LOCAL PRODUCTION, SUSTAINABILITY AND THE GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN
The demand created by big businesses for cheap mass produced products in Europe and the USA since the 1970's has resulted in a loss of craftsmanship and more often than not, a loss of community.
The availability of products at rock bottom prices is facilitated by cheap, or even slave labour in regions of the world that are completely disconnected from the customer. The demand is created by big businesses' desire to create ever cheaper and more profitable products to pay to shareholders and results in a customer who is ultimately disconnected from the reality of what they buy.
The result of this practice over the last 40 years is an unnecessarily complex global supply chain that is having a huge negative impact on people's rights and the environment. In short, global warming and financial and cultural poverty.
On a more local level, people have lost the skills of their parents, the ability to make things for themselves and provide for the community around them. We've allowed corporations and governments to trade essential skills that make communities thrive independently for an international supply chain that has deskilled people in economically powerful counties and put the less fortunate in poverty.
Simply put, this is not sustainable. At Lane we aim to build a business on an alternative, positive set of values.
Our approach to design, manufacturing and business is to build a sustainable range of homeware and accessories that is built from the unique skills and materials that we find locally and in the UK. Where we are not able to source locally, our aim is to identify practitioners worldwide that share our values.
At times this feels like an impossible task, as trying to trace certain materials and processes through the global supply chain is a complex task. However we persist and we aim to make our things simply by working with manufacturers and craftspeople that we know, trust and have personally visited.
Our selection process for materials & Manufacturing
We currently work with a range of craftsmen and manufacturers to make products solely in the UK. We work closely with these partners to manufacture to their strengths and to maximise their skills. We work on a long-term partnership basis and will not compromise quality and relationship for price.
The materials manufacturers
Most of our main materials are made in the UK by some of the most reputable companies in the world. We work with manufacturers that are committed to craft, quality and sustainable manufacturing. Many of these businesses have been key parts of their community for years and are the gatekeepers of rare sets of skills that cannot be lost to future generations. On the occasions we are not able to source from the UK, we look to find international suppliers that share these values.
The raw ingredients
Whilst the majority of our materials are sourced in the UK, the ingredients of those materials may be from elsewhere. For example, the fabric for our Twin Tone Cushions is made in Scotland but the raw wool is sourced from Italy and New Zealand. This is because the wool that is required and provides the correct level of performance is not farmed in the UK. We're continually working with all suppliers to ensure the their raw ingredients are sustainably produced.
Components such as electrical parts or zips on cushions are often the most tricky to trace as they are usually made of plastics or metals which are part of complex global supply chains. Understanding the sustainability of such items is very much a work in progress and we'll update this section when we know more.