“ Store Name: Seasalt Cornwall / Type: An online shop selling organic cotton clothing „
I just completed my first shop with this organic/fairtrade online retailer, including a return for unwanted products. The website is clear and inviting with a straightforward layout and options for filtering products. Colours can look plain and safe, I would say a mix between Boden and The Gap. However I managed to pick some feminine and quirky shirts and a bottom, and fortunately these were on sale at the time. I was surprised to receive an email notifying me of despatch not hours after the order confirmation email. I received the parcel the very next day. I returned 2 items for a refund (using royal mail 2nd class paid by myself)and only a few days later received the payment email. I am pleasantly surprised by the expediency of their services from start to finish, even though it was a sales period. If it's one thing I can criticise is that they don't have prepaid return labels but considering that People Tree (also fairtrade) also does the same, with generally slower service, I cannot really fault them. Well done Seasalt I will be seeing you soon.
I was looking for some simple v necked jumpers this winter because my beloved Fat Face ones, which had seen several seasons, were finally looking too bobbley to wear. I wanted something with some shape too, as I like jumpers which don't look too baggy. Having trawled the High Street I was unable to find exactly what I wanted, and so my search lead me to an internet shop - www.seasaltcornwall.co.uk. Just the name conjured up lovely images in my mind of summer coastal beaches, and I noticed this company was one of the Topcashback partners, so I clicked through from there to earn some extra discount. Sadly I think they have suspended this cash back facility at the moment, but it may be worth trawling the internet to see if another cash-back site is offering any extra money back. Seasalt is a family business based in Cornwall, and the emphasis on what they sell is that it has to be organic wherever possible. They are now the largest producer of Soil Association certified clothing in the world, which I was really amazed to discover, as until this winter I had not come across them before. The company was formed in 1981 when the current owners' father, Don Chadwick, moved the family to Cornwall from Walsall. The story goes that the owner and his son went into an old Army and Navy store in Penzance on a dreary wet August day to buy a jacket. Half an hour later Don had purchased the shop, and thirty years later the family own eleven more! As the years went by Neil, one of the sons, met Sophie his future wife, a textiles designer, and in 2004 they started to design their own range of Seasalt clothing. They have several shops based in Cornwall, Devon and Guernsey, and of course their mail order operation makes up the rest of the business. You may also find their clothing in outlets up and down the country. If you are ever on holiday in Cornwall it is worth noting that they have shops in Fowey, Truro, Penzance, Padstow, and St Ives. In Devon there is a shop in Totnes, and there is even a shop on the Isles of Scilly. The website is a jolly affair with anchors and seaside captions such as - "just docked"! It is a colourful easy to navigate website, and I really enjoyed the whole experience of shopping there, and found it to be designed really well. It also runs very quickly, and all the information you need is at hand from postage and delivery details, through to the clothes collections. The store caters for women, men, and children, and there are accessory sections too. I really love the brightly coloured jute bags in the accessories department, and purchased one for my daughter for Christmas. The theme which runs through the clothing is certainly nautical with an emphasis on the "out of doors" look. At first glance I have to admit to being a little sceptical, as I saw a lot of stripes. The style of clothing I noticed first reminded me of that which I had seen being worn on the luxury yachts moored in Fiskardo, when I was in Kefalonia a couple of years ago, and I am certainly not likely to be aboard a yacht sipping cocktails much this month. However all the clothing is not of this style, and I quickly noticed some simple v necked jumpers on the site. The style I liked was called Nina, and at the time I looked the jumpers were retailing for £39. Not really knowing the company, or the quality, I hesitated for a couple of weeks, and then logged in again to discover they had been reduced by £10. I decided at this point to purchase, and I ordered a rather pretty shade called Elderberry which is a plum colour. I thought this would be practical and a useful garment for the winter. They accept all the major payment methods, and delivery is actually included in the price of the item, which I really liked, and certainly this was an asset I feel that partly lead me to purchase subsequently from them. This is quite unusual in apparel sales, and many of their competitors add at least a £4 charge onto the cost for packing and delivery. You do however have to pay for any returns yourself. I ordered in December and delivery was very quick indeed - within three days, and the bag the jumper came in was attractive too! The first thing that I noticed was the quality of the material. It was really good, and the jumper had small detailing on it as well as a Seasalt label. Of course when you buy knitwear it isn't so much first impressions which count, but the washing attributes, and how the garment performs over repeated wears. This is where I can happily report that the jumper has been fantastic in both aspects. The material has stayed really smooth, and it has washed beautifully in the machine. The composition of the fabric in the jumper I chose was 85% cotton and 15% wool, so it has a cosy yet warm feel to it. I was so delighted with this jumper that I went on to purchase another in a different shade- this time a lovely yellow, and this has also worn very well. At the end of the season these jumpers were reduced to £14, so they certainly do have excellent reductions through the year on their collections, so it is worth looking a few times if you are prepared to wait. I think for me, however, the main reason I want to shop with this company is because they sell organic cotton. I don't think I had appreciated until recently how cotton is responsible for one quarter of all the pesticide use in the world today. The environmental aspects of this seem alarming to me, and although I try to eat organic fruit and vegetables I really had not thought about the pesticide use in cotton production at all in any depth. According to their website it can take 8000 chemicals to turn cotton into a t shirt, and in addition over 20,000 deaths occur in developing countries from the direct result of agricultural pesticides. This also has a devastating affect on the natural habitats of these areas, and causes alarm in my head about the future for these countries in terms of their sustainability and health. I am certainly going to add this company to the list that I use when purchasing clothing. I wouldn't say all the styles are me really at all, but they have a good range of basics which I feel compete well favourably with high street chains. I really admire their ethical policy and their dedication to making organic clothing, which is what I feel, singles them out as being a very special company.