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Bespoke Fabrics

Bespoke Fabrics and Ava Innes

A Moray based entrepreneur has developed a new biodegradable and sustainable fabric from a cashmere by-product.

This innovative product helps people to sleep better and is truly sustainable. It is simply better for people and better for the planet.
Joan Johnston, founder, Ava Innes

Sustainable textile development

Bespoke Fabrics is a consultancy firm run by Joan Johnston offering support with product development in sustainable textiles.

With sustainability and a passion for UK textile manufacturing at its core, Bespoke Fabrics identified a new opportunity from valuable low cost high value cashmere fibre – Cashmere guard hair – that has long been ignored by the traditional textile industry.

Guard hair, which comes from Cashmere goats in Afghanistan, Mongolia and China, is considered a by-product, but it actually forms 60% of the fleece with 15,000 tonnes produced annually.

With over 20 years of experience in the British and international textiles industry, Joan has spent two years developing her new sustainable, thermally regulating fabric. In June 2021, her new insulating material, being used in duvets under her brand Ava Innes, was recognised as a new invention by the Intellectual Property Office. 

Find out more in Joan's blog about the sustainability ethos at Ava Innes.

Ava Innes Duvet

The birth of a new product

Warm in winter and cool in summer, the blend of cashmere guard hair and Scottish wool, encased in organic cotton, has many potential uses.

The products are uniquely sustainable:

  • Cashmere guard hair and wool are fibres that are continually grown and shed/combed annually, this is a natural cycle. Due to the fibre’s straight nature, cashmere guard hair has been unused by the traditional industry, as it is unsuitable for spinning, knitting or weaving.
  • All cotton used is certified organic.
  • All the fillings used are natural and long-lasting yet are fully compostable at the end of life.
  • Conscious choices are made in selecting where the products are made, (mainly in Scotland and Yorkshire) keeping the carbon footprint low and ensuring fair wages are paid.
  • Recycled cardboard packaging is used by the company wherever possible.
It’s been inspiring working with Joan as she’s developed this new product. We’ve helped her find start-up funding; provided research and development funding; and specialist advice in strategy, sales, international trade, marketing and e-commerce.
Scott McKnockiter, senior development manager, HIE
Ava Innes Duvet In A Basket.

Circular economy

Caring about people and the planet is right at the heart of the Ava Innes brand – with a ‘buy less, buy better’ ethos informing its sustainability principles.

This is reflected in a belief in the value of the circular economy – and a commitment to finding resourceful ways to use and extend the life of our materials.

This sustainable approach extends to recyclable packaging and incentivised end-of-use product return to help prolong the life of all materials used. It is also reflected in the brand's commitment to ‘One Tree Planted’ – a non-profit environmental charity on a mission of global reforestation. Ava Innes pledges to plant a tree for every order received with the support of its customers.

Ava Innes is also committed to continual exploration of additional ways to implement further sustainability practices into its business. The company is currently exploring an innovative ‘end of life’ plan for the product which would see the duvets being recycled as seed beds. 

Bespoke Fabrics

Business success - patent news

Find out more about the business's plans in our news release about its patent success.

Moray firm set to expand after securing patent

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