A Big Mill Reveal, With Yorkshire’s ‘The Monkey Puzzle Tree’
The Monkey Puzzle Tree (the award-winning Yorkshire interiors brand) has revealed the name of EVERY mill and manufacturer used to create their unique products.
In a bold move, Charlotte Raffo has revealed the trade secret(s) behind her brand’s sustainable wallpapers, textiles, and home-wares.
Charlotte, from Yorkshire, hopes that this will encourage transparency and ethical practices in the interiors industry, promote local manufacturing, and improve sustainability in the sector.
The textiles industry is notorious for it’s environmental impact and exploitative working conditions, but with a complex supply chain, it’s almost impossible to truly claim any textile as sustainable. By using transparency as a stepping stone towards sustainability, The Monkey Puzzle Tree hopes to educate and promote local manufacturing, in order to preserve local skills and jobs, and reduce it’s carbon footprint.
Charlotte also hopes that this will encourage buyers to make more informed decisions, and will hold more brands accountable for where and how their products were/are made. When Kate Hills of Make it British first mentioned the shift towards supplier transparency in the fashion industry, Charlotte was initially concerned that making this information available would result in copycat versions of her brand’s award-winning designs.
However, with the core brand values of her business centred around promoting local manufacturing and working towards sustainability, she quickly realised that this was the right thing to do. Charlotte’s passion for supporting local manufacturing in the North of England stems from her first job at the Pittard’s tannery in Leeds, which supplied leather for luxury leather goods’ brands, such as Louis Vuitton.
Unfortunately, the factory closed in 2006, resulting in the loss of many jobs and skills. This is something that Charlotte doesn’t want to see happening again, so she made an early pact in her own business, – to manufacture all of their products within a 100 mile radius of their Leeds-based studio.
“I initially had a few misgivings about revealing where we make our designs, which have won awards for innovation. But I decided that this was the right thing to do to stay faithful to our values. Being fully transparent helps our customers to know exactly what they are buying and how it was produced, and it also helps to promote the local manufacturers who have been so supportive to our small brand,” said Charlotte.
As a result, The Monkey Puzzle Tree has now listed each manufacturer used for every design on their website, with information about the raw materials used, and the standards of which the manufacturers meet, with the intention of continually adding to this information.
The brand’s latest new design, ‘All Tomorrow’s Futures’ is a locally-woven fabric, which carries an environmental message within its beautiful depiction of the natural world. Having just been shortlisted for the prestigious Design Guild Mark this year, the fabric is set to spread the message of interiors with meaning.
The Monkey Puzzle Tree is a luxury interiors brand with a difference, creating artist-designed, British-made fabrics and wallpapers. Celebrating the best of the North of England’s design, craftsmanship and manufacturing, The Monkey Puzzle Tree collaborates with handpicked artists, translating their vision into unique designs for the home. Many of their products are made in the same textile mills as heritage brands, such as Sanderson and William Morris.
The MPT collaborates with local Yorkshire artists, and utilises the skills and craftsmanship of their local mills in the North of England. Their best selling design is a real cork wallpaper with a large scale print, by the graphic artist, Drew Millward, which depicts architecture from the industrial North. Other designs include a secretly naughty net curtain, and a range of cushions and lampshades.
The Monkey Puzzle Tree won two national design awards last year: the ‘Best in British Product Design’ for their Metamorphosis fabric at the Hotel Designs Brit List Awards 2021, and they were awarded with a Design Guild Mark by The Furniture Makers Company for their real cork ‘Hit the North’ wallpaper in 2021
Also, their real cork ‘Hit the North’ wallpaper was featured on BBC2’s Virtual reality makeover show ‘Your Home Made Perfect,’ and the brand is stocked by Dowsing & Reynolds online, and in their flagship store.
Find out more here: https://themonkeypuzzletree.com