Sustainability… In everything we do (and wear!)

Posted 13 Sep, 2022

In 2022 we finally opened our spectacular, world-leading gallery – the First Light Pavilion

image First Light Pavilion with Lovell Telescope

We have worked hard for years to achieve this, so it’s a great moment – both of celebration and relief!

It’s been a big effort, but we have also made time to pay attention to the small details as well. And throughout the whole project, we have focused on sustainability as a guiding principle in all that we do.

One of the lovely things that has come out of this is our fabulous new uniforms…

Until 2020 (when we closed due to COVID) we had a uniform that was mostly based on polyester. We had jolly blue fleeces and polo shirts, plus some very practical rain jackets. They were fine, and very easy-care, but we were also aware that every time we washed a fleece, we contributed to the build-up of microplastic /micro fibres in our oceans, something that ran counter to our commitment to sustainability in everything that we do.

As we went through a process of re-branding as part of First Light, we decided that sourcing new uniforms was an opportunity for us to address this, transferring to using natural fabrics, sustainable production and prioritising our community values.

The uniform now has a ‘hero’ denim utility jacket, created in partnership with Community Clothing and sporting our wonderful new ‘west facing’ logo on the back.

Community was founded by Patrick Grant (yes him off the telly). It manufactures garments in UK factories, utilising off-peak production cycles, longevity of design as opposed to short lived disposable fashion, and invests in local partnerships in order to create jobs and sustain communities.

‘We make ethical, sustainable clothes an affordable choice so that everyone can buy clothes they feel great about wearing and play their part in restoring economic prosperity in places they care about.’

We also have a new cream polo shirt made from 100% organic cotton sourced from Stanley/Stella – a company whose sustainability values align with our own. Here are the shirts on the embroidery production line before they arrived at Jodrell Bank!

And in the end … we decided that our dark blue rain jackets were actually perfectly serviceable, and we should re-use them, rather than sourcing new ones.

So – off they went to Infinity Inc so that they could sew a new embroidered patch on the sleeve to cover the old logo.

Job done!

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