Coniston Stonecraft artisans are greener than the Cumbrian fells
While many companies try to reduce their carbon footprint by recycling and banishing plastics, one British firm goes a step further with a water-fuelled solution.
Lake District slate manufacturer, Coniston Stonecraft, takes all its power from Church Beck, which runs by its front door. The green artisans also shun oil to cool their cutting and grinding machines and instead use diverted stream water.
Brendan Donnelly, owner of Coniston Stonecraft, said: “We don’t just talk the talk about being eco-friendly, we walk the walk.
"As local artisans, we only use local slate for our hand-crafted signs and home and kitchenware.
“We are a small green business accredited company and care about our customers as much as the local environment, so we do not cut or sandblast our products but instead use a traditional V-cut for better and longer-lasting results.
“We are keeping the skills and traditions of our beautiful area alive and helping the local quarries too. Westmorland green slate and Brathay blue grey are beautiful and only available here, so we would like it to be a luxury item, not a commodity.”
Coniston Stonecraft only uses stone from local quarries and reuses cardboard from nearby bicycle shops and cloth offcuts from a textile mill for packaging.
Nothing is wasted by Brendan in pursuit of his craft and he even passes on slate dust from air filters and water traps to a local artist who uses it to create crayons and drawing tools.
Coniston Stonecraft operates out of old railway copper ore sorting sheds, and only uses stone from quarries no more than a dozen miles away.
Brendan added: “We are proud to put a sticker on each piece we make that tells the customer not only that they are buying British slate, but which craftsman made it, and which quarry the slate originally came from.
“Our slate is 350 million years old and we aim to be here making these gorgeous pieces for another 100 years at least.”
The full range of Coniston Stonecraft’s products is available to view by visiting their website: https://conistonstonecrafts.co.uk.
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Notes to editors
Coniston Stonecraft has used hydroelectricity from a station 100 yards away for more than a decade. The company has existed for 45 years and uses an ancient method of engraving called V cut, which gives deeper and cleaner results.