Our Secret Manifesto
We aim to be a fair, honest and ethical business, full of happy humans who love making beautiful beds.
Since starting the Secret Linen Store, we've been on one exciting, fun, tough, rewarding and utterly life-changing journey. Fairness and honesty are at the heart of what we do, along with a passion for making bedtime the best time and the world a better place to rest your head.
That's why we do things a little differently and have scrapped some of the more traditional retailing practices we felt were unnecessary or exploited people and our planet.
One thing we know for sure is that this isn’t easy, once we start digging, there is always another stone to turn, and sometimes it seems like an impossible task. All we can do is give you our word that in small steps we are improving all the time, questioning how and when we do things, and what we can do to make a difference in a small but important way.
We continually question our processes, looking for opportunities to reduce our environmental impact, make our office a fabulous place to work and improve our products. We choose our brand partners and suppliers of both textiles and sundries, based on them aligning with our values too.
Of course, we can't do this without you, so to keep you in the loop, here are a few notes on our achievements to date and plans for the future. Also, if you have any ideas you would like to share with us, do get in touch as we love hearing from you.
Our Packaging and Production
Far too often, we receive parcels wrapped in packaging that costs more than the product it contains. This goes straight in the bin once opened. From day one, we have worked hard to eliminate needless bags, boxes, tags and inserts. Instead, we wrap our products in simple, recyclable plastic bags and seal them in potato sacks for delivery. And by reducing the amount of packaging we use, and the labour needed to pack it, we're able to protect your pocket as well as the planet. Our prices only include the product itself and the time required to manufacture it with no extra bells and whistles added to the cost.
We've also spent lots of time researching whether we could replace the plastic bags we use for eco-friendly alternatives. Sadly though, it appears they might not always be better for the environment.
We are trialling paper wrapping, and now have some of our nightwear and a handful of bed linens wrapped in paper. We are launching our second range of nightwear in a compostable bag.
Fabric bags are another option that we have explored, but they are super labour intensive to manufacture and need to be used hundreds of times to make them eco-friendly. And no bag at all means your product might get dirty - and so, our search continues...
Right now, we think using a recyclable plastic bag for most of our bedlinen is our best option, but we would love to hear from you if you know of a better way. For us, it's essential the solution we eventually use implements change for the better, not just to tick a box. We will get there, we are sure.
Our Fabrics and Production
We pride ourselves on using natural fibres in our bed linen and accessories.
The main two are responsibly sourced cotton and linen, but more recently we’ve introduced hemp too. All these fibres boast a laundry list of benefits as well as being sustainable crops that are grown and then replanted.
All of our cotton bed linen is now responsibly sourced. We are supporting a large organisation that invests in farmers and the production of cotton to ensure that all receive a fair wage and education.
We have decided to steer clear of using bamboo in any of our products. Despite being fast-growing and easy to farm, the process of turning the fibre into yarn is highly toxic and carries life-threatening risks for those involved in its production - nasty stuff.
We have introduced organic fabrics (made from fibres grown without pesticides) for our new collection of nightwear and into our first ranges of organic bedding, Petworth and Arundel. Although again, we continue to do our research first as the material must be both ethically grown and ethically farmed. We only work with factories that hold Oeko-Tex 100 textiles and fabrics certification to guarantee all production is free from harmful chemicals and is safe for human use.
All of the flax for our linen bedding is grown in Europe. Many of our ranges of 100% linen have been certified as European flax, look out for Certified European Flax 100% Linen in the need to know section of each page.
For 2022 we committed to investigating the supply chain and each element of our five best-selling linen and cotton bed linen ranges (this will in turn filter down to most of our bed linen). We are investigating every button, label and thread detail, from identifying where the raw fibres are grown and processed, and where the yarns are woven and finished, to being completely clear about where dyeing happens, and any additional processes involved in their manufacture.
All our bed linen is cut, sewn, and washed in our factories in Portugal but as part of this mission, we are also looking into all the trims, buttons and threads. We are proud to say that as of February 2023 our bed linen will be manufactured with recycled plastic buttons.
While there is still much to do and focusing on our top five best-selling ranges is just the start, we will keep searching for better solutions to improve our production processes and the impact our fabrics have on the earth.
Making Our Bedding to Order
All our duvets and pillows take between 2-3 weeks to deliver because they are made, especially for your bed, to order in the UK. We don't stock any of these items in-house because we think there's nothing better than snuggling up to freshly made bedding. Plus, it means you're not paying extra for storing our duvets and pillows in a dusty warehouse for months on end, fillings that aren't used and therefore wasted, or for the goods to be shipped around the world.
We package our bedding in recyclable plastic (to keep the items spotless) and unbleached cotton bags that can be used again and again for storage and shopping.