We Need To Talk About Plastic

Hello Tribe! I’m Hayley, and I run Thimble & Notch. You may know me from my sewing blog, Hayley Stitches. Today I wanted to chat to you about my thoughts on plastic pollution and how that affects what we do here at T&N HQ.

Did you see Blue Planet 2? If you didn’t, you probably saw the fallout on the news. The footage of marine life so badly damaged by plastic pollution made me feel completely disgusted with myself, my consumption of single use plastic and my occasionally lax attitude towards recycling. I know I’m not the only one.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a DIY dressmaker, and that means you’re almost certainly aware of the environmental and human cost of fashion. Many of you have probably chosen this hobby for exactly that reason.

When I launched Thimble & Notch, I knew that I didn’t want the business to contribute to the plastic pollution problem. I decided early in the planning stages that all of our wrapping and packing materials would be as plastic-free as possible.

I wondered why more small businesses didn’t do this. Then I started looking into plastic-free options and it quickly became apparent. The cost. To give you an idea, 500 plastic mailer bags can be bought wholesale for around £39. The cost of 500 boxes of equivalent size is £288. It’s a big difference, especially for start-ups and small businesses without the buying power of the bigger players. In fact, its prohibitive.

So there’s an obvious dilemma. Do you charge your customers for the privilege of eco friendly packaging and risk losing their business? Do you absorb the cost, impacting your profits and the potential success of your venture? Or do you abandon your values?

At Thimble & Notch we decided to take the hit on paper packaging. Yes, the cost is high, but the impact of single use plastic on the environment is, for us, too much to bear.

If you order from us, your fabric will come wrapped in tissue paper and packed into a cardboard delivery box. We still use a polypropylene packing tape, but we’re committed to sourcing an alternative, biodegradeable tape. We really hope that you’ll recycle your Thimble & Notch packaging, and we’d love to see what it turns into.

Whether it becomes a gift box, a storage solution, a building block for your kids, a bed for your cat, compost, kindling, or even if it just takes a trip to the recycling centre, we’d love to see a photo! Share your ethical efforts with #ThimbleAndNotchRecycles and remember to tag @thimbleandnotch so we can see what you’re up to! The most creative, clever, cute or comical ideas may even win a gift card!

We’re really interested to hear your opinions about this. We’d love to know if you’d be willing to pay higher postage costs if your retailer used recyclable packing- by the way, we’re not planning to raise our postage costs based on the result! It’d be great if you could also tell us if your local council accepts biodegradable plastic bags in recycling bins (mine doesn’t). If you have tips for living with less plastic please share them too!

Leave us a comment here, or on social media (we’re @thimbleandnotch everywhere), or complete the poll on our Facebook page.

Lifting the lid on a box is much more luxe than ripping open a carrier bag anyway, right?

Happy Sewing,

Hayley

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2 Comments

  1. Carol
    29 April, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    Hi Hayley,
    Well done for putting our beautiful planet first!
    I was thinking about a way we could perhaps send the boxes back to you to use again.
    It all comes down to money though which is such a shame.
    I bought some gorgeous fabric from you and my box is sitting around while I think what to do with it!
    Good luck with your new business
    Carol

  2. Margaret Benson
    26 July, 2018 / 3:31 pm

    Just an idea …… Pizza boxes are readily available for purchase in bulk and cheap, they are delivered flat packed and when you get to fold them, fold in reverse with the pizza design on the inside unless you have a supplier that has plain boxes. I used to purchase the 12×12 and 14×14 as I was selling paper for crafts. Minimal amount of tape is required and string for added security if you desire. I also had a rubber stamp made with logo and return address used on all the boxes before folding. Ask your local pizza place for a couple of unused boxes and see if it would be a solution that works for you.

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