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Earth Day 2019: Carbon Neutral Commitment

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Garthenor Organic is going Carbon Neutral in 2019

Our planet is in trouble.

More specifically, the impact we’ve made as a population will never, ever be reversed. That’s a pretty depressing thought, but it’s certainly no reason to give up. In fact, it’s the best possible reason to continue making commitments to our collective future, and the future of the world around us. That’s why, for 2019 we’ve made a commitment to go Carbon Neutral.

Yes, it’s a bit of a buzzword (buzzphrase?), but it’s a step towards not just minimising our negative impact as a company, but to actually make a positive impact.

We’ve made a few other commitments, that we think are pretty good too:

  • No single use plastic produced or used by us as a company
  • No man made fibres
  • 100% organic production, independetly certified to Global Organic Textile Standards

That first one, no single use plastic, is a bit of an ambiguous one, but we’ve narrowed down our plastic use to just two areas:

  • Reusable polypropylene wool fleece sacks, that last around 10 years and are recycled after they’re worn out
  • Reusable LDPE grip seal bags that we use to store our yarn – also recyclable

How?

We’re already quite a way to being carbon neutral, but this commitment means we’ll calculate our usage, and ensure our offset meets or exceeds this number, month by month.

The main way we’ve already committed to carbon offsetting is by planting trees and hedgerows here on the farm. We’ll also be investing directly into carbon neutral projects in the UK and around the world. All these investments will be into independently certified ventures, and we’ll be totally transparent about exactly what we’re doing.

Calculating our usage is, and will always be a very tricky figure to get to. As a company that makes things, we have a complicated supply chain involving many farms, businesses and processes. Ultimately, we’re having to make a “best guess” about our actual impact, using data from dozens of sources, so to account for this we’ll add at least a 25% margin of error on the final figure.

What’s the goal?

Ultimately, to not have an impact at all. That’s a lofty goal, no doubt.

It’s also a long term commitment, that’ll mean creating and investing in solutions like producing our own electricity, reducing the wool mileage and working with our mills and supplier farms to neutralize their footprint too.

Introducing Henorius

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Today, we’re thrilled to announce an entirely new family of yarns: Henorius, by Garthenor Organic. We’ve long held an ambition to expand on our range, but we knew that to achieve this, it had to be done just right. We’ve been developing Henorius for just over a year, and we couldn’t be happier to finally be sharing it with the world.

The planning of this entirely new brand has been an enormous undertaking – it represents a number of “firsts” for Garthenor. New partners, new fibres, and biggest of all – colours. Since we began in 1998, Garthenor has only ever produced entirely undyed yarns, offered in a broad palette representing the natural beauty of the British landscape. Henorius, on the other hand, leaps into the dye pots to embrace a launch collection of 25 solid shades and 5 marls.

Henorius will be available for the very first time at Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018. Stay tuned for pre order and stockist information.

Why ‘Henorius’?

We’ve made the decision to keep our two yarn families – Garthenor & Henorius, by Garthenor Organic slightly separate. Throughout the development process, we’ve felt that they represent two different approaches to yarn – though each just as fabulous as the other!

Despite being slightly separate, at all shows and events following the launch at EYF’18, we’ll have both Garthenor and Henorius yarns available on our stand.

“Garth Henorius” is thought to mean a view over the garth (a rocky mound), and over the years was shortened to “Garthenor” – so Henorius felt like a natural fit as a name.

“Romwarth” Blend*

Our initial yarns will launch as a creation from one of two bases. The first of these will be available in a range of yarn weights, all worsted-spun. In the worsted process the fibre is combed into a wonderfully smooth and even top before spinning, and so ends up silkier and with more lustre than the woollen process.

“Romwarth” will be made up of 60% Single Farm Polwarth from the Falkland Islands and 40% Single Farm English Romney, from the South of England.

Pure Lambswool*

The second base will be a deliciously soft and springy Romney lambswool, which will be woollen spun. The woollen process keeps all the fibres jumbled and traps more air, making them bouncier and warmer than worsted spun. All the current crop of Garthenor yarns are woollen spun, and the Pure Lambswool will be spun so that it’s interchangeable with these in weight and length.

Pure Lambswool will be 100% Single Farm English Romney Lambswool, from the South of England.

* Romwarth & Pure Lambswool are just our description for the bases – not what the actual yarns will be named!

Organic

As with everything we produce, all Henorius yarns will be 100% certified organic at every single process, from sheep to shelf – no compromises, anywhere.

This means that every step in the production has been independently inspected to Global Organic Textile Standards.

Garthenor

“Does this mean you won’t be producing your undyed yarns any more?”
Not at all – in fact, we’ve got some beautiful new breeds, blends and shades to share with you throughout 2018.

What Next?

This is the first post in a series leading up to the launch of Henorius.

Up Next: Exploring “Romwarth”: our exclusive blend.