Character World Sustainability – Making a Step Change


When a global pandemic is disrupting your supply chain and you’re scrambling to get products out and on shelves while ensuring that warehouses and manufacturing plants operate safely, focusing on reducing single-use plastics, cutting water consumption or sourcing responsibly might seem a stretch. But failing to address these things may end up costing money and opportunities for growth could be overlooked. Character World have embraced its sustainability step change in the face of retail adversity during COVID 19.

Character World designs and manufacturers children’s bedding for some of the best-known brands including Disney and Pixar and sell to major high street and online retailers in the UK and Europe. With the end customer in mind, the vision at Character World is to create a bedroom environment where children’s imaginations can come to life with peace of mind that no unnecessary harm is being caused to the environment.

The objective for Character World is to better meet the demands of its customers by designing sourcing and delivering more sustainable products which after their use can be recycled or disposed of responsibly. Alongside this priority, the business is innovating its operations to help ensure its causing no unnecessary harm to the environment.

To begin to achieve its ambition Character World sought to align with its supply chain and collaboratively understand the options, feasibility, and practicality in delivering more sustainable products. The lifecycle of products was assessed, which identified three priority areas to improve which included, the products, packaging, and end of life. Following a feasibility study, supplier negotiations and pilot testing Character World were equipped and able to embed their sustainability step changes which achieved the following results:

  • 16 tonnes of card saved by changing bedding pack format to use 30& less card
  • 50,000 shipping cartons used recycled card
  • 3,000,000 pieces of packaging used responsibly sourced card
  • 1,000,000 bags changed to use recyclable plastic
  • 2,000,000 metres of responsibly sourced cotton used
  • 85,000 duvets made from recycled cotton

Whilst the business recognises there is more work to be done to achieve their full aspirations around sustainability, the journey Character World has been on has been positive with strong feedback from retailers, end customers, suppliers and importantly their own people, who care to make a difference.

Character World is committed to pushing their sustainability agenda further into 2021 – Character World Cares. They will be developing a business wide sustainability strategy aligned to the UN backed Sustainability Development Goals.

The business has also made great strides in digital transformation over the past 12 months to meet the needs of its online customers as well as the traditional high street retailers.