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Protect Our Planet

June 13, 2021

We believe we all have a part to play in reducing the impact on our environment and need to protect our planet. We want to make you aware of not only ways you can make a change but also what Valley Mill are doing to help too.

Environmental Awareness Days in June

There are many environmental awareness days throughout June. The 5th of June was World Environment Day, May 29 – June 13 in the UK is The Great British Spring Clean, June 16th is World Refill Day and June 17th is National Clean Air Day.

All of Battle Green’s handmade cosmetics are PETA certified vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, and lab safety tested. Many of Battle Green’s products are reusable and refillable, allowing you to save money and reduce waste over time.

Our Products & Suppliers

Up until early 2020 we only sold products that were made in Wales and in turn, mainly supporting small local businesses.  Since then, we have branched out to UK made and UK designed and are only working with businesses who have the same ethos and beliefs as ourselves.  Whilst the majority of our products are made in Wales, some of our suppliers products are mainly handmade in the UK or designed in the UK with materials sourced sustainably from outside of the UK.

Our Welsh slate travels only 130 miles from Snowdonia. 

Carbon Footprint

Our Welsh slate travels only 130 miles from Snowdonia.    At Valley Mill it’s not only our products that we want to be eco-friendly, but our staff too.  To strive for sustainable living, we offer our team a car share scheme with a monetary bonus to reduce the amount of cars used to travel to work.  We also encourage working from home whenever possible.  This May we are proud to be starting a cycle to work scheme.  Want to find out more about educating yourselves and others? Take a look at the United Nations goals to help transform our world and protect our planet.

Keeping It Local

Unlike many companies, Valley Mill pride themselves on using only Welsh slate. We never import our slate from abroad.

Valley Mill’s Beliefs to Protect Our Planet

When Valley Mill started in 2007, Kevin Thomas wanted the company to be eco-friendly and materials to be sourced locally providing a low carbon footprint.  From day 1 Kevin knew that not only do the products need to be natural but also packaging must be recyclable.  

Apart from the fragrance in the candles, all materials that we use for our products are 100% natural.

Valley Mill’s natural soy wax candles come in either a re-usable heavy weight tumbler OR reusable tin.
Handmade in Wales using the finest quality soy wax, for a longer burn time and better scent throw. The wooden wick that works perfectly with the soy wax helps to further increase the burn time and to ensure a full surface area melt pool, to get the best possible scent when burning your candle.

Soy wax is important as not only is it a natural, renewable and biodegrable source, it also burns with zero petro soot.

It’s not just our own amazing products that are made from natural raw materials, but all of the new products we source are environmentally-friendly and mainly locally made in the UK.  Some of our suppliers use materials sustainably sourced from outside of the UK.


We have never used plastic in our products packaging and we use mainly recycled cardboard. In 2020 we also banned plastic bags from our stores.  

The harmful effects of plastic is now seen worldwide. Plastic is in our air, our water and our food. Each one of us have a responsibility in reducing plastic pollution.

Reusable Tweedmill Tote Bags

A stylish tote bag, perfect for everyday, these come in a variety of colours and designs. Perfect companion when shopping. Handmade for Valley Mill by Tweedmill in Denbigh, North Wales.

World Refill Day – June 16th

Since Valley Mill was founded in 2007, we have always strived to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. We’re always looking for new alternatives to non-recyclable packaging and products. One of the worst single-use plastics for our environment is plastic water bottles. So we wanted to create and encourage an alternative solution; one that is simple and cost-effective for our customers, whilst making a positive impact on our environment.

These refillable stainless steel water bottles are very durable and last longer than glass and reusable plastic options. They will help you save money long-term, whilst also helping you to do your bit for the planet. Their leak-proof screw top caps make them incredibly practical whilst on the go. Plus, their double-wall insulation keeps your favourite refreshment at the perfect temperature for longer. They are BPA and phthalate-free, so you don’t have to worry about any nasty chemicals being released into your drink.

