Harrison Spinks Releases New Impact Report

Fifth-generation, family-owned bedding and components manufacturer Harrison Spinks has unveiled an Impact Report featuring sustainably focused initiatives within both its main bedding business and its components manufacturing company.  

Sustainable Innovations Harrison Spinks. Harrison Spinks Impact Report

The business, which employs around 500 people and is one of the largest growers of hemp in the U.K., will increase its flax crop from 20 to 120 acres to replace cotton — not only is the crop more suitable for the British climate, but there is also no requirement for pesticides or irrigation for it to grow. 

Meanwhile its British-based spring manufacturing business has introduced a patent-pending, pocket coiling machine that reduces energy consumption by 60%, as well as minimizing raw materials needed in the process, according to a news release. 

Manufacturing production within the beds division at the 180-year-old company has moved to a four-day work week, with longer production shift patterns after identifying the benefits of an improved work life balance. The company made this adjustment without a reduction in overall output, according to company officials. 

Central operations have also moved to a four-and-a-half-day week, leading to increased productivity and reduced direct and indirect emissions. 

Harrison Spinks’ partnership with Scottish luxury accessories manufacturer Alex Begg is now enabling the business to upcycle clean, high-quality cashmere offcuts to replace the virgin cashmere wool in its mattress fillings, also leading to lower transport emissions, according to a news release. 

Last year, the company’s hemp crop absorbed over 3,000 tons of CO2 emissions, which is equal to all its annual Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. 

Further changes to improve production, CO2 emissions and local biodiversity are detailed within the Impact Report. These include: 

  • Further investment in weaving its own mattress ticking fabric from naturally fire-retardant wool, covering 100% of production needs and saving 28 tons of fire-retardant chemicals being used each year 
  • Creating its own pocket springs through efficient wire-drawing processes that save 330,000kWh of energy each year 
  • Becoming members of the U.N. Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability program 

The business is also boosting the local natural habitat, shifting from overseas carbon offsetting and investing in programs in Britain, such as the Wild Ingleborough initiative led by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to help restore the natural habitat and combat climate change. 

Harrison Spinks has committed to becoming Nature Net Positive across all operations and, as part of this initiative, the two farms are working toward being fully organic by September 2025. It is also planting 2,750 meters of native hedgerows in Britain to support animal welfare and encourage wildlife, while 47 acres of Ings grassland on the farm is left unstocked in spring to allow ground nesting. Further, a higher stewardship grant from Natural England has enabled 33 acres of wildflower, bird and butterfly margins to be created and maintained. 

“Our Impact Report details how we’ve adapted our business in the last year and the fundamental commitments we’re adopting for the future to make beds and components in the most responsible way possible,” said Simon Spinks, chairman at Harrison Spinks. “We are a business that’s been recognized with seven King’s and Queen’s Awards, including two for Sustainable Development, so we understand the importance of playing our part in making the world happier and healthier. 

“We’re making some big commitments, going from 20 to 120 acres of flax crop production — allowing us to replace cotton with British-grown luxury mattress fillings — and we have a patent pending on a coil manufacturing machine which reduces energy consumption by 60%. This machine was designed and built by us here in Leeds, and we aim to share this technology in our sector and beyond to allow others to benefit from these energy savings.” 

Spinks noted that the company also strives to support local communities, from using renewable energy at the Leeds manufacturing site to its partnership with children’s bed charity Zarach, providing the group with 20 mattresses every month to give every child a bed. 

Company officials said that Harrison Spinks is the only U.K. bed manufacturer to have its own farms, blend its own natural filling layers in-house, weave its own naturally fire-retardant mattress fabric and manufacture 95% of its mattress components in-house. It has 180 acres of arable land where it grows hemp and flax, and an additional 200 acres of grassland where sheep are raised. 

Further commitments include: 

  • Investing in Solar PV technology to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, which is projected to create 400,000 kWh of energy per year 
  • Digitizing the wire-drawing process within its components division to reduce CO2 by 40% 
  • Working toward becoming Net Zero by 2050 under the net zero strategy approved by the Science Based Targets initiative 
  • Planning to decrease carbon emissions from direct operations by 95% within 10 years 
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