Printing a better tomorrow: Introducing Beresford HouseOctober 2020
By printing and dying our own fabrics, we’re making your clothes more sustainable than ever - and creating even more of the beautiful patterns you love.
While David Nieper has always been known for exclusive, hand-rendered prints that you won’t find anywhere else, we’re now one of the only fashion companies in the country to print our own fabrics – and we do it right here in Derbyshire, just a stone’s throw from our sewing rooms. But what does that mean for you? We visit our new fabric printing factory, Beresford House, to find out.
The printing process
“Printing and dyeing inhouse gives us complete control of the end-to-end process,” Dave Cope, Fabric Technical Manager, tells us, as he guides us around the factory. “We treat, print, steam, wash, and stent every metre of fabric ourselves; stenting is where it’s gently stretched and conditioned. It’s then carefully checked for quality before going through to our cutting rooms.
“The jersey cotton fabric we print on is really top quality. It’s soft, comfortable, and great to wash and wear, and it holds colours brilliantly. The patterns themselves are better too. We have a state-of-the-art digital printer with the capability to print thousands of droplets of colour per square inch, which means it can print really intricate designs in extremely accurate colours. If we wanted to, we could even print a photograph. It’s that detailed.”
Taking sustainability seriously
In all, it’s clear that the new factory means even more of the prints you love. But that isn’t why we started printing our own fabrics. Actually, Beresford House comes from a need for something much more vital, and something very close to our hearts: making the fashion industry more environmentally sustainable.
Last year, we commissioned an academic study into the impact of fashion on the environment. We found that, by manufacturing our clothing in the UK, each David Nieper garment already created 47% less emissions than a similar piece made overseas. And while this was a great start, the same study showed that an enormous 70% of the emissions produced by garment production come from the printing and dyeing of textiles abroad. To us, it just didn’t seem right.
“Offshoring manufacturing is essentially offshoring responsibility and indeed, pollution,” says Christopher Nieper, Managing Director at David Nieper. “Currently, two thirds of emissions from UK clothing occur overseas. The industry needs to stop shifting the problem to where it’s out of sight and out of mind. We’ve always manufactured in Britain, and investing in the new factory was another way of shouldering the responsibility for our impact on the environment.”
Keeping waste under control
It’s already making a big difference. Printing our own fabric has drastically reduced the amount of waste we produce, and is reducing our carbon footprint and water usage too. “Taking control of the process allows us to only print as much as we need for each collection, even in small batches,” Christopher explains.
“That means we won’t be left with excess fabric, allowing us to even further reduce wastage. Printing our own fabric in Britain also reduces pollution, as we aren’t importing our prints from overseas, and compared to standard screen printing it saves up to 60 litres of water per metre of fabric. Plus, our environmentally sound dyeing technology produces 50% less carbon emissions than conventional techniques. The numbers are quite staggering.”
Better decisions for a brighter future
So, investing in our new printing and dyeing factory wasn’t just an investment in our collections. It’s an investment in the future of our industry and the world around us – and we have far more planned as we strive to further reduce our impact.
“In addition to the technologies already in place, we’re carrying out feasibility studies into renewable energy and heat recovery, which we hope to have in place by the end of the year,” Christopher says. “So, Beresford House won’t only be run in a way that minimises our impact on the environment. We hope it’ll be the most eco-friendly textile factory in Europe.”
Simply by manufacturing in Britain and committing to green energy, we’ve already made enormous differences to our carbon footprint. Beresford House is another big step that brings us even closer to reaching our ambition of becoming the greenest clothing manufacturer on the continent.
While it’s clear that the fashion industry as a whole has much more to do to counter its impact on the environment, we hope that many more will follow our lead. Because with David Nieper, at least, the future’s never looked brighter.
Now you’ve heard about the love and care we put into our prints, why not browse the full collection?