Burgess Hill's sustainable sock factory Peper Harow aims to set an example for the fashion industry

A high-end sock business in Burgess Hill is trying to set an example for the fashion industry about the importance of sustainability and local manufacturing.

Peper Harow, based at Victoria Business Park, started life in Pulborough in 2013 and now supplies companies across the UK and America.

The business makes luxury socks for men and women, including cushioned sport socks, while striving to support Sussex businesses, create jobs and keep its environmental impact low.

E-commerce specialist Thomas Williams said: “We have solar panels on our factory roof, which can be used to reduce our carbon footprint each year and help supply electricity.”

The team at Peper Harow in Burgess Hill

But Thomas said many other factors go into producing a ‘sustainable sock’.

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He said: “Lots of factories have to use several machines to make the sock complete whereas our machine does it all in one, which reduces consumption of yarn that we use so there’s minimal waste.”

Thomas said that their recycled cotton socks are particularly popular, being made from the offcuts of large factories that produce all sorts of fashion apparel.

Peper Harow is based at Victoria Business Park in Burgess Hill

These offcuts, he said, are turned back into cotton to be used in Peper Harow’s manufacturing process.

“We’ve got another sock, which is the recycled polyester, so that is from plastic bottles from around the European continent,” he said.

Thomas added that the packaging is made from 100 per cent recycled paper too.

The company also does everything from one location because its offices are above the factory.

Peper Harow is based at Victoria Business Park in Burgess Hill

“We’re constantly rotating designs and creating new ones,” said Thomas, explaining that a new sock can be designed and made in one day.

Thomas said Peper Harow hopes to show other companies that creating products sustainably is possible without compromising their integrity.

“So many hesitate to go into sustainability because they don’t want to compromise on quality but that is not necessarily the case,” he said.

He also called Burgess Hill the perfect location for Peper Harow, with transport from the company to the consumer being minimal, and said many staff live in the town.

Peper Harow is based at Victoria Business Park in Burgess Hill

“We’re in the heart of Sussex, which I think is quintessentially British,” he said, thanking the community for its ‘incredible support’.

Peper Harrow is at 15 Albert Drive, Unit 1, Site J, Burgess Hill, RH15 9TN.