It is no longer enough to simply reduce and recycle to protect the environment. What is needed is sustainability, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future.
At Phoenox Textiles (the company that brings you Hug At Home) we always strive to embed sustainable practices in every part of our business and we are proud to be a zero to landfill company. Based in West Yorkshire, an area that has always been at the heart of the UK’s textile industry, we employ a large local workforce, many within walking distance of our factory. The beauty of this region has inspired us in a sustainable strategy to minimise the environmental impact with products that reduce waste and cut down the use of scarce natural resources. This philosophy has led us to developing and creating environmentally sustainable products. We constantly look for ways to improve our environmental credentials, from recycling our water and waste to using renewable energy to power our machines.
Our Environmental Journey
The use of recycled materials is big news at the moment but we have been recycling cotton and plastic bottles for over 13 years! Hug Rug was designed to be sustainable and environmentally friendly from the outset. We wanted to develop a product that took materials that would be thrown away and create a practical product that people would love.
The waste materials we use for Hug Rug include:
6.5 million recycled cotton garments per year in the tufting our philosophy is to reuse don’t abuse natural resources.
Over 16 million recycled plastic bottles per year are used to create an extra tough membrane that bonds the tufts to the backing
We add over 190 tonnes of post industrial plastics into our renewable rubber backing per year
Recycle water wherever we can to run our Yorkshire mills
From the sourcing of these materials, the development of entirely new manufacturing processes, using cleaner/greener sources of electricity made by hydro pumps, windmill farms and solar, through to the Hug Rug’s disposal and recycling, we try to consider everything to ensure the products we make have as light an environmental footprint as possible.
We launched Hug Rug our award winning cotton barrier mats in 2008 and they have become more popular year on year. The secret to this success is that, as well as being eco-friendly, the product really works, trapping dirt, dust and mud and being super absorbent – everything you want from a barrier mat, pair that with great design and it’s easy to see why customers keep coming back.
The development of environmentally friendly products is a continuous process. We are constantly looking to improve manufacturing techniques and use of sustainable materials.
Continuing Our Journey
Following on from the development of Hug Rug all mats and rugs made in our Yorkshire mills now use the recycled PET bottle membrane, allowing us to recycle even more plastic bottles. Plus all the backing on every rubber backed product we make now contains renewable rubber and post industrial plastics. We've also developed several ranges that use other renewable materials.
Our Woven & Sense Range
Hug Rug Woven and Hug Rug Sense, are made from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles. It is another example of turning a throw away product with a very short life into something practical that will look fabulous for many years to come, whilst keeping the plastic out of the oceans and landfill. We are very excited about these products and are looking forward to extending the ranges.
Hug Rug Coir
Coir is much-loved for its durability as well as its unbeatable dirt trapping ability. Coir is a natural product made from coconut husk, meaning our eco-coir mats are 100% natural and we’ve then used a natural latex backing – which is made exclusively from rubber tree sap and is 100% biodegradable – perfect! The mats then decompose at their end of life - stylish, useful and sustainable! Our My Mat coir mats have the same coconut husk tufts, however they currently don't use the same backing but we're working on updating this.
Bamboo is a wonderful natural resource, easy and quick to grow and one of the finest materials that we can use to create environmentally friendly products. 100% biodegradable it has a lot of amazing benefits, bamboo is a strong natural fibre and when turned into yarn feels like silk or cashmere. This material gives our range of bamboo bathroom mats hypo-allergenic and anti-microbial qualities, perfect for the bathroom.
Our Natural Rugs
Over 80% of our Origin Rugs are made from 100% natural wool – a renewable fibre. An amazing textile, full of important properties that make it hugely attractive. Wool rugs have a long lifespan, they will look good for longer and outlast other textile fibre products, then at the very end of the rug’s useful life it will biodegrade. The other 20% of our ranges are made from Jute and Viscose, both of which are derived from natural sources.
Wherever possible we have replaced plastic with cardboard and where we use plastic we’ve changed it to recyclable, biodegradable plastic bags. We’ve even changed the tape - we now use an eco-tape which is recyclable, biodegradable and doesn’t need to be removed when used boxes are recycled! We are constantly looking for ways to improve our environmental policies. It is our mission to minimise the use of resources and to work with our customers to reduce their use of resources through environmentally responsible packaging systems.
We manufacture a large percentage of our products at our mills in Yorkshire, unfortunately at the moment some cannot be made in the UK, but we are constantly trying to source manufacturing in Britain for these products. Meanwhile we go to great lengths to source them as sustainably as possible from our trusted partners abroad.
We fully understand the impact of manufacturing, the use of scarce resources and the waste it can create, so we are constantly striving to improve our textile business in the UK and India both ethically and environmentally. We run ethical audits in our manufacturing plants on an annual basis to ensure the welfare of all those involved. Our factories are environmentally friendly and comply to all international major standards of social compliance.