Every single element of our products is important to us. I know a lot of people say that, and brands always talk about being detail oriented, but just how detail oriented can you be?
How about making sure even the paper tag on a product is personally hand made for us, in a process that benefits everyone? We went to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a specialist paper producer in India to meet the artists and makers.
Paper is, as you know, usually made from tree pulp and a few chemicals. But ours is made from 100% recycled cotton. That's 100% cotton from 100% cotton.
They take fabric scraps and pass them through a machine which is effectively a wood chipper. It tears and shreds the offcuts into teeny bits of cotton fluff.
Then it's very simply put into an enormous bath of water to wet and swell up the fibres. In this case they're making a luminous green paper (not ours - we went for a few different colours) - but the fact it's so bright makes the process even clearer.
It's then spread evenly inside a large tray full of even more water. It's then shaken a little, before the frame and screen are pulled out to reveal a complete sheet of pulp.
The chap below is an expert, and creates two to three sheets a minute. Of course, that's nothing compared to factory-made paper which flies out of machines - but it's pretty good going!
It's then popped on top of a towel, then another towel is thrown on top again and it's sqeezed by two rather strong looking men.
Once a stack of 25 or so is complete, it's then rolled over to a machine which compresses them even further (bottom left).
When the cotton is wet it sticks together because the fibres happily curl up and bend around each other. When it's dried they're fixed into place that way - making it strong enough to take on regular paper any day.
You can see from the picture above that the edge is quite rough and raw - so they're are cut off and kept on a shelf with a colour code. Because the only ingredients are water, dye and cotton - the scraps can be put into the bath again when they get round to making that colour again.
Our product was then cut into bookmark-sized chunks which didnt see the light of day until they were opened in the UK for an even more special and detail oriented print job - watch this space!