That's the big question, am I really sustainable as a business? I try very hard to be but I know I'm not there yet.
Sustainable manufacturing focuses on creating products that don't directly harm the environment during production or consumption: a sustainable product is made out of renewable resources, meaning that it uses a small amount of energy an is easily disposed of.
As we all become aware of the climate crisis I want to do my bit, I asked myself:
How is it made?
How is it packaged?
How is it delivered?
I wanted to ensure the robustness of any claims I make, so investigated what it means to be sustainable and I focused on "my code", trying to tie together everything that I do, this is what I've drilled my code down to:
Prioritise quality over quantity
Design at the core
Support community + positivity
Choose manufacturers that following sustainable code of conduct
Reduce waste (keep to a minimum)
I've realised "I'm not perfect, but I do strive to get better". For instance, I use cellophane envelopes (which may or may not be biodegradable). I considered binning them but then thought isn't that still the wrong thing to do (that's my I strive to get better part!).
My footprint is small - I buy from UK/EU based companies.
As I delved down into what I use I realised how hard it is to get a handle on what is, or is not, sustainable, especially if the company is greenwashing and has just decided "they are" without any backup information. I decided I had to trust something and chose ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) as it is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies. ISO is a nongovernmental organisation that comprises standards bodies from more than 160 countries, with one standards body representing each member country. This is their page on sustainability. I also like FSC® it stands for ‘Forest Stewardship Council®’. They are an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible forestry. FSC® certifies forests all over the world to ensure they meet the highest environmental and social standards.
As the result of above I've chosen a more expensive fine art paper (Huhnemuhle) as it has the following qualities:
I choose my renewable and recycled postal packaging from UK based Eco Craft their whole business is based on being eco friendly and UK based - I use paper tape for everything!
As cardboard is made of paper (which is made of natural wood fibres), it is an ideal material to recycle. Corrugated cardboard and grey paperboard are the two most common forms of cardboard and are used for paper boxes and packaging material (so I'm OK there!).
Instead of sellotape I use Paper Tape Discs as they are recyclable.
The printing company I use print upon "environmentally certified and recycled papers from sustainable sources and with vegetable based inks". They are a FSC®
Chain of Custody certified business, which means I can trust them to deliver better outcomes for forests, people and markets. They have an ISO 14001 certification which means they have been monitored and evaluated on environmental performance including they manage and process waste and efficiently use resources. I felt satisfied and happy with this.
My waste is minimal. I decided by prioritising quality over quantity it may be more expensive but I'm keeping to my ethos.
I support community and positivity because that also is important to me, I do my best to attend, advertise and shout out!
So to answer the question am I really sustainable as a business? Yes, mostly, I try very hard to be but I know I'm not there yet: I'm not perfect but I'm striving to get better.