As tipi weddings continue to gain momentum, two pioneering companies are transforming the market with their innovative ideas. Totem Tipi and Crafted Canvas are taking huge strides with their commitment to environmental sustainability.
Totem Tipi – North Yorkshire's Tipi Hire Company Focused on Conservation
The whole idea of using a tipi for an important event like a wedding is often to blend in with the
environment and get close to the natural world. The form of the tipi itself is designed to be sympathetic with environmental surroundings and its lack of hard edges and connection to the past makes it perfectly suited to placement in areas of great natural beauty. It stands to reason, then, that those involved with the tipi hire business would have the environment at heart. After all, what use is a tipi without the beautiful natural world in which to situate it?
Fortunately, Totem Tipi based in North Yorkshire provide a great example of a business stepping up to the mark where an environmental moral compass is concerned. Rather than just spouting platitudes about commitments to green protocols and a passion for the natural world they have actually teamed up with The National Forest – an organisation passionate about planting trees – and the right trees. What started as an idea to reforest an area of the Midlands scarred by the coal industry has blossomed into a large-scale project in this heavily industrialised part of the country that has created 200 square miles of mixed habitat forest; enormous so-called green lungs that have invigorated a battle-scarred landscape, simultaneously benefiting local communities and the lives of its people.
Totem Tipi were so inspired by this project, one of the impressive regeneration projects the world has seen, that they got in touch with The National Forest and came up with a plan of action to get involved. Since 2020 for every tipi hired, Totem have planted one tree in The National Forest, helping to confront climate change, conserve nature for future generations and provide habitat spaces for a wide range of native flora and fauna. In addition to the planting of trees, after every event Totem make a donation to The National Forest, doubling down on their commitment to the cause. If only more UK businesses could take the lead of Totem and get involved with this amazing project.
Totem are a unique company. Founded in 2015 they have always been a business with a very strong ethical position. All proceeds from the business feed back into the youth arts project – a project that brings art and the tools to create to vulnerable young people in North Yorkshire. Totem believe, as The National Forest do, that trees are themselves totems, totems for transformation and hope – not only for the environment but also for the economy and local communities, present and future. Making forest spaces accessible to people helps bring about a change in perspective and forge a bond with the natural world that is so often lacking. The positive impact of access to such spaces on mental health was witnessed during the pandemic and Totem recognise that this is something to hold onto, to cherish long into the future.
Crafted Canvas- Taking Control of the Supply Chain with a Sustainability Ethos
Brett Jackson and Bronte Hall – directors and co-founders of Crafted Canvas are also behind award winning tipi hire companies Garden Weddings and Boutipi as well as UK’s number 1 wedding venue Skipbridge Country Weddings, so they have an awful lot of skin in the game when it comes to the Tipi world. After years of frustration at the variable quality of the products available on the market they decided to take matters into their own hands and Crafted Canvas was born.
Some of the tipis the busy duo were sourcing for their precious businesses were suffering from all manner of issues, from leaking, sewing faults and on top of the issues, they were overpriced. A terrible combination for any business owner. A lack of durability and excessive cost led to the pair to come up with the idea behind Crafted Canvas. It represented their opportunity to take control of their own destiny, to produce their very own tipis, controlling each stage of the process, ensuring that their events would not be hindered by the lack of quality control of other people, and putting sustainability at the forefront.
Crafted Canvas was set up in 2022 and its unique, British-focused ethos sent shock-waves through the tent manufacturing industry. Could you really go from end-user to manufacturer? Could you take control of the sourcing of top quality local materials and find talented people to make your tipis while keeping control of cost? The answer has been a resounding “YES!”
First and foremost the sustainable ethos of Crafted Canvas should be applauded. For every tree they fell on domestic soil another is planted, ensuring that there is no net deforestation as a result of the sourcing of their tipi poles. Furthermore by ensuring that each and every pole comes from trees felled in the UK, Crafted Canvas operate on a far lower carbon footprint than competitors that bring poles across from Europe. As a result of their bad experiences with defective fabrics, Brett and Bronte worked tirelessly to source the very best tipi fabrics and they believe their products are unrivalled in this respect. Raw materials are nothing without talented hands, however, and by being in control of their own manufacturing they have also managed to contract exceptionally talented people to turn these materials into finished products. By having this direct line of communication with their manufacturing team they are able to iron out any issues in super-fast time.
Sustainability is not only boosted by low carbon footprint, reforestation and locally sourced materials and production, but also by making products to last. Crafted Canvas are proud to have been able to create tipis that outlast any they have used before for their other businesses and products that stand the test of time are of course far more sustainable than those that need regular replacement.
The early success story of Crafted Canvas shows just what can be achieved out of a sprinkling of frustration, experience and passion for sustainability and quality products.