything to hide.
If a product is genuinely handmade in the UK, then there are a lot of pros for the environment. Firstly, you have to factor in the transportation benefits of something being made and delivered in the UK. There’s no gas guzzling planes transporting your new furniture over to an Ikea store near you. By buying directly from the UK, you can rest assured that your new item has not left a giant carbon footprint behind it. Phew! This is even better if the product you’re buying is on the larger side, such as big pieces of furniture. Many UK companies also tend to use traditional methods to make certain items such as sofas, wooden furniture and ornaments. Traditional methods that don’t pollute our air or drain our natural resources. Finally, higher quality items mean that they’re going to last a lot longer than cheap or imported products, cutting down on the amount of waste overall.
Let’s use a Chesterfield Sofa handmade in the UK, as an example of how ‘green’ these products can be. The company uses British components to put the sofa together, cutting down on pollution through importing goods. The products are handmade using a clever technique from the 1950s, which leaves practically no carbon footprint. They have a small team of delivery drivers who deliver the product to the customer, within the UK. The item is guaranteed for 5 years, because the company has such faith in their sofa. This means it is going to be at least 5 years before any wear or tear begins to show and even longer before the piece of furniture is discarded, wasted or has to be recycled. Well, that sounds pretty eco-friendly to us!
That is just one example however; it is always recommended that you actually delve more into a company and find out more about how ‘green’ their business is. As mentioned, if they have nothing to hide then they should be happy to let you know!