How our products are made
The production methods used by our supplier really emphasise the highly skilled and sustainable ways of working that we value.
Labour-intensive but not energy hungry, the process benefits the local community by providing quality employment opportunities, without a negative impact on the environment. For example, big log burners do all the heating of water for washing and dyeing the cotton before it is woven into cloth. The dyeing process takes place in a rural area and the wood is sourced locally, with regular planting of new trees to replace what is used. The run-off water is air cooled, then filtered through sand and carbon before being used to irrigate the grounds.
The majority of the weaving is also done in rural areas, where jobs - especially for women - are scarce and make a critical difference to a family's income and wellbeing. The hours are flexible and some sites include childcare for the workers' young children, as well as a safe place for older children to come and complete their homework after school.
The weaving workshops are semi open-walled to allow good air circulation and require no power for air conditioning. The work is highly skilled, with a good weaver needing around six months training and practice to become proficient. To set up a loom takes a whole day, great concentration and mathematical ability, as well as dexterity, as the fine warp threads have to be carefully positioned to achieve the correct pattern.
Once weaving starts, the cloth grows steadily as the shuttle is sent racing back and forth by nimble fingers. Despite the speed, the weaver has to count carefully in order to know when to change shuttles to create the correct pattern.
The final destination of the cloth is the factory where the fabrics are made into the various items for sale. This is a clean, modern building on the edge of a large town, where the workers (mostly women) sit in teams, each person creating a specific element of the final item. Despite the speed at which they work, great care is taken throughout the process, to ensure the durability as well as the safety of the toys. Their pride in what they create can be seen in their smiles, and it is always a pleasure to go and visit.