It is amazing what brands can do when they have sustainability at the forefront of their business. From innovative materials to plastic-free packaging solutions to shifting their mindset from quantity to quality of garments, each small step makes a big change. We catch up with Carrot Banana Peach to find out more about their attitudes towards sustainability and how they are making an impact.
Miss our first article with the brand? Catch up and get to know the activewear company here. You can stay up to date with Carrot Banana Peach online via their website | Instagram | Facebook | Facebook Store and Twitter.
How did Nigel’s personal story and experience in the industry affect the way Carrot Banana Peach was born and developed?
My family history pioneering the cotton industry goes back to 1870s in textiles. Growing up it was a part of the culture, it was always a textile life; families would get together for board meetings in the mills, all my aunties and uncles worked in the family cotton business, we grew up around the cotton industry, always wanted to wear cotton and to aspire to produce the best, organic, quality products. I grew up in that culture, so it was always going to be textiles.
As soon as I was at University, I was already applying to work at Nike as a product developer. The business itself was inspired by the history of a handful of very good athletes in the family, so yoga and sportswear were naturally where I was to go with it.
The original collection was made initially from organic cotton and over the years we have expanded the company’s plant-based range to include other fibres like organic bamboo, banana, soybean and aloe vera. Recognizing the unique touch and feel of these plant-based products, we launched our first concept store in 2017 in North West England, where it all began for the family in 1870.
While I worked at Nike, the production and mission were to deliver high-performance fabrics made from polyester and synthetics under a program called Alpha that delivered Dri-Fit etc. But my research showed an increasing number of people valued comfort over most of the performance benefits polyester offered. It struck me that if you could combine the two, I’d have a winning formula and a niche market in natural activewear.
My mission was to find the most innovative, natural and eco-friendly fabrics and combine them with my extensive experience as a product creator at Nike to create a truly unique brand that delivers on performance and comfort as well as being mindful of the environment. Now, of course, companies are moving back into that sphere, paying more attention to eco-friendly, sustainable alternatives, but we have always been driven by that.
Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle?
Think quality over quantity in what you eat, what you wear and what you do. Do your research. When you buy something, think about the impact it has. What is the packaging like? Can you get an alternative with less packaging? And what will happen to the product after you are finished with it?
Less is more. Travel less, but engage more. When you do travel, enjoy the richness of travel and enjoy every moment.
How does the choice of ‘fabric’ and materials affect the way the final products have an impact on the environment, and how did this affect the way you to developed Carrot Banana Peach
What we put in effects the environment. That is the exact reason why our business is focused on the natural fabric content and has always been plant-based and sustainably sourced. We built the business on these values, creating different fabric lines based on the fabric’s performance. Different plant fabrics have different characteristics and benefits that we build product lines around.
When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
By producing plant-based alternatives to the activewear industry, we are always trying to educate people on the benefits of buying and consuming eco-friendly and sustainable options. This shift not only helps the environment but also helps us as people. We are all becoming more aware of what we put in our bodies, why not also bring that awareness to what we put on our skin.
What are some of the challenges a company like yours has to overcome when it comes to being more conscious about the environment?
Some challenges we have faced are big organisations coming in and trying to get on the sustainability bandwagon by launching bamboo fabrics amidst all their other, non-sustainable products.
Carrot Banana Peach didn’t just make this shift to sustainability, it has been that way from day one. Continuing to produce high quality products helps us overcome those competitors.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Carrot Banana Peach – what we do is that movement. Encouraging a healthier, happier lifestyle through yoga, fitness and travel. The healthier and more active you are, the less likely you are to develop disease and illness. We offer weekly yoga classes at our Knutsford based shop to give the local community the tools to look after their mind, body and soul.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you as a company, and why?
Sustainability is at the core of what we do at Carrot Banana Peach. We truly believe that we are helping to change the way people think about their lives and that of our planet, by considering what they do, wear and consume. Our vision has been the same since 1999, to develop the most advanced technology products from eco-friendly, natural and sustainable resources. To provide functional products that support a balanced and sustainable lifestyle and that does not put too much pressure on our beautiful planet.
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