Genuine Sustainability - The Turtle Doves Way

At Turtle Doves, sustainability is what we do, it’s in our company DNA. Our customers love that we upcycle cashmere jumpers but that’s just one element of how we try our best to be kind and respectful to the planet, to our customers, to our employees and self-employed seamstresses and to our local community.

Most people now know that across the globe we make and buy far too many clothes, wear them for shorter and shorter periods and then dispose of them in unsustainable ways. This is bad for the planet, huge amounts of water used in the growing of cotton for example, and vast quantities of poisonous dyes and CO2 generated in the manufacture and transportation of clothes is another. It’s also bad for our mental health as we chase the never-ending promise of looking like a supermodel only to wear the latest fashion items a few times before taking them to charity shops and clothes banks, or more often losing them in the wardrobe under the newest purchases.

So we say, ‘Buy less, choose well, make it last.’

Anyway, that’s enough of the hectoring! The following is what we do at Turtle Doves which we believe makes us a genuine sustainable company:

Our planet

  • In the past 12 months we’ve saved over 150,000 cashmere jumpers from going to landfill or going abroad.
  • All our operations, our design, manufacturing, warehousing, you name it, take place here in the UK, which means we don’t generate loads of CO2 transporting products around the world. Manufacturing in the UK also means it’s easier for us to make to meet demand rather than import too many products just to cover the cost of the container ship.
  • We use every part of the jumpers, and every item gets sold. We design clothes that minimise waste from each jumper, we recycle waste into yarn or into craft boxes, and we offer customers many products that don’t pass our stringent quality control checks at a discounted price or as make do and mend packs.
  • We use only recycled packaging devoid of any plastics.

 

 

Our customers

  • Turtle Doves Trustpilot scores are top of each retail segment we operate in. Customer scores tell us, and you, how we’ve done as far as product quality, delivery speed and accuracy, and customer service are concerned. We believe our customers should be able to interact with human beings quickly and sympathetically. All customer Trustpilot comments are shown centre-stage on our website. Good customer service increases trust and makes our relationship with our customers more sustainable.
  • Our fingerless gloves are great for those with circulation problems like Raynaud’s disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
  • Every item we sell is individually checked by our Quality Control department. We only employ the very best seamstresses as we want each garment to last a very long time.
  • We offer quibble-free returns.
  • We operate a ‘gloves for your own jumper’ scheme, and a memory jumper scheme where a jumper worn by a lost loved one can be turned into a pair of Turtle Doves gloves.
  • Because our products are non-fitted, we ensure an extremely low level of returns.

 

Our employees and self-employed seamstresses

  • We strongly believe one’s working environment isn’t just about work. It’s also about socialising, learning, and health.
  • We offer flexible working hours to enable our colleagues to carry out caring responsibilities for their families; we encourage an atmosphere of chat and music; our self-employed seamstresses (nearly all female) work from home and can produce as many recycled items as they are comfortable with; we have a hardship fund for anyone who gets into financial difficulty; we give a small monthly bonus to everyone when we meet our sales targets; we have free twice-weekly yoga sessions at the factory taught by one of our lovely employees; we’ve built a garden for colleagues to eat and relax in; we operate project teams made up of people from different departments that are tasked with finding opportunities for continuous improvement and to develop new business opportunities; we provide training and equipment for new seamstresses.
  • On Fridays we hold lunchtime events aimed at building a feeling of togetherness. The current favourite is Fish and Chips Friday!

 

Our community

  • The best support we can give our community is to provide increasing numbers of secure and enjoyable jobs. In the last year we have added over 100 new positions, mostly in Shropshire and recently further afield in the UK. Careful planning and monitoring of business performance help us ensure these positions are secure, with our product portfolio continually growing. A big part of our strategy is to diversify our product offering so that all colleagues are fully employed throughout the year.
  • All our people are paid at or above the living wage.
  • We work with local prisons to provide work for their inmates.
  • We support our local post office for all outgoing deliveries.

Thanks for reading this. If you have any comments or advice, please email us at graham@turtle-doves.co.uk

Comments

I’m loving my Turtle Doves given to me by my sister after my husband pounced on the first pair she sent.
I don’t think I will ever take them off.SO cosy.

As a new customer to Turtles Doves – where have I been? – wanted to say that I am very pleased with the fingerless gloves and neckwarmer recently purchased. They are absolutely lovely and I shall certainly be returning again for gifts for family, friends and indeed myself. I love the ethos of your company and am glad to have stumbled across you on social media.
Thanks to all at Turtle Doves.

I have bought several of your products over a number of years either for myself or as presents and they have always become firm favourites
I wear my fingerless gloves most days at home and out – my fingers and toes get very cold!
Keep doing what you do so well – less to landfill and more to local business 🥰

Hi everyone, Thank you so much for all your comments. We’ve taken our time to respond to your comments individually through e-mail. Stay in touch if you have any more queries.

Warm wishes,

Turtle Doves Team

Do you accept donations of cashmere jumpers or other woollens you know how moths love cashmere!
Kate

I have a couple of cashmere jumpers that are not the tight colour for me. Would you have need of them and if so what is the best way of delivery and address.

purchased 2 pairs of the fingerless gloves in September for myself and daughter, will be purchasing some more, excellent when playing tennis keeps wrists warm and still able to grip the racquet. would recommend these 100%. thank you.

I have discovered one of my cashmere sweaters has been eaten by a hungry moth. It is a loosely woven sweater but I wonder what might be able to be done with it? Could it be used for fingerless gloves? Please let me know?

I just LOVE the fingerless gloves. They are perfect for writing, sending emails or texting and keeping your hands warm at the same! I live on the Fylde Coast and would definitely recommend them to my author friends (& everyone else) this Christmas.

Hello, Just watched your video of your work place and warehouse and read about all the incredible work you do for your employees etc. What an enlightened company you are, well done.
I have just received my fingerless gloves, in a bright pink/fushia colour with the offer, thank you so much I love them. I must say to you a few years ago my Daughter bought my Husband and I a pair of your fingerless gloves in Natural and Black, and they are lovely, even after about 5-6 years wear they are still looking and feeling wonderful.
Thank you for your wonderful garments and will buy again in the future.
Regards and best wishes Chantal, Carisbrooke IOW

I love your products and have purchased several for myself, family and gifts for friends.
We went to stay in Shrewsbury in the Half Term holiday and came across your shop there. WOW! What an Aladdin’s cave of items. A treasure trove of items made in beautiful prints, all individual, and therefore not suitable (unfortunately) to sell online. We all found ones we loved.
If you are ever in Shrewsbury make sure you visit the Turtle Doves shop. If you like their products you will LOVE their shop!!

This was so interesting to read.
I have been buying your products for a few years now and am always delighted with their quality and with the help and kindness of your staff.
It was lovely to get an insight into the way your company is run and the information about all that is provided for your most deserving staff!
I was particularly interested to read that a jumper previously owned by a loved one can be used to make gloves. What a lovely memory to keep your hands cosy!!
Thank you to all at Turtle Doves for your amazing work!!

Reading the above details of your company is a joy I love your produces and enjoy gifting them to friends and family . Thank you for sharing it is truly a heartwarming account of from small beginnings great oaks grow . I wish you all continued success 🍑

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