White stainless thermo bottle isolated on green grThese refillable stainless steel water bottles are very durable and last longer than glass and reusable plastic options.

Valley Mill’s refillable stainless steel water bottles are very durable and last longer than glass and reusable plastic options.

They will help you save money long-term, whilst also helping you to do your bit for the planet. Their leak-proof screw top caps make them incredibly practical whilst on the go. Plus, their double-wall insulation keeps your favourite refreshment at the perfect temperature for longer. They are BPA and phthalate-free, so you don’t have to worry about any nasty chemicals being released into your drink.

Cutting Down on Single-Use Plastic 

Our products reflect our beliefs.  From our water bottles to our hip flasks, we want to create and encourage an alternative solution to single use plastic.  One that is simple and cost-effective for our customers, whilst making a positive impact on our environment. 

Throw Away Culture 

How much plastic have you thrown away this week and how much of it was recyclable?  It’s hard not to get overwhelmed by it all, however there are always solutions.  It takes time and planning but once this change has been made it can be more beneficial on the environment but also your pocket too!  

Refill Stations 

More and more companies across the globe are consistently finding new and innovative ways of reducing humanity’s footprint on our planet.  

Cheers Wine Merchants in Mumbles, Swansea and The Gower Gin Company are two companies that are ahead of their game.   

The companies teamed up together to bring an environmentally conscious way of shopping for alcohol.  

Save On Waste 

Director of Cheers Wine Merchants Dafydd Morris explains why we should all save on waste.  “We introduced the Gin refill station at our Mumbles store as it gave customers a great opportunity to both save money and reuse their Gŵyr Gin bottles which in turn helps save on waste.” 

“It has proved amazingly popular and we have many customers now reusing their bottles time and time again.  We are very proud to be the first shop in Wales to offer this service and I hope it spreads across the UK.” 

Natural Beauty for the Planet

Our own beauty products and our suppliers are just full of natural goodness. They’re cruelty free too! Let’s take a look at what you can get from Valley Mill.

Natural aromatherapy from Alura Romatics Sleep Pulse Point Roll on with lavender
Alura Romatics Sleep Pulse Point Roll On

We are all striving for sustainable living and Alura Romatics are no different.  Part of Valley Mill’s ethos and brand is just this, so it made absolute sense to work together with Alura Romatics.   

About Alura Romatics

Stacey, the owner and creator of Alura Romatics, began her love of aromatherapy and essential oils through her mum and her mums trusted Aromatherapy Guide by Christine Westwood.  She believed that whatever she was going through in life, there was an essential oil for it.  Stacey knew she needed to learn more about these magical oils and became a qualified aromatherapist.  Knowing that not all products out there are the same, Stacey decided that creating the perfect product was key. She knew that everyone deserves the best for their health and happiness, thus Alura Romatics was born. 

Aromatherapy Happy Room Spray from Alura Romatics
Alura Romatics Happy Room Spray

Alongside her small and dedicated team they handmake all of their products and ensure they keep their blends natural and synthetic-free and are committed to making sure as many of their ingredients come from natural sources, where possible.  Alura Romatics products use 100% natural fragrances, they contain no harsh chemicals, are vegan and cruelty free and handmade in Cardiff. 

Battle Green

Battle Greens lip balms are not only PETA certified vegan friendly and cruelty-free but also packed full of the most beautiful products to keep your lips soft, moisturised and protected.  The balms are also packed with quality natural ingredients, and free from synthetic colours and fragrances.  

Battle Green was established in 2018. Like many people, they were feeling increasingly concerned by the stream of reports on the negative environmental impact humans are having on the planet. It’s hard to believe there are more micro plastics in the oceans than stars in the Milky Way, or that around 100 million marine mammals die from plastic pollution each year.

So, this is why the team knew they needed to create products to help protect the planet.

They are based in beautiful Snowdonia, North Wales.

