The Devon Craft Market collaborated to secure a national award. Bideford-based North Devon Soap won gold in the Eco & Green Gift category at the 2022 National Free From Gift Awards.
The ‘Bathroom Basket (Made In Devon)’ gift set includes three bars of Ocean Body Wash & Shampoo soap, a hand-knitted Tencel washcloth and a hand-woven basket.
A silver medal was awarded in the Soap category. The awards were launched in 2020 by the same team behind the annual Free From Skincare Awards, to celebrate the best beauty gift sets, skincare trial packs and cosmetic stocking fillers from brands that make products “free” of some of the allergens, chemicals, additives, and fragrances associated with skin sensitivities, allergies, and ethical, environmental, and health concerns.
“Winning Gold in the Gifts category at a National Gift Awards is incredible,” said Helen Cross. “Our Ocean soap bars are inspired by the North Devon coast and reflect the awe-inspiring beauty of the ocean.
“We have Devon Sea Salt in every bar which gives a creamy lather and helps hydrate your skin. The Tencel washcloth was hand knitted by local artisan, Patricia Longhurst and the basket hand woven by local weaver, Lucy Turner. Our gift box truly is made in Devon.
The washcloth is made from Tencel otherwise known as vegan silk. Tencel is a synthetic fabric developed by the innovative Austrian company Lenzing. It is made from sustainably harvested eucalyptus wood and cellulose. A tree that grows rapidly without the need for irrigation, pesticides, fertilizers or genetic manipulation.
“Wonderful, isn’t it? commented Patricia Longhurst, Hopperstyle Crafts. “I’m really happy with the washcloth. Tencel is such a pleasant material to work with and its environmental credentials are impressive. Winning this award is fabulous and shows just how good the North Devon craft market is.
Ocean soaps and washcloths are presented in a wicker basket handwoven from dried willow grown in the Southwest. Willow is a truly durable material requiring no feeding in good soil and minimal watering.
Growing up to 16 feet per year, the willow can be pruned annually for basketry and retain the carbon it has captured while growing.
“The carbon captured in our baskets is often overlooked,” said Lucy Turner, Churchford Cottage. “We are currently using Southwest grown willow while our homegrown willow becomes established. While our baskets showcase nature’s beauty, it’s comforting to know that they act as tiny carbon banks.
North Devon Soap, Hopperstyle Crafts and Churchford Cottage are regulars at the Braunton Contemporary Craft Market. Open every Wednesday in front of the Braunton Countryside Center and Surf Museum.
All exhibits are local and handmade.
“I am very proud to see our market artisans working together to win this award,” added Sarah Wadley, Founder and Market Director. “All products on display in the market are high quality and locally handcrafted. I am delighted to see their skills and expertise recognized by a national award.