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Sketchbook research design development history of Stonehouse Plymouth

|Our Community|

Stonehouse Union was created by Makers HQ, but it would not be what it is without the help of individuals and small businesses in our local community. We are ever so grateful for their work and would like to tell you a bit more about them!

Letterpress typography

|Alan Qualtrough|


Alan Qualtrough owns the Kiss & Bite Press, a letterpress studio based in Royal William Yard, Plymouth. We first approached Alan to help us design our Stonehouse font. We wanted a font that we could link back to the history of the street outside the front of our studio building, which was a thriving place for small shop owners in the 19th Century. Amongst Alan's array of typefaces, we landed on the font used for our brand's logo.

We also work with to Alan to print our complimentary card inserts that are sent out with each order. This is done using his letterpress printer. These cards are made from consumer waste, and are fully recyclable.

Richard Fisher is a local historian, with whom we worked together on a research project into the history of the area of Stonehouse. This project formed the basis of our brand.

We had no idea just how much information Richard would uncover, from the flax that grew wildly in the ground, to the infamous Cora Pearl who lived here, and a shade of red that we have coined 'Stonehouse red'. There's so much rich history right here on our doorstep that we will be making blog posts about it all.

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Stonehouse ladies wear crinoline dresses

|Richard Fisher|


Recyclable paper mailing bags screen printed Common Sense Stduio Plymouth

|Common Sense|


We contacted Common Sense Studio in Royal William Yard to discuss screen printing our paper mailing sacks and internal garment labels. We wanted to keep these processes as local as possible, why wouldn't you?

Our internal garment labels are made from our studio's own offcut fabric waste. We then give them to Laura and Emma over at Common Sense to screen print the design.


Each and every jacket is made to a pre-order basis, and the internal label is marked by hand with the size and unique issue number of the garment.


We post your order in a durable wet-strength paper sack that is 100% recyclable. These sacks come from Cornwall and are also printed at Common Sense.

Throughout the development of the brand, we wanted to make conscious choices about sourcing locally and opting for ethical alternatives.

This is why we were particularly excited to discover that there were developments for setting up a small business producing recycled buttons, right here in Plymouth! 


We have been in discussion with the leader of this project to create Stonehouse Union branded buttons. The process works by programming a CNC machining operation to mill the moulds for the buttons. Waste plastic is then melted down and injected into the mould.

While we wait for the project to get its feet on the ground, we are using corozo buttons for the Stonehouse Jacket. These are made from the Tagua nut, making it a renewable and sustainable source. The buttons are made here in the UK too!


|Recycled Buttons|


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