SUSTAINABILITY

Constant Consciousness

We like to consider ourselves a kind and conscious company, but we know there will always more that we can do.

Caring deeply for the planet, working tirelessly to find highly skilled, independent craftspeople, building a considerate team and constantly deepening our curiosity for the origins of each material are just a few of the ways in which we’re continuously trying to do better.

To be a forward-thinking brand, we have to adopt forward-thinking attitudes, tirelessly. Below, we've shared some of the initiatives that we have in place at the moment to help us in our crusade to be ever more thoughtful and ever more aware and empathetic to people and planet.

GIVING BACK

Our Charity Initiative

Conscious behaviour requires us to look at the world around us, to understand what we can do to help the causes that are close to our hearts, and to ensure that we keep looking at the bigger picture. We’ve always favoured donating rather than discounting during commercial events like Black Friday and we have something extra special planned for said event this year, but we wanted to go a step further still.

Having built a team of compassionate individuals, we started a new initiative in 2021 whereby each staff member chooses a charity to donate a portion of their salary to every month. As a company, we match what each person gives too. On Black Friday, we'll all be donating our salary for the day, again, with Rowen & Wren doubling every contribution.

Below you’ll find a little more from some of the team on who they have chosen to pledge to and why.

Railway Children – Chosen by Lucy and Graeme

Since having our daughters Alma and Agnes, children have definitely become our achilles heel. The thought of any child living on the streets with nowhere or no one to turn to is a truly devastating thought for us both. The Railway Children Charity provides protection and opportunity for children who find themselves in this situation, working with children in India, East Africa and the UK.

The Humane League – Chosen by Sarah

As an enormous animal-lover and vegetarian, I wanted to find a charity who is striving to improve farming standards. While I wish the world would turn vegetarian overnight, that’s never going to happen, so by supporting initiatives that push for the ethical treatment of all animals, I hope to do my bit to give them the kindest life they’re able to have in a meat-eating world.

Diabetes UK – Chosen by Alex

At the age of four, my brother was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a condition where the body mistakenly attacks its own cells. For the 36,000 children and young people living with type 1 diabetes, it can make childhood a frightening place, which is something I’ve witnessed first-hand. Diabetes UK is at the heart of research into immunotherapies, a treatment which aims to stop that attack from happening to prevent or even cure the condition.

YoungMinds – Chosen by Mark

The last year has been difficult for everyone, but children have been particularly badly affected. Cut off from their social circles and daily routines, the difference has been sad and clear to see even for the least disadvantaged. The support provided by YoungMinds helps those most in need of a route out of trauma and hardship.

The Trussell Trust – Chosen by Molly

I chose The Trussell Trust for my monthly donation as they provide a lifeline to many families across the UK. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the need for foodbanks has only been magnified as many people have been hit financially. Between April and September 2020, The Trussell Trust provided 1,239,399 emergency food parcels in those six months alone. As well as supporting families across the UK, they have a five-year strategy that will (hopefully) mean food banks will no longer be necessary. 

YoungMinds – Chosen by Sheila

Whilst I typically choose to support animal and cancer related charities, for 2021 I would like my payroll donation to go to YoungMinds, a charity championing the wellbeing and mental health of our children and young people. Their purpose is to stop young people’s mental health reaching crisis points with a vision that no young person feels alone with their mental health. This is already a well publicised crisis and I worry deeply on how this has, or will be impacted further by the pandemic.

Alzheimer Society – Chosen by Zoe

I would like my donation to go to the Alzheimer Society as it is a cause which affects so many people and I have an overwhelming fear of this dreadful disease. It has impacted some very close family and friends in one way or another.

Care4Calais – Chosen by Lily

Care4Calais is a volunteer-run charity delivering essential aid and support to refugees living in the UK and Europe. Currently around 700 refugees are living in and around Calais, sleeping rough in the worst imaginable conditions, not even allowed tents for shelter from the elements. Operating year round, the focus of Care4Calais is to provide warm clothing, bedding, food and medical assistance to people in desperate need. As someone whose family has had the luck and privilege to be born in a place of safety I would like to think it's our shared duty to extend a hand to the mothers, fathers and children alike who do not share in this freedom.

PROGRESS IN PACKAGING

Recycled, recyclable and reusable

When you receive something from us, we want you to feel our gratitude but to also give you a sense of a smile that can be hard to achieve in the land of e-commerce. At the same time though, we have to (and want to) make sure that our packaging isn’t wasteful – a fine balance where being environmentally-minded is as important as creating a lovely, thoughtful experience.

As part of our packaging overhaul project, we’ve introduced a new element that we hope satisfies all of those points. Each season, we commission a small British artist to design a postcard with their interpretation of our latest collection and where it was photographed. Keep eyes peeled for the little wren in each design – a nice addition that little ones might enjoy seeking out too.

Printed on recycled and recyclable paper yes, but really, we created them with the view of them being reused and to spread the word about independent British illustrators. How we hope that you’ll consider them special enough to frame or to even partake in that age-old pleasure of putting pen to paper and surprising someone with your own note of appreciation.

VIEW OUR IGTV

FURTHER PLANS FOR OUR PACKAGING

An Overhaul in the Making

There is always more that we can do and we know that even the tiniest of details can make the biggest of differences.

An often overlooked but essential element of your items arriving safely is the tape used to fasten everything in place. We knew it needed to be strong but we also needed it to be mindful of our planet. And so, we use recycled (and recyclable) paper padding along with environmentally conscious adhesive. Using just the right amount to make sure everything is secure, while not being wasteful is always our aim.

In a bid to reduce waste, we've moved our returns process entirely online and any signs of plastic will slowly begin to disappear. Just know that we’re working on it, constantly.

CONSCIOUS SOURCING

Our Makers and Materials

Our makers are the lifeblood of Rowen & Wren and we have built strong relationships with so many, far and wide. Each carefully chosen to contribute their expertise; it takes many talented hands to bring a beautiful home to life after all.

In a bid to lower our carbon footprint, we have been turning inward on our small yet mighty isle, shifting our focus to British makers for some time. From willow growers and weavers to UK-based ceramicists and British upholsterers who opt for seasonal hardwoods, we’re working hard to both maintain and establish new relationships with homegrown talent.

As it stands, British makers are responsible for over half of our collection, and there will be plenty more to join us yet.