As a small sustainable business we know that what we do has an impact, and we therefore take steps in all areas of the business to reduce waste.
No-one should have to deal with waste that can’t be recycled as a result of shopping with us. Therefore, all of the packaging we use in our parcels is recyclable and plastic free, even down to using compostable stickers and plant-able notecards. We also re-use packaging from other businesses including boxes, paper and biodegradable packaging peanuts. We work with our suppliers to provide products free from unnecessary packaging wherever possible. We’ve also just introduced a single use plastic ban in our store.
We work hard to ensure that our products are as plastic free as possible, working closely with our suppliers to eradicate unnecessary plastic, especially single use. We understand the sometimes plastic is needed but will only stock plastic products which are reusable and aim to replace and eradicate single use plastic. We choose products made from natural, organic ingredients whenever we can. We also offer a local liquid refill service in conjunction with another small local business to encourage refills and reduce plastic within our local community. We prioritise local suppliers to support our local community. We participate in local networking to promote and support other local businesses within our community.
We work with suppliers of planet-friendly products and encourage them to use recycled and recyclable packaging in their deliveries. And we are always searching for more innovative products and ideas to help reuse more and reduce single-use in our daily lives.
We also offer a take back scheme for our clothing range, so that customers can return these items to us after they no longer need them. And we have expanded into offering affordable preloved clothing in our Cirencester store to help promote a more sustainable way of buying clothing.
Through our children’s eco-storybooks we aim to educate both adults and children alike in how we can reduce waste and take better care of the environment. Our books are self-published using 100% recycled carbon balanced paper, using eco-printing methods throughout and without plastic lamination. We offer free activities and downloads to make learning about the environment easier. We have also gifted a number of books to local libraries to reach more families and have a campaign for extending this to national libraries.
We also run sustainable workshops in our retail store, getting people together to discuss and share thinking around sustainability. Our weekly newsletters aim to inform our customers, sharing latest news and learnings from the world of sustainability.
We are awaiting the arrival of our smart meter in order to better understand our energy usage in our premises. In the meantime we’re careful about the energy we do use, being mindful of what is necessary and where we can make reductions. We keep the door closed to conserve energy and keep the heat in. We use energy as and when it is absolutely needed and turn off plugs and appliances when they are not in use. We also conserve the water that we use. We have invested in an electric car for travel to and from our retail shop. We research ways to reduce our carbon footprint and work towards reducing this where we can.
We don’t believe we have perfected the art of running a sustainable business, so we continue to learn and develop our processes and practices. We have recently completed a Sustainability Basics course for small businesses as a way of learning how we can continue to improve our practices and have embarked on the Green Skills for Small Business course. we actively seek out local and national news and innovations around sustainability to keep up to date with new thinking and steps we can take to make positive change.
We believe in the value of investing in local initiatives to look after the environment and its inhabitants, so we give a regular donation to the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to support the work they do in conserving our local environments. We also work alongside local suppliers, businesses and schools as well as sustainable groups to support sustainable projects locally.
We also support a national brain tumour charity Brainstrust with the sales of a number of our products, a charity very close to our hearts.
We work with our suppliers to ensure fair prices, ethical practices and safe working conditions. We don’t tolerate discrimination either within our organisation or within our supply chain and select our suppliers carefully.
We recognise that there are many elements of running a business which are out of our control, so we are always endeavouring to learn about these, understand where small changes might be possible and implement these changes where we can.
We would love to be accredited in a widely recognised scheme, however we are currently limited by our size and financial barriers. We do continue to review our practices and premises to make eco friendly changes when and wherever we are able. We actively seek out opportunities to learn about sustainability and invest time in courses where we can develop our sustainable practices further.