As sisters who grew up on a farm in the wilds of Suffolk, we’ve always been immersed in nature. As children we spent our days running through fields and climbing trees in the nearby forests, so wanting to respect and protect the natural world has always felt instinctive for us.
When our business started to grow, we became more conscious of the responsibility we have as a brand. We started to focus on the ways we could better help protect the environment and offset our carbon footprint. In the last couple of years, we’ve been reviewing our working practices and striving behind the scenes to implement positive change.
We realise that we’re only at the beginning of our sustainable journey. It will take time to achieve all of our goals and there will always be more we can do. But knowing how important these issues are to you too, we wanted to share our progress.
Here are the ways we’re working to tread more lightly on the planet. There’s a way to go, but we care and we’re committed.
Six steps to being more sustainable
One of the best ways to help tackle the climate crisis is to plant trees, which is why we’ve been participating with Ecologi for the last two years. This inspiring organisation, started by Bristol-based environmentalists, enables companies to play their part in tackling the colossal climate problem. For us, that means committing to reducing our carbon footprint, funding climate projects and planting trees to help prevent ecological collapse. Ecologi makes tracking progress easy and we’re amazed by what we’ve achieved since 2020, thanks to our customers’ support.
Hicks & Brown x Ecologi’s work since 2020
Ecologi have now planted an amazing 1631 trees in Hicks & Brown’s name. This equates to offsetting 102 tonnes of carbon emissions, or to consider it in another way -
- Taking 78 long haul flights
- Driving 253,136 miles in a car
- Or saving 306 m2 of sea ice
Ecologi projects Hicks & Brown have support so far
- Decreasing emissions with a wind power project in Mexico
- Preventing deforestation and protecting unique biodiversity in the Democratic Republic of Congo
- Generating clean electricity from hydropower in India
- Preserving the Amazonian rainforest in Brazil
2. We take a timeless approach
Since day one, our focus has been on creating enduring, high quality hats to love forever. Our classic designs transcend trends and time so they will always be in style. We’re also meticulous about craftsmanship, we use only high-quality fabrics and finishing touches, so that our hats will look and feel great for years to come.
3. We’ve reimagined where and how we work
With the events of the last couple of years, we’ve been reflecting on our business practices and made exciting changes for a more productive and energy-efficient approach.
Firstly, we’ve renovated a barn in Suffolk and turned it into our HQ. This new space is helping us to reduce waste and become more effective with our resources.
We’ve also changed how we work as a team by introducing a hybrid model of office and home working. By avoiding unnecessary car journeys we’re improving our overall carbon footprint. While flexibility around where we work is more family friendly and it affords our team a better work-life balance.
4. We’ve revolutionised our packaging
When it came to packaging, we set ourselves tough targets. Our aims were to;
- Reduce the amount of packaging we use.
- Use only fully recyclable packaging.
- Opt for packaging that is reusable after delivery.
- Still deliver every hat in pristine condition.
We’re pleased to share that all these approaches have been introduced. Boxes and mailing bags are now all made from recycled cardboard that can be recycled or upcycled and our boxes are ideal for storing hats at home. We’ve also reduced the amount of packaging, and instead of bubble wrap we’re working with an eco-friendly wrap that’s just as effective, as well as recyclable tape.
5. Our Seconds Sale helps avoid waste
Inevitably we find ourselves with ex display items, customer returns or imperfect products that don’t meet our rigorous levels of quality control. But thanks to our Seconds Sale, these pieces find a new home. This annual event helps to reduce waste, encourage recyclable fashion and it’s a great opportunity for customers to find a bargain!
What started out as two sisters making hats around the kitchen table has grown into an internationally successful business. We’re passionate about hiring and nurturing local talent, and our team of predominantly women is like a second family to us. We put care at the heart of everything we do and we always will.