Battle Green
Battle Greens natural unisex deodorants are formulated to not only absorb sweat and neutralise nasty niffs but also to gently fragrance and soften underarm skin.  The essential oils in these balms were not only chosen for their beautiful scents, but also for their amazing beneficial properties.  Essential oils are used in aromatherapy and natural holistic treatment.  These are compounds extracted from plants and each unique aroma gives it its characteristic essence.


When searching for new companies to work with, it’s important to us at Valley Mill to find people with similar values to our own. We love to work with like-minded small businesses; that have their own unique story, care about the products that they make and the effect they have on you as a customer, as well as the environment. And BrambleWood Soap Co., the company behind our new skincare range, is exactly that kind of small business!

Handmade in Dorset, award-winning BrambleWood Soap Co uses a thoughtful combination of salts, dried botanicals and essential oils to create their Botanical Bloom bath tea that can aid in relieving muscular aches and pains and relaxation.

BrambleWood Soap Co. was founded in 2019 by Laura Cullen. Laura began her company as she wanted to create natural soap and skincare suitable for the whole family. All of her products are handmade in small batches in Dorset. They are 100% natural and are free from chemicals and additives. All of the natural and botanical ingredients have been chosen for their superior smell, aromatherapy qualities, and skin-nourishing properties. Everything Laura has created is vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and is as kind to the environment as it is on your budget. They are completely plastic-free and all of the packaging chosen is recyclable or reusable.

About BrambleWood Soap’s Range

These bath bombs’ signature recipe includes moisturising cocoa butter to soothe your skin and essential oils for luxurious natural fragrances. They are wrapped in fully biodegradable glassine bags and recycled paper, meaning there is no plastic waste.

These bath bombs’ signature recipe includes moisturising cocoa butter to soothe your skin and essential oils for luxurious natural fragrances. They are wrapped in fully biodegradable glassine bags and recycled paper, meaning there is no plastic waste.

Valley Mill Soaps

Valley Mill handmade 100% natural soaps which are also cruelty free

Valley Mill natural soaps do not contain artificial colours, preservatives or additives and are free of parabens and SLS; they are just full of natural goodness. They’re cruelty free too!

Valley Mill handmade 100% natural soaps which are also cruelty free

The combination of bergamot and basil has created a handmade soap which is refreshing and revitalising, without being harsh or abrasive. The fresh bergamot fragrance uplifts and energises, whilst the natural antibacterial properties of the basil work to refresh your skin.

Made by hand at our workshop in South Wales, this 100% natural bergamot & basil soap contains the following nourishing ingredients:

– Shea butter
– Sweet almond oil
– Coconut oil
– Mango butter
– Olive oil
– Castor oil
– Bergamot essential oil
– Basil essential oil
– Coffee powder
– Cinnamon powder

Recycling to Protect Our Planet

Whether you are a business, household or school, we can all do our bit to help. We can drive the change for better living.

If you aren’t sure or need more information of not only where you can recycle but also how we can all minimise the effect we are having on our environment.

A great organisation who can not only tell you where you can recycle but which materials too. They are Recycle More and you find out more details for your business, home or school here.

Recycled Wool

Blanket colours are completely random as they are made from recycled wool from the mill, hence why they are such a great price. No two blankets will be the same.

Therefore you cannot choose a specific colour, you will be sent a completely random colour blanket. All blankets are the same pattern design and the same high quality.

All of Valley Mill’s blankets are handmade for us by Tweedmill in Denbigh, North Wales. 100% British wool.

Valley Mill Recycled Wool Picnic Blanket

The random recycled picnic blankets are the budget-friendly option, made using recycled wool just like our best-selling random recycled throws. The use of recycled wool reduces waste, making them just kind to the environment but also to your bank account. But don’t worry, just because they are affordable doesn’t mean they are lacking in quality. Wool naturally repels water, so this combined with the hard-wearing waterproof backing will help keep it clean and dry for longer and last for many summers to come. Why not pair your new picnic rug with our personalised metal bottles to help you stay hydrated whilst away from home and help the environment?

