“Traceability and transparency are our overarching aims at Plum & Belle, and we are working hard to shine a light on all aspects of the brands and products that we carry.”
Lucy ‘Belle’ Williams
Keeping these standards in mind means that we are considerate of both the natural world and its inhabitants. To respect nature’s limited and precious resources, it’s critical that we’re working in a safe, considered manner. The only way for us to safeguard that behaviour is traceability.
To respect the many hands that it takes throughout all stages of a product’s creation, transparency is key. This is the only way to ensure that everyone’s fundamental rights and freedoms are protected.
We have focussed on ten core values, reflecting a mixture of social and ecological attributes that we feel will help spotlight the amazing work that our selected brands are doing. These are attributed product by product, expressing a deeper level of transparency in a very simple way.
- Natural materials
- Minimal waste, pollutants and emissions
- One off/limited edition
- Community engagement
- Conserving traditions
- Made in the UK
- With certifications
Glossary of Values
Made from plant-based materials or gathered, with great care, from live animals. The highest care and consideration is given to the land, natural resources, animals and humans involved with and impacted by the processes needed to create these materials.
Some of the plant (cellulose) based materials may be organic, and will have all of the relevant certification to assure you of their status. Those that aren’t certified organic have still been grown and harvested in a highly conscientious and considered way.
There are also some natural materials that have been processed in a similar way to synthetic materials, giving them very silky attributes (viscose, modal, tencel). These are generally wood based and should originate from well-managed environments.
The animal (protein) based materials will have any certification detailed by product. Regardless of certification our aim is that any natural materials (like wool, for example) come from carefully nurtured animals and material is harvested with minimal impact on that animal’s happiness.
Products have been created using existing materials or reclaimed fibres. By using existing materials, products inherently have a far lower environmental impact, as the majority of any product's environmental impact happens at the material's creation stage. We particularly love the creative, innovative thinking it takes to create products in this category.
This symbol also highlights product that’s been created from recycled or reclaimed fibres, like recycled polyester (often made from ocean plastic), regenerated cashmere or reclaimed cotton. There’s so much innovation in this arena, creating exciting new materials without further impacting natural resources. It’s a great step towards circularity, too.
Minimal waste, pollutants and emissions
This is achieved through a combined effort of thoughtful planning and innovative green technology across all aspects of design, production and shipping. There are simple direct actions too, that have an excellent impact on these points, like sourcing material close to where you’re manufacturing, planning a use for any waste, such as material off-cuts, and using materials that require minimal processing at every lifestage.
Denotes products that have absolutely no elements sourced from any animal. The beauty brands that we have selected are also stringently cruelty free.
One off/limited edition
We are proud to be able to offer products that are unique or from a very small production run. We have a very carefully curated selection of beautiful vintage finds, which are all one offs. Some brands have collections that are made by hand, using traditional crafts, embracing the natural variances in materials and the uniqueness of each maker, and so their items are only offered in small production runs.
Sustainability is about creating the perfect balance between humans and the earth’s resources, so it’s really important for us to have values that are human-centric, too. Many of the brands we carry have created their businesses with their community at their heart. We believe in empowerment and opportunity, and we love that we are able to help these brands to grow their businesses and build stronger, happier, upskilled and enabled communities.
We want your life to be as simple as possible and we want to empower you to take simple direct action with confidence. These are products that you can domestically recycle through standard municipal waste collections, or even pop in to your own compost heaps, where they will rapidly mulch down to harmless natural compounds.
Applied to products created using a craft requiring great skill, following time-honoured processes. These are often location-specific, too, giving a wonderful insight into the culture and community of the place and its people. Traditions are preserved and have a brighter future through you simply choosing these products, allowing craftspeople to make a living through continuing their amazing and unique work.
Made in the UK
We are champions of British-made products for a couple of reasons. The further away from us a product is created, the more opaque our oversight and understanding of its origins and implications becomes. By bringing more making back to the UK, we can bring that clarity of who, what, where and how right back in to focus. This also gives us the opportunity to reinvigorate dying traditions and disappearing skills, creating greater opportunities for the future. We have historically been a nation of highly skilled makers, and we’d like to see that being celebrated again.
There is a multitude of diverse certifications across the sustainable and ethical landscape. These help us to understand that an aspect of a product’s creation process has specific levels of excellence. These can be from the certification of a material source, like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), or perhaps something more people-focused, like Fairtrade. All of these help express both traceability and transparency in a really clear way.