On a recent visit to the West Country I was delighted to have the opportunity to drop into the offices of Severn Delta and meet the people behind the Sarah Smith range of bright and beautiful cleaning cloths.
Proudly designed and made in Britain, the Sarah Smith brand was launched in 2005 to inject some fun into the rather mundane world of cleaning materials. Managing Director Clive Birnie explained that the parent company Severn Delta had been manufacturing industrial textiles and traditional blue j-cloths in Somerset for over 40 years. But when the company was faced with closure, Clive and his business partner Martin carried out a management buyout, rescuing the business and saving the 45 strong local workforce.
While the ethos behind the Sarah Smith brand is one of lighthearted fun, the products themselves are a sophisticated combination of innovative fabric technology and eco-friendly materials. The cloths are made from 50% recycled polyester and 50% viscose derived from sustainably sourced wood pulp, and all conform to the Oeko-tex 100 standard for textiles so they’re certified free from harmful chemical substances. As Clive explains… “it’s the perfect combination of ethics and aesthetics”.
On the day I visited, Clive was busy choosing the designs for the latest collection of cloths – a bright and cheerful selection of bold flowers, stripes and stars. I put in my two pennies worth and opted for the red stars and pink flowers as my favourites (I shall be keeping an eye on the supermarket shelves to see what was chosen!).
Then it was down to the factory floor where enormous rolls of printed fabric were stacked high, waiting to be cut and packed. The production line was busy and the transparent wraps with their distinctive union jack motifs were rolling off the machines. After wrapping, the colourful cloths are packed into floral cartons and shipped off to supermarkets across the nation, well on their way to adding a little much-needed glamour to the kitchen sinks of Britain!
Find out more about this innovative British business at www.sarah-smith.co.uk.