More from Valley Mill

Often the perfect traditional keepsake to mark special occasions, or the ideal gift for those who enjoy long walks and campfires, our stainless-steel hip flasks have a classic design that can be personalised with your unique message. 

PLUS between now and Saturday 19th June 2021 17:00 we are offering 10% OFF personalised hip flasks online and instore in Union Street, Swansea. T&C’s apply.

ALSO Photograph Engraving too*.

This Photograph Engraving can come with a solid slate rear plinth which enables it to be free standing or you can choose to have it rope hung.

This June we are giving you the chance to win a fantastic Valley Mill gift pack worth over £100!

The ‘Picnic for Two’ pack consists of:

  • Valley Mill Picnic Blanket – luxury cotton quilted waterproof with carry strap (choose from star, palm leaf or triangle design)
  • Welsh Slate Small Rope Tray – hand cut with rope handles for a rustic finish
  • 2 x Personalised Water Bottles – choose from a variety of colours and personalised for you
  • Valley Mill Mixed Berries Candle – made from natural soy wax, wooden wick & comes with a Valley Mill Welsh Slate lid that doubles up as a coaster

Everyone who makes a purchase of £50 or more* ONLINE at AND subscribe to our newsletters will automatically be entered into the draw! T&C’s apply.


Current Events Events and Days Out Home Recipes Slate products Valley Mill

Rise of the British BBQ

May 23, 2021
BBQ Tips with Valley Mill and Olly Woolnough

Forget the era of burning your bangers or cremating your chicken wings because the rise of the British BBQ is here.  Valley Mill and ‘Nothing But BBQ’ have teamed up to make your back-yard shindig the absolute best with our top BBQ tips. 

Are you ready for the great outdoors with your family and friends? We’ve teamed up with Oliver Woolnough and the team from Nothing But BBQ to guide you through the summer and show you how to upgrade your outdoor experience.

Part One of Oliver’s Top Tips

British BBQ food served on Valley Mill Welsh Slate tray
BBQ food served on one of Valley Mill’s Welsh slate trays.

Outdoor Cooking

Think of your BBQ as outdoor cooking and not just a sausage chucked on a grill.  When you realise that, almost any dish you can create in the kitchen can be recreated on a BBQ, then your family outdoor fun will become delicious too. Now really is the time of the British BBQ.

Top BBQ Tip – BBQ Choice

You need to get the right BBQ for YOU.  If you love a more traditional feel then a charcoal barbeque is the one for you.  Not got as much time on your hands? A gas BBQ heats up quicker which means you can get creating dishes sooner for your friends and family.   Either choice is good and it can also help if your BBQ has a lid.  This can assist you in keeping the temperature constant. It can even help make the food more moist and delicious.

Valley Mill Creative Marketing Manager Siâny uses a Weber charcoal kettle BBQ and she swears by it.  “I can cook beautiful dishes for the family and some real showstoppers too.  I learnt that the right BBQ makes all the difference.  It’s a top BBQ tip to keep everyone happy and coming back for more.”

Top BBQ tips from Nothing but BBQ personalised Welsh Slate tray
You can personalise your own Welsh Slate trays and table runners


It’s so easy to grab a bag of charcoal or briquettes from your local garage but you can find that the chemicals in them can affect the taste of your food.  Just be mindful in which fuel you choose. We recommend you go for a choice which is natural so it doesn’t taint your food.

Top BBQ Tip – How to light your coals

One BBQ accessory we would recommend is a chimney starter.  Oliver said “The next amazing invention after the wheel is the charcoal chimney starter”. OK, he’s sort of kidding but it REALLY is an amazing piece of equipment because it’s one of the easiest and quickest ways to light your fuel.  Check out this YouTube video which shows you how to light your coals.

