Explore the many facets of Love HeartWood’s approach to sustainability. Discover why it’s central to my values and how my sustainable journey’s going.
sustainability journal entries
- Circular Coffee and Conversationcrafting circular futures I initially started watching Reading’s Circular Economy Club talks to get sustainability tips from other local people. So I was delighted when Erica invited me to take […]
- Love HeartWood – Rural Business Awards FinalistBERKSHIRE BUSINESS SHORTLISTED FOR TOP RURAL AWARD A local company is in the running to be named one of the best rural businesses in the UK after being shortlisted as […]
- plastic free picnicwareSummer evenings are perfect for picnics. If you’re looking to ditch the plastic and replace it with more sustainable picnicware then 3 Bears Woodware’s the answer. 3 Bears Woodware is […]
- One Ash Part 1 – Forestry Education ProjectI believe that educating future generations to care for our environment and manage it sustainably is crucial if we’re to reverse the damage done by Man to the environment. Educational […]
- what are the benefits of eating off wooden dishes?There’s a long history of wooden dishes in Britain dating right back to the Iron Age. They only became less popular in the late 17th and early 18th centuries with […]
- wooden dinner sethow a pile of plastic inspired the 3 bears wooden dinner set Over the last 10 years this pile of plastic’s been slowly growing taller in my kitchen cupboard. Why […]
- wood care and oiling instructionsFollowing these simple guidelines will help your wooden products age gracefully and provide a lifetime of use and enjoyment. Wood has been proven to be naturally antibacterial and is therefore […]
- plant a tree with every purchaseEvery time you buy a handmade, wooden gift from Love HeartWood you’re also giving the gift of a tree. Thereby helping to reforest our planet.
what’s at the heart of Love HeartWood?
Our disposable culture has caused huge environmental problems and we live with the guilt of our society’s wastefulness every day. That was the lesson I took away from my product design studies. To provide an alternative to this Love HeartWood was founded on the values outlined below. My goal is to make Love HeartWood the most ethical & sustainable brand it can be.
My wood comes from 2 main sources. The green, or fresh, timber comes from local tree surgeons. While the recycled wood is from other woodworker’s waste streams.
Love HeartWood only uses native British grown hardwoods.
Firstly, because imported timber may come from illegal logging.
Secondly, exotic hardwoods which have travelled halfway round the world create a large carbon footprint.
And finally, because using local timber is a celebration of the wonderful, British woodlands that I love.
Waste is minimised by using off cuts from larger items to make the smaller ones. Even the sawdust created is used as compost material and pet bedding.
All of Love HeartWood’s paints and finishes are plant based and completely natural. This means they’re plastic free and contain no VOC’s. Anything with the word ‘acrylic’ in it is a plastic; as are most laquers. So I don’t use “normal” paints or wood treatments which although technically safe, come from petrochemical derivatives and are essentially forms of plastic. Why coat a lovely natural material like wood with this stuff? Thanks to my natural finish suppliers – they’re products mean I can create in a healthy, natural way.
Every Love HeartWood product is vegan friendly. None of the materials or finishes I use contain animal derivatives. For example, sustainable cork cord, not leather, is used for the whip and peerie and acorn necklaces. Similarly, a plant based wax oil is used for finishing pieces not beeswax.
I’m committed to ethical business practices and believe in the living wage. So when sourcing materials I check that everything is produced ethically and responsibly. I also try to support other small businesses.
There is absolutely no plastic in or on any of Love HeartWood’s products, finishes or packaging.
Items are presented in a reusable cotton bag or a recyclable cardboard gift box. Shipping boxes are made from 75% recycled fibres which are 100% recyclable and secured with paper tape. All paper and card is recycled and recyclable. Twine and string is made from sustainable jute or hemp dyed with natural dyes.
As a toymaker and parent – safety is a top priority. So all the toys have been fully CE tested and bear the CE mark to prove it. In fact, they’re such good quality they exceed the requirements of the EU Toy Safety Directives 2009/48/EC. However, with the arrival of the Brexit there have been some changes to safety legislation as we’re no longer following the European directives. The UK now has it’s own UKCE mark and it’ll be coming soon to Love HeartWood’s toys. I just have to get all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed on the new paperwork.
As a toy maker it’s important to me not to follow the current linear industrial production model of take-make-waste because this model has led to the world’s current waste and pollution problems. As a champion of Nature I want to follow its example and think circularly. Instead of designing a product only up to its point of sale, I think all the way to the end of it’s life. This is done by:
Designing out waste and pollution
Keeping products and materials in use as long as possible
Regenerating natural systems
All of these amazing positive organisations are a massive support and inspiration.
main suppliers list
Traceability is integral to ethical business practices. Here you’ll find a list of my main suppliers. I endeavour to work with other eco conscious, small businesses that are as local as possible.