Beautiful re-wrap knot-wraps and KHADI Papers are guaranteed to make every gift extra-special…
Waste-free packaging is the way forward. Using paper which is recyclable and ideally reusable could go a long way towards limiting pollution and reducing pile up in landfill sites. Not only that, but developing long-standing partnerships with organisations like re-wrap and KHADI Papers help to support local communities in places like India, where employees can earn a fair wage for the skilled work that they do.
Knot-wraps are also great alternative to paper and sticky tape, with just one estimated to be “22 times better for the environment than a box with paper, ribbon and shredded paper,” according to Lush’s ethical buyer, Maria Feast.
Based on the ancient Japanese tradition of furoshiki (the art of wrapping in fabric), knot wraps can be re-used in dozens of different ways — as a scarf, a hair tie, or as packaging for another beautiful gift. Greenspun fabric is manufactured from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles, reducing plastic waste which takes hundreds of years to break down.
The re-wrap women's cooperative was set up by Janjri Trivedi in 2002, in the aftermath of a large `Indian earthquake which left many local craftspeople in the Kutch region desolate. Inspired by the hand embroidery skills of the community, she encouraged disadvantaged women in Mysore, India to combine their traditional skills with modern design and create knot wraps, bags and accessories. The resulting fabrics are created from ethically sourced natural and organic cotton fabrics, using traditional, and environmentally safe, dyeing and printing processes. Janjri explains that re-wrap, which now works with cooperatives in Western and Southern India, “equips economically disadvantaged women with sewing skills, enabling them to survive with dignity and self-respect, allowing them to earn money to feed their families and send their children to school.”
The cooperative in Mysore employs 78 disadvantaged women, recruited from the most needy segments of society, where many are the sole income earners for their families. Women find the cooperative thorough word of mouth and are employed on a needs basis. They are taught the skills they need and loan machines are available for women who want to work at home. All members of the cooperative receive a pension and family insurance policy, lunch and snacks are provided for everyone, and the women and their families also enjoy four group outings each year.
Wrapping your gifts in this beautiful handmade cloth not only prevents waste and helps to protect the environment, but it looks amazing, too. It’s much easier than it looks, but if you’re not sure where to start, you can pick up some tips at your nearest Lush store.
KHADI Papers are made from recycled cotton rags and so are totally wood-free, which means that no trees have been cut down to make them. They are also especially designed for Lush gifts. The paper produced is made from cotton rags which come from off-cuts of cloth; usually T-shirts and sometimes from the remnants of Lush knot-wraps and bags that are made at re-wrap in Mysore.
The land surrounding the mill is farmed by the locals, who grow mangoes, coconuts, bananas and organic vegetables. It’s irrigated by run-off water from the paper mill, which has already been recycled several times, (first being used for white papers, then again for light, then dark colours). No chlorine, bleaches or harmful chemicals are used in the papers and the final run off is pH neutral and certified safe for irrigation use.
The rags are pulped and dyed, before the paper is made, sheet by sheet, in a wooden mould. These sheets are then drained and pressed onto a woollen felt to remove excess water, before being loft dried. They are then cold pressed between zinc sheets to give a smooth finish and sometimes embossed with our unique designs.
The KHADI paper mill currently employs 60 people; a mix of women, men and able-bodied and disabled people. Most people live in the nearby village and walk to work, but those who need to take the bus have their bus fare paid for. Uniforms are provided, and men and women are paid equally for their work.
There’s no doubt that a gift seems much more special when it’s beautifully wrapped, and even more so when the packaging used supports communities of craftspeople and reduces pollution.