Ian Mankin is a British textile manufacturer with some serious experience under its belt – over 150 years, in fact. The sumptuous fabrics the company designs and makes in Lancashire can be used in a variety of ways, from furniture upholstery to curtains, and the company also offers a small but beautiful range of home accessories.
So far so good. But now the company is taking on the issue of landfill waste in textile manufacturing, and they're doing it in style. The Zero Waste collection, to be launched in February, is made from yarns left over from the sampling process or those that were not used in their previous collection. They are of the same high quality as the company's regular yarns, although they do offer something a bit different in terms of design. Bold colours dominate, which is a departure from the neutrals and creams for which Ian Mankin is known.
Kirsty Slater, designer at Ian Mankin says, 'We’ve really enjoyed pulling this range together; not only are we helping the business do its bit for the environment, but it's given us a great platform to exercise our creative muscles. We have colours in there that you wouldn’t normally associate with the traditional Ian Mankin palette, so there are some bold ideas coming through.'
In terms of reducing waste, the company is already doing impressively well. Offcuts, including loom state sampling, are reused through donations to charities such as Fine Cell Work and the NSPCC, or are repurposed to create finished products, such as notebooks with Kapdaa, the offcut company. And since all of their products are designed and manufactured on site in Burnley, the amount of waste generated is minimal – mainly loose fibres and selvedge, which they are thinking of repurposing as filling for some of their products.
Managing director, Simon Blackley continues, 'As a British manufacturer and retailer with a short supply chain and years of data on product demand we are able to closely manage stock levels, resulting in naturally low waste – we pretty much weave to demand. Yarn and offcuts are one of the few remaining waste products that we needed to do something about.
'This Zero Waste collection is another step in the right direction. As a textile manufacturer and a retailer the spotlight is firmly upon us at the moment. It’s important for the industry as a whole that those manufacturers who are already taking steps in the right direction speak out to encourage responsible sourcing and waste management.'
- See more eco news and home know-how on our dedicated hub page