Read time: 4 mins
13 Aug 2020
At Butternut Box, we're keen to be as sustainable as possible with our packaging, that's why we use Woolcool to line our boxes and keep your dog's food pouches cool. We've handed the reigns over to them for a little blog post on who they are and why they do what they do:
Woolcool originally dates back to the early 2000s when our founder, Angela Morris, was working as a consultant with the National Trust. She was then given a specific brief to create an environmentally friendly alternative for the shipment of farm-fresh produce. The solution had to be sustainable, and suitable for deliveries direct to the consumer, nationwide.
As the only commercially available solutions at that time were non-sustainable options such as foil bubble-wrap or Polystyrene boxes, the challenge was on. This led to a series of temperature trials with different potential solutions. Wool was not only the genuinely environmentally responsible solution but from the very first trial, the performance proved it as far superior insulator than the alternatives. With the performance qualified and Wool identified as the material, the project with the National Trust was complete.
Over the next few years, with the emergence of the online food market, it became evident that there was a growing demand for insulated packaging. This, combined with word of mouth spreading about Angela’s innovation, saw an influx of enquiries asking how to buy this new solution. As a result, Woolcool was officially born in June 2009.
We use the coarsest wool varieties, unsuitable for scarf and jumpers! It is the thicker, scratchier wool that is often rejected by the textiles industry. For this reason, a lot of this wool would normally go to waste as it’s regarded worthless by farmers, but it just so happens that this type of wool does have a use, it’s the best for insulating.
Not only has wool naturally evolved to be an amazing insulator, but it is also one of the best ‘smart fibres’ known to man, boasting many favourable characteristics that man-made fibres can’t. Wool fibres actively absorb moisture and condensation from inside the packaging which in turn reduces damage to the products inside the box, they are also elastic and will recover their original shape, offering further protection.
Finally, of course, wool offers unrivalled environmental credentials of being biodegradable, compostable, sustainable, reusable, renewable and recyclable! We encourage people to re-use our packaging wherever possible – Any members of social media can visit #letsboxclever for inspiration, and share the inventive ways they’ve used their wool.
Woolcool is always looking to create the most sustainable product we can. Investing heavily in R&D to continuously research the most environmentally responsible options for both the immediate but also our long term future. We only use 100% sheep wool for our insulation. Not only does this make our packaging the more sustainable option, as an ethical and environmentally responsible business, we are also very sensitive to the welfare of the sheep which our wool comes from.
Whilst being an animal product, wool is different from other materials in that the sheep do not need to be harmed in order to harvest its fleece. In fact, it is in the interests of domestic sheep to have their fleeces regularly shorn as their wool continuously grows. The RSPCA advises that sheep must be shorn as part of their guidance in keeping sheep. If a sheep is not shorn this can cause several health issues, from the exhaustion of the sheep to overheating and even parasites!
We are proud to be a UK based company, manufacturing in Britain and committed to keeping it that way. As a business, we are conscious of the consequences that all our actions and choices have both environmentally and socially. Woolcool is active in a number of Environmental and Community groups, and also holds ISO standard certifications, demonstrating we are striving to ensure we continually practice what we preach. We recently conducted a circular economy investigation to highlight the areas where we can further reduce our environmental impact.
We have set of core values to offer a progressive, dynamic and supportive culture, these values include Responsibility and Legacy, recognising the importance of ensuring the Woolcool legacy is positive, managing the impact of our company and product, both now, and for future generations. We believe that a business has a responsibility to conduct itself respectfully and fairly, using its platform to contribute positively, taking a collaborative and supportive approach with all of its stakeholders, including its team members, suppliers, customers and the wider community.
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