The True Meaning of Being a Sustainable Business.

In the lead up to Christmas, when people are rushed off their feet making sure they have the right gifts to go under the tree and there’s so much pressure for perfection, life can feel overwhelming. The magic of the festive season can easily disappear in a fog of parties, TV adverts, must-have food and drink or endless school festivities. This is why we’re often asked to stop and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Just a few weeks ago it was Black Friday - a day when you could easily think you’re missing out if you’re not buying from every shop on your email list! It made us reflect on what it means to be Nattily Dressed, and a truly sustainable small business.

We’re a brand SO proud of where we’ve come from! An idea has turned into a company with so many customers who adore our colourful, fun products and who can’t wait to see what we do next. How lucky are we? Our journey has been incredible, but of course being a small business has its challenges. There’s been navigating Covid-19, Brexit, a continuing cost of living crisis and ever-rising supplier and logistics costs. We have been navigating all these things without investors or financial support, just amazing customers, supporters, friends and family. And, in addition, we were determined to be as sustainable as we can be.

For us, the environment matters enormously. If we don’t care for the planet, we risk losing so much - natural diversity in the countryside around us, the ability to reliably grow crops and feed ourselves, the changeable climate of the British Isles which allows us to live comfortably without air conditioners and 24/7 heating - bar the occasional heatwave or winter storm. Water is always there, clean, safe and fresh in a tap in our home… We’ve taken so much for granted, but it isn't guaranteed any more. This is why we put sustainability at the heart of everything we do, and it’s a huge part of how we intend to grow in the future, too.

So, whilst we’re known for injecting fun, colour and joy into our clothing and bringing huge smiles when we pitch up with our trade stand, perhaps most importantly we’re known for our sustainability credentials. We wanted Nattily Dressed to be as far away from fast, disposable fashion as possible… and so naturally, we’ve ended up using a material made from things other people have disposed of! Our clothing is crafted from a clever Polartec fleece made from recycled plastic bottles. It’s soft, warm, weather resistant, durable and washes really well, and it’s got epic sustainability credentials. The use of plastic bottles means fewer lorry loads of plastic ending up in landfill where it lingers on this planet for hundreds of years. What’s more, our garments are made here, in the heart of England, so we’re not using air or sea freight to clock up extra carbon foot print miles – Natalie’s brother works in Leicester and brings the new orders home with him!

Did you know all your orders are sent tracked next day with Royal Mail meaning they’re more likely to reach your door without any hassle and the postman even collects from Natalie’s house on his errands to save extra trips to the Post Office!

To us, being a sustainable business means making decisions which might make life harder but are so worth it in the long run. It means keeping an ear to the ground on the latest packing materials and listening to what the delivery and supplier companies are doing to reduce their carbon footprint. It means supporting the local British economy and other small businesses. It means listening to our customers so we know what’s important to them, too. It’s all about reducing our impact on the planet so our children, their children and everyone in the future can enjoy the beauty, safety and security we've been lucky to have.