Top BBQ Tip – How to put your coals in the BBQ

One of the easiest ways to control the temperature of your BBQ is by placing your coals on to one side of the bottom of the BBQ.  Why you ask?  When you cook in the oven you don’t have flames going across the entire bottom, so why would you do it on a BBQ?  It’s all about indirect and direct heat.

One of Oliver’s favourite BBQ sayings is “If you’re looking then you ain’t cooking”.

One of the best top BBQ tips that was shared with us when we were learning how to barbeque like a pro was make sure you have the right tools before you start.  Meat thermometer, extreme heat resistant gloves & tongs are all top of our list when organising a BBQ.  Do NOT panic though as you don’t need to spend a fortune on these and can pick up a thermometer from as little as £8.

BBQ Welsh Slate hanging sign personalised
Why not gift a BBQ lover in your life this wonderful Grillin’ & Chillin’ hanging Welsh Slate BBQ sign. You can also personalise your own.

The first recipe we want to share with you is actually a vegetarian recipe, as be honest, we all turn in to carnivores when it comes to a BBQ. 

Herby Sweet Potato Wedges with a Lemon Tahini Dressing

Live fire and British BBQ expert Genevieve Taylor is the author of ten cookery books including the bestselling Charred, a complete guide to vegetarian BBQ.  A proud omnivore, Genevieve is on a mission to prove that great BBQ isn’t just about Man vs. Meat. 

Valley Mill lifestyle photo shoot with Denby Potter Studio Blue medium ridged bowl.  Serving Genevieve Taylor Charred recipe
Add a touch of class by serving up your dish on one of our Denby Pottery bowls

You’ll need:

1kg sweet potatoes, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika, salt & pepper, 2 bags of 100g watercress.

For the lemon tahini dressing – 50g tahini, zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 crushed clove of garlic.

Oliver shows us to how to recreate this amazing recipe.

Oliver Olly Woolnough from Meat Matters and Nothing But BBQ shows us how to cook like a pro in your garden
Olly Woolnough owner of Meat Matters Ltd & Nothing But BBQ

First up, make sure you scrub your sweet potatoes well with clean water.  Now chop them into wedges around 2cm thick.  Tip them into a bowl with the olive oil, oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and give them a good mix so they are all coated.

Once your BBQ grill is hot, place a cast iron griddle or plancha on top of your grill.  You could even use one of our bake stones.  You need to be cooking on direct heat for this recipe.  Remember, direct heat means directly above the coals.

Place your seasoned potatoes on top of your griddle in a single layer.   Cook for around 30 minutes, flipping them occasionally.  Make sure they are cooked evenly. 

Whilst cooking you can make the lemon tahini dressing.  Mix together the ingredients with around 50ml of water (more if it’s too thick). 

To serve, place the watercress in a serving dish (check out Valley Mills choice of Denby Pottery).  Place the cooked sweet potatoes on top and drizzle over the dressing. 

Sweet Potato with watercress and lemon tahini dressing from Charred Genevieve Taylor

Genevieve’s Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger

Fancy something meaty and a British BBQ classic?  Then try this version of a classic from Genevieve Taylor. 

Style Dining

Make your outdoor dining experience just as good as your indoor by adding touches of style and class to your ‘al fresco’ dining area.

Welsh Slate Wine Racks

Welsh Slate wine rack, handmade in Blaenau Ffestiniog, oiled and finished in our workshop in Llansamlet, Swansea. The wine racks are completely unique and each wine rack is one of a kind.

Welsh Slate & Ceramic Coasters

Serve up a chilled glass of your favourite tipple on one of our Welsh slate or ceramic coasters.

Enamel Mugs

Our 12 Oz enamel mugs, designed and hand printed by our in-house design team exclusively for Valley Mill. Printed on both sides. Dishwasher safe

Find out now what else Valley Mill have to offer for your next BBQ with friends

BBQ TIPS PART 2 COMING SOON – Sunday 20th May 2021 at 10am