Our Ethics – Reed Family Linen

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Our Ethics

We run our business like we run our family – with truth and transparency wherever possible, and this extends to our labelling, sustainability credentials and sourcing.
Exploring more sustainable processes

Sustainability has been a pillar of our company’s strategy since 2003 when Karen Reed started to look for alternative sources of long staple cotton which were not grown in Egypt or Sudan. Why? Because she had learned about the high usage of harmful pesticides in the Nile Delta region and the effect of this on local wildlife and drinking water – and this was a situation which was only getting worse by the day, month and year. You can easily Google “Nile Delta salinity” and read about how yields are decreasing and genetically modified rice is becoming about the only crop which is profitable to farm ethically in Egypt. As a company we now use cotton which is grown locally to our mill (within 200 kms) to reduce our manufacturing footprint.

Carbon footprint graph

Minimising our manufacturing footprint is a key part of our sustainability strategy. A few years ago, our daughter requested an organic knitted sweater for her Christmas present. We were very impressed with the marketing leading up to the arrival, being asked to virtually visit the sheep in the field in New Zealand via link in an email. It arrived by courier in an impressive box and included a narrative and a map which detailed which sheep had supplied the wool in New Zealand, how the fibre had been grown in New Zealand, cleaned in China, spun in Portugal and then knitted and made up in Italy – warehoused in England. This all seemed to require a lot of freight and sea miles to make what was marketed as an environmentally friendly piece of clothing. At Reed Family Linen we source our cotton locally to the mill, spin and weave in our adjacent sheds, bleach and dye in the same town, and stitch & package on our site. As a policy we also hold stocks of greige cloth in all widths and qualities and then dye, cut & sew all client orders as they are received which minimises our inventory of finished goods and hence further reduces our manufacturing footprint.

Probably our most ethical policy as a business arises from our long experience of experimenting with cotton growths and weaving constructions which has yielded the typical 800 boil wash lifespan of our 200 and 400 thread count cloths. This durability is unrivalled in the commercial laundering industry and effectively guarantees a five-to-10-year lifespan for our linen in hotel and home environments which is twice, or even four times the longevity of competitor products. Replacing one’s sheets every five years rather than every two years contributes significantly to reducing pollution and environmental waste – more so than any of the important manufacturing process improvements which we continue to implement in our mill. Imagine if the world only purchased new clothes every five years or if hotels only re-equipped every three to four years – how much the textile industry’s environmental footprint would be reduced worldwide.

Many websites will tell you that their company is committed to a code of ethics which promotes sustainability and responsibility for the well being of our planet. At Reed Family Linen, we believe that we can demonstrate to have delivered on our promises to nurture the environment by our decisions to grow and manufacture in one location, and to deliver a product which lasts as long as possible so that you replace your bed linen less often and reduce the impact on our planet in the process. Our actions in terms of ethics speak louder than our words. When you try our product, experience it for yourself, you are helping the planet in the process.