Nature's future is our future. The planet has limited resources. It is our job to play our part in looking after it - as a business and as individuals.
Making clothes will always have an impact on the environment. At Navygrey, as a brand that produces new things, albeit very few, we see it is our responsibility to reduce this as much as possible.
Since we launched in 2019, we've always strived to work in the most responsible way that a business of our size and resource can.
We pay a premium for traceable raw natural materials and work with some of Europe's best-practice manufacturers to create a supply chain that is transparent and traceable, with less wastage and inherently a more sustainable way to work. Read more about our story below.
Our long term goal however is to create products that not only sustain the environmental status-quo but also regenerate the land, the resources and the communities that rely on that land.
It's a very long journey ahead. It takes time to build this. But that's what we're here for.
Behind the scenes we're teaming up with some remarkable people and organisations to make this possible. We look forward to updating you on our progress.
It starts with 100% natural, hand-picked raw materials
Certified traceable wools from progressive farms, organic cottons, superfine alpaca.
Everything we create is made from 100% natural, high-quality fibres that are not only traceable and place environmental and animal welfare at their heart, but also recognise the communities involved in the process of tendering to the animals and land - and ensure a fair wage is paid to everyone involved.
The majority of our Scottish-spun Lamb's Wool is now certified by the Responsible Wool Standard - a new global standard to ensure that wool comes from farms that have a progressive approach to managing their land, practice holistic respect for animal welfare of the sheep and respect the Five Freedoms of animal welfare.
The skin of Merino sheep tends to be wrinkly and the sheep are subject to the risk of being “struck” by flies (known as “flystrike”) which deposit larvae in warm damp areas of wool and skin. The maggots which develop from larvae then proceed to eat the flesh of the sheep. If not treated, this can lead to a sheep’s death.
Mulesing is the word used to describe the surgical removal of loose folds of skin from the breach area of merino sheep. Because it is a controversial practice which can cause pain, (and anaesthetic isn’t always administered) we have chosen to source mulesing-free wool always.
Understated, timeless design
We live on a planet with limited resources yet a seemingly insatiable appetite for consuming more.
To us longevity matters - and to make something last, you have to love what you have.
Our approach to design is underpinned by our commitment to only create items that you will love. Fewer, better.
Timeless, understated and flattering. Pragmatic styles that just work time and time again - that surpass trends and do not date.
We want to create things that will be relevant now and in 20 years time. Just like my mother's jumper that inspired us to start Navygrey.
Yes, soft wool jumpers like ours will always require love, care and attention to last. They don't have the hardiness of waxed jackets or rigid denim. But in our opinion, that's all part of the journey. Not washing too much, leaving to rest between wears and de-pilling them over time.
We work exclusively with three of Europe's finest mills - Todd & Duncan in Scotland and Lanecardate and Sesia in Italy.
Lanecardate, in Biella, near Milan is among the few spinners able to directly control its supply chain. Our wool is purchased directly at source (something which is very rare) and combed, dyed and spun entirely in Italy. Read more about our Italian Mill here.
At Todd & Duncan, we work with them to source fully-certified wool. 85% of the dyes they use are organic and the Mill has a pioneering cyclical process so that the water used for washing and dyeing the wool can be cleaned and purified so that it can be returned to Loch Leven.
We work with three factories - two in Portugal and one in London. Each one shares our values of paying living wages, treating workers with respect, and providing safe, comfortable working conditions.
We regularly visit the great team of craftspeople and skilled technicians that bring Navygrey to life.
What's more, to avoid excess waste and to ensure quality we always produce in limited quantities. Of course, manufacturing in smaller quantities like this costs more and we often run out, but we believe this to be better environmentally and more sustainable for a small business.
Shipping, Printing & Packaging
From our factories to our Devon-based solar panelled distribution hub, to the customer, we ship our jumpers in our un-dyed 100% organic cotton drawstring bags. These bags are reusable, plastic free and printed in Sheffield in the UK at a SEDEX certified manufacturer.
Where possible, we try to ship the majority of our stock by road and boat.
In our opinion, packaging is the low-hanging fruit of sustainability - it's the very least that brands should be doing.
We work with a lovely printing house in the UK and always print using 100% post-consumer FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified recycled paper. This includes everything from our tags to washing instructions included with every purchase. The manufacturing process of our card uses less energy and water and emits fewer CO2 emissions than the standard production of virgin fibre paper.
We use organic cotton brand, care and size labels printed using an Oeko-Tex certified ink. Our tags are hand-tied in the UK using a ribbon made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
All of this costs us more. But we believe when it comes to small details, while nothing will ever be perfect, it's essential to doing things better at every stage.
Our Studio & Team
While we might dream of coastal skies and sea greys, our HQ is currently a tiny little garden studio in Founder Rachel’s home in London. Made from sustainable cedar wood with a green living roof, this studio is our first HQ.
When we began, we shipped each jumper from this studio, but we soon ran out of space which is why we found our wonderful solar-powered place in Devon to help us out.
We'll have some pictures of the studio very soon... but for now, here's some of our cardigans on the bench just outside.
A small team of wonderful women are behind the day-to-day of Navygrey, led by Founder Rachel. Sarah, Fran, Jen, Moira, Ana and Jo... thank you for all that you do.