It is important to us that are products are ethically produced to the highest possible standards. In order to ensure this we visited the factories in Allepey and have seen the products being manufactured ourselves.
We have dealt with our suppliers in India for 20 years. The main factory is a modern building and working conditions are very good by local standards. While the processes are very labour intensive, the export of coir products is extremely important to the region of Allepey. No child labour is used in any part of the process.
In order to encourage the coir production the EU have given coir products exemption from Import duty under the General System of Preference rules.
Coir products are made from the fibres on the husks of coconuts. First these are picked and woven into coils of thread. These are then woven into matting or used to produce mats.
Coir production is totally sustainable. Coconuts are almost the perfect natural product. Every part is used. The fibre is used in mat production, the shells are broken up for fertiliser, and the coconut and coconut milk are processed for food.
The whole production of coir products uses very little 'carbon footprint' as the product is entirely natural. Even the dyes used in colouring and spraying the door mats are produced from natural Indian products.
Where rubber is used, for instance as a backing for door mats, this is mainly recycled rubber from car and lorry tyres.