A Cornish Success Story
The Seasalt Cornwall company is celebrating its 31st anniversary this year. It was founded in 1981 by Don Chadwick who opened his first shop in the southern part of England, Penzance. By 2003 the company had opened 3 more shops and in 2004 the company won the Orange ‘Best Family Business Award’ and in 2005 they received the Cornwall Sustainability Award for Best Environmental Initiative. Later in 2006, the company owner Neil Chadwick won ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ by the Cornwall Business Award and the ‘Best Innovation’ award in creation of usage of organic cotton.
The company first started producing its own organic cotton clothing in 2006. Seasalt Cornwall was the first fashion brand that applied to Soil Certification standards and is now the largest seller of Soil Certified products in the UK. The company re-branded themselves in 2007 as Seasalt and opened even more shops in Devon, Guernsey and the Isles of Scilly. As winner’s of the Natural & Organic Awards as a ‘Best UK Organic Retailer’ in 2010, last year the company stocked their products in six John Lewis stores and now has shops in 14 locations in the UK employing 170 people and is stocked in hundreds of locations in the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Seasalt Cornwall is known for its characteristic textiles. These include Tin Cloth fabric that is inspired by the water resistant materials of the olden days; when fabrics were made resistant by using linseed oil or tar. Nowadays the fabric is water resistant as well as breathable which makes the fabric easy to wear. The company is proud of their prints that are uniquely designed in house and new prints are created for each season. Designs are inspired by the nature of Cornwall, giving the brand a real character and heart.
Sophie Chadwick and Laura Watson are the creators of the beautiful unique prints of the Seasalt Cornwall brand, who want to create a real handcrafted image for the brand. The company’s organic cotton usage was nearly 80% in their autumn winter 2012 collection. Organic cotton is not used solely throughout the collection, due to pricing and availability reasons, however, the company is one of the biggest organic cotton retailers in the UK. Nearly one quarter of the world’s pesticides and more than 8,000 harmful chemicals are used to manipulate cotton into a simple t-shirt, therefore the company is serious about using organic cotton when it is possible. When organic is not viable, recycled polyester fibers and materials such as bamboo viscose, hemp and fleece are preferred. Seasalt also promotes durable, sustainable carrier bags and gives online customers a choice to switch to biodegradable bags.
The brand is also careful when choosing the right suppliers. The company established a project called Locally Made and they manufacture locally in the South West, Guernsey, as well as in other areas of the UK. Suppliers are made to apply to standards set by the Purchasing Policy and the Base Code of the Ethical Trade Initiative. The well-being of employees is also an important facet of their operations. Seasalt received Bronze standard status from the Investors In People scheme in 2005 for outstanding workplace conditions. It is also contributing to many charities such as Marie Curie, The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Children’s Hospice.
More information about the brand can be found at their website www.seasaltcornwall.co.uk.
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