In our inaugural Little Green Book, Country Life presents a list of brands that are striving to make the world a better place without compromising on style. Compiled by Giles Kime and Rosie Paterson.
Whichever way you look, the world is awash with companies — big and small — braying about their green, sustainable and eco-credentials, but, more often than not, they’re doing the bare minimum, if that.
We’ve all moved beyond single-use plastic claims. The time for bigger and better action is now.
The selection of companies below, straddling industries such as travel, food and drink, homes and fashion, is by no means conclusive or perfect — there’s always more we can do and it’s the collective effort that counts — but they represent a phenomenal starting point, leaders in this green collective, determined to march us all forward towards a brighter future.
A family-run Somerset specialist in homegrown stone that quarries, crafts and conceives interior flagstone flooring, external paving and architectural detailing for legacy projects.
Blake & Bull
This highly skilled specialist company brings much-loved old Agas back to life, re-enamelling and refurbishing, then converting them to electric.
Recommended videos for you
This Hampshire-based specialist in luxury outdoor furniture offers to clean, recondition and recoat its extensive range of benches, chairs, loungers, tables and kitchens.
Devoted to Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) organic fibres, the company’s new collection is made in Britain from homegrown wool.
The designer’s sustainable fibres made from recycled bottles have a beautiful look and feel — and an outstanding performance.
Real Wild Estates
This land-management business delivers landholders viable financial returns via large-scale Nature restoration projects.
The highly creative lighting and furniture brand, which has its own lampshade studio and makes 75% of its range within 45 miles of its Hampshire office, runs an Upcycling Club that will breathe new life into old designs, change their look or trade them in for new designs.
The Wrought Iron and Brass Bed Co
This company makes high-quality beds in Norfolk from locally sourced materials and recently launched a collection of mattresses made from wool from the flock on the Sandringham estate, where it is based.
Fresh from winning best in show at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last year for its rewilding beaver-habitat garden, this company specialises in making low-maintenance gardens.
The Brando, French Polynesia
Criss-crossing the globe to get here comes with its own carbon footprint (although the hotel is within touching distance of ensuring every guest enjoys a carbon-neutral stay), but no other hotel in the world can claim to be as green as The Brando, where the buildings are cooled using a state-of-the-art seawater air-conditioning system.
Stay Beyond Green
This group presents a curated collection of the world’s greenest hotels — all of which must pass a rigorous vetting process, based on globally recognised sustainable tourism standards and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The story of Singita started more than a century ago, when the grandfather of founder Luke Bailes purchased a 30,000-acre plot of former hunting land in South Africa and turned it into a conservation reserve — now Singita Sabi Sand. Today, its lodges, reserves and camps form and help fund important projects across Africa, including the empowerment of local communities.
Food and drink
The Ethical Dairy
This farm in Rainton, Castle Douglas, produces traditional cheeses made with organic milk, in a cow-to-calf commercial system, which means calves are allowed to stay with their mothers for extended periods of time.
Alara’s mueslis, bircher and porridge oats, seeds and granolas are produced using 100% renewable energy and sold in home-compostable packaging. The zero-waste company was instrumental in establishing the Organic Arable Group.
Totally Wild Food
Founder James Wood organises cooking classes and foraging workshops across the country that teach participants how to make the most of truly wild food. He also supplies fruit- and vegetable-box producer Abel & Cole with wild-foraged sea spinach, three-cornered leeks and much more.
Black Isle Brewery
This Certified B Corp company on the Black Isle in north-west Scotland has been at the forefront of organic craft brewing for more than 25 years. The farm is home to a flock of Hebridean sheep and small herd of cattle, which are fed with spent grain called draff. Any excess draff goes into the compost system, which feeds the biodiverse garden.
Whittington Lodge Farm
This family-run, 700-acre Cotswold farm has a herd of organic Certified Pasture For Life, pedigree Hereford cattle and swathes of important wildlife habitats (the wildlife meadows support valuable insect, lapwing and skylark populations) and organic arable crops. The cattle are moved to new pastures every day (they do not visit the same area for a minimum of three months) and cows and calves remain together for the duration of their lives. The online farm shop sells delicious beef boxes, including a taster box, beef-bone-broth box and marrow-bone box.
This independently owned and operated bistro boasts its own two-acre market garden, where most of the vegetables, herbs and flowers on the menu are grown. Other ingredients are sourced from small-scale, regenerative farmers and producers in the local area.
Silo, Hackney Wick, London E9
Silo is a proud zero-waste restaurant — even the furniture and fittings have been upcycled using materials that would have otherwise been wasted. It also has its own flour mill that turns ancient varieties of wheat into flour using traditional methods.
FIELD by Fortnum’s, 181 Piccadilly, London W1
Fortnum & Mason’s newest restaurant serves up seasonal, majority plant-based food, sourced from small-scale suppliers (most are UK-based including greens from hydroponic farms in London). The interiors have been decked out in repurposed furniture, crockery, glassware and packaging from the wider Fortnum’s business.
Tillingham, Peasmarsh, East Sussex
This multi-purpose vineyard-cum-working farm-cum restaurant with rooms was awarded a Green Star in the 2023 Michelin Guide. The Garden Menu showcases produce from the venue’s own walled garden, surrounding farms and fish caught daily off Rye Harbour.
View this post on Instagram
Angela’s, Margate, Kent
This understated bijou bistro sticks to a concise menu, scribbled out on a blackboard and eaten off recycled plastic tables. Sustainable day-caught fish is bought from one supplier — Tom, the youngest boat owner in Ramsgate’s fishing fleet — and vegetables from two acres of exclusive land at Nonington Farms.
Inver, Strachur, Scotland
This former crofter’s cottage and boat store doesn’t shout about its sustainable credentials, but it has an unwavering commitment to local and foraged ingredients and clutch of beautiful bedrooms to boot.
smol’s selection of laundry capsules, dishwasher tablets, multi-purpose surface spray and more work as well as big brands, but uses far fewer harsh chemicals. Everything comes in compostable, recyclable or refillable packaging — delivered free to your front door — and is vegan friendly.
Acertified carbon-neutral and seasonal flower-delivery service, Petalon has B Corp Status and donates 100% of its end-of-year profits to UK conservation projects. Where possible, the company uses flowers grown on its own Cornish farm. Packaging is recyclable or biodegradable and a subscription service is available.
This responsibly sourced and spun Scottish and Irish knitwear brand was founded by Buffy Reid. She was inspired by her Irish grandmother, a superb knitter, and her father, who sold Donegal tweeds and Arans. Today, she works with five yarns and five makers.
A Norfolk-based, family-run firm, Carrier Company handmakes stylish, outdoor clothing designed to stand the test of time. All the materials used are UK-sourced and the Shetland jumpers are made in Scotland on a circular zero-waste loom.