Here at White Black Grey, we delight in knowing how things are made; especially the delightful things we stock in our store. The more transparent our supply chain is, the more confident we can be about ethics and sustainability, plus we are absolute suckers for a behind the scenes photo. Proper production geeks we are.
The very lovely team at Green&Blue have kindly shared some photos with us from their workshop in Cornwall, UK. Green&Blue, a certified BCorp (more on that later!) design beautiful, stylish products that help wildlife. We started stocking some of their concrete bee hotel products earlier this year. See the range here.
Green&Blue products are all designed and made here in the UK. Inspired by the natural world, they are solving problems with simple design and materials. Putting nature at the heart of their design process, and producing items that also look beautiful.
The concrete habitat range was designed by Green&Blue co-founder, Gavin Christman. The Bee Brick took 2 years of designing and testing to refine the process and the team say they are still learning all the time.
Each product is individually cast concrete. Concrete is poured into moulds, made from wood and rubber. In a commendable effort to reduce waste, the team have managed to refine the moulds so that they can be used pretty much indefinitely - amazing!
The concrete cures overnight, ready to be demoulded the following day. In the warmer months, this is usually just an air-drying process. In the winter, a drying cabinet is needed. Controlling the temperature and humidity is essential to the production process, both for the raw material not being too damp, and ensuring the final products do not dry too quickly or slowly in extremes of hot and cold weather.
Finally, the bricks are then undergo a wet grinding process to smooth any rough edges and corners before being loaded onto milk trolleys and packed up by team member, Sophie.
Sophie double checks each product for quality and will sometimes give a soft sand or wipe before she boxes the bricks up for their final journey out into the world.
The concrete for these products uses 75% waste material from the Cornish china clay industry, which hugely reduces the environmental impact.
And on that note, Green&Blue environmental credentials are very impressive... their workshop is supplied by 100% green energy, they also harvest rainwater to use in their production and use a woodburning stove in the winter. The company is also a certified B-Corp, more about that here:
So, any questions? Do comment below if there's anything else you'd like to know and we'll do our best to find the answers for you!
Huge thanks to the team at Green&Blue for taking the time to supply us with the info and photographs.