Gomitoli’s Launches Perfect Picnic Kits

Luxury yarn producer, Gomitoli’s has launched a range of new kits especially with long summer days in mind. We Brits certainly like a picnic and with so many events to celebrate this year you can create your perfect picnic accessories for an elegant afternoon with friends.

This gorgeous bag, crocheted in Spring Cashmere, is an eye catching way to gather everything you need for a picnic and it doubles as a chic tablecloth. Why not bring a bit of glamour to your bottle of wine with this fun holder crocheted in cashmere wool?




For knitters Gomitolis have created an elegant placemat and matching basket both created in Spring Cashmere – a wonderfully versatile yarn – for that touch of Italian style.

All the kits come complete with yarn and instructions and can be found on the Gomitoli’s site http://www.gomitolis.it/english/knitting-kits/19/

If you would like to stay in touch don’t forget to sign up while you are on the site.

For more information contact Nicky Hale at Bluebear on 01707 320274

MY FELTED HERDY – a unique kit from the Lakes

If you have ever visited the Lake District you will have seen some of the famous Herdwick sheep dotted around the fells.  Well now you can take home your very own sheep thanks to The Herdy Company who have just launched the delightful ‘My felted herdy’ kit.

Herdy worked with felting artist Joss Wrigg to capture the character of the loveable looking herdwick sheep, with its sturdy legs and smiling face. Herdy Company co-founder Spencer Hannah said, “The kits give people a chance to create something unique and personal, either to keep themselves or to give as a gift. The fact that people will get really involved in crafting their own sheep, and that no two sheep will be the same, will make them all the more loved!”

The ‘My Felted Herdy’ kits contain wool sourced in the UK from three British sheep breeds – Herdwick, Cheviot and Black Welsh Mountain – the Herdwick wool is actually a bi-product of the beautiful rugs and throws that Herdy already sell. The kits also include three felting needles and full instructions with photo illustrations.

‘My felted herdy’ is the latest addition to the herdy company’s addictively popular gift and homeware range, which includes vibrantly coloured fine bone china mugs, terracotta kitchenware, 100% wool throws and herdwick wool rugs.


My felted herdy

Needle felting kit using 100% British wool






By Greg Lawson Managing Partner The  Less Packaging Company.

Following recent press concerning the over packaging of Easter eggs I wanted to share some thoughts with you.  In theory the Easter egg market has made changes to reduce their packaging but did the brands concerned reach or even challenge what is optimal?

Product & Packaging – Are they one?
Firstly in terms of mindset, considering the amount of waste and on a personal level the amount chocolate my kids receive at Easter why can’t we make eggs smaller? Then can we treat product and packaging as the same entity and reduce the impact on the environment for all.

The question is, how do we use Less?
If the thought of reducing the traditional size of the egg is unthinkable or too risky in terms of perceived value in comparison to the competitor brands, how about looking at the process and motivations within packaging development?

Brand owners employ teams of people that have a broad understanding of packaging, which is very valuable to a business which operates over different product groups, pack styles and substrates. These teams then utilise the expertise within manufacturing businesses to suggest innovation and materials which are commercially viable.

Unfortunately this means that the brands (striving to reduce) are being advised environmentally and commercially by packaging companies that are motivated to fill ‘their’ machinery and sell their preferred substrate that they either mill or buy under a volumetric rebate scheme which drives the usage of ‘more’ raw material than ‘Less’.

There is a need for some foresight when developing packaging and an unbiased positioning to ensure we are not unnecessarily designing in, for example plastic, which as a nation we only manage to recycle at a rate of 24%!

Time to think inside and outside the box…or should that be shell?


iPad 2 vs. Kindle (a product + packaging perspective)





By Ian Bates, Partner, The Less Packaging Company

Apple’s iPad 2 is a undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary products to have every been created. It is minimal, sleek, lightweight and functional and combines zen-like design engineering with the latest digital technology.  It outsells the Amazon Kindle 4:1 at current sales of 1 million per week.

So how does the packaging compare? In my view the Kindle is better packaging, which considers both brand and delivery. The Kindle box is made from robust, lightweight fine-fluted corrugated with interesting detailing. The outer surface is embossed, silver blocked and gives a you a sense of high-tech, attention to detail with a light touch in terms of environmentally  responsible packaging whilst being relevant for the purposes of safely protecting, delivering and presenting the contents. To open the box is a real treat. It has a simple, but clever unzipping feature which makes the unpacking experience very satisfying. The protective internal packaging is made from moulded paper pulp which snugly displays and protects the product in a minimal design-like fashion. The quick-start instructions booklet is also easily accessible and presented to you as you open the hinged lid. A very well thought though design.

Compare this with the iPad box. This box certainly does look special and if you listen to most people they will tell you it is a great box. It looks and feels expensive, which is one of its goals. However, from a pure design engineering perspective; it is heavy, bulky, clunky and old-world technology. It’s also expensive because these boxes are hand-made in Asia and when shipped before packing, take-up huge amounts of space as they do not flat-pack.

Packaging, to do its intended job well, should always reflect the values of the brand if it is to truly engage consumers. So why would Apple design a box that is nothing like the product i.e. modern, minimal, lightweight and purposeful? The answer might have something to do with perceived value – something we often see with luxury consumer goods, which have to work hard to satisfy the consumer’s expectation of indulgence. In the case of both boxes you are likely to keep the packaging as part of the product should it be gifted or later sold and this then forms an important part of the product’s actual value. This could be a justification for over-packaging, but in my view is a flawed argument.

It will be interesting to see how the new iPad 3 will be boxed. My best guess is that now Steve Jobs is sadly no longer at the helm of Apple that a more pragmatic approach will be pursued if only to reduce cost. It would be good if the motivation was also social and environmental after all the impact of over-packaging does, whether we accept it or not, have a detrimental impact for everyone.

Fortunately more and more brand owners are becoming aware of the value of joined-up thinking when it comes to product and packaging design. Designing packaging which is neither over nor under-packed because both result in wastage. At The Less Packaging Company we call this ‘per-cycling’, a design process, which considers the entire journey and roles of both product and packaging holistically. It reduces waste and cost as well as delivering related supply-chain savings and other benefits such as better compliance, happier customers and enhanced reputation and brand value.

If you would like to read more about pre-cycling, go to www.lesspackaging.net