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Leanne, the owner of The Haberdasher Bee

The Haberdasher Bee is a combination of the word ‘haberdashery’ with Manchester’s adopted symbol of the bee; I’m proud to be based in old Cottonopolis!

Hello, I’m Leanne and I run The Haberdasher Bee. I’ve always enjoyed making things and have tried my hand at many different crafts, but sewing is one I keep coming back to time and time again. I think I just like the idea of making things which are useful every day, rather than things which are only useful once every so often or just exist to look pretty on someone’s shelf.

I make everything from clothes to little bits around the house in an effort to know where things have come from and what material they’re made of. I’m one of those kinds of people who likes to throw themselves in at the deep end – the very first piece of clothing I made was my wedding dress!

Like many others, I’ve become increasingly aware of how much plastic I use in everyday life and wanted to try and reduce this. When I realised just how much plastic is involved in modern haberdashery and sewing supplies, I was pretty horrified. Manchester has one of the worst systems for recycling in the country and so I couldn’t recycle any of the packaging generated by my hobby. I wanted to find a better solution. Struggling to find common supplies in anything other than plastic packaging, I resolved to fix this problem – if no one else in the industry seemed interested in doing so, then I figured I may as well do it myself.

And so The Haberdasher Bee was born.

My haberdashery shop items are carefully sourced and are entirely plastic free – from the product, to the packaging and even to how I ship the items to you. Where plastic would ordinarily be included, this is replaced with a sustainable alternative – for example, plastic cable ties are replaced with recycled cotton twine. I’m conscious that my alternatives to plastic need to be sustainable too, so wherever possible I choose recycled and sustainably sourced materials.