CLIMATE AND ETHICS
AUGUST 2020 UPDATE:
The ethos of goodstrangevibes does not stop at the artwork, it is central to who I work with as well.
Eco-Friendly: carbon-neutral company that reduces, recycles and reuses all that they can, and offsets those emissions that they can't.
Ethical: Pay all their staff and contractors in excess of the Living Wage and they are an accredited Living Wage Employer.
Supported Charities: The top were bought from Newcastle charity shops. As a result, money was given to the British Red Cross, Cancer Research, Shaw Trust, PDSA and Salvation Army.
Local: supported a small local screen printing business.
Eco-Friendly: up-cycled tops. Water-based Soil Accredited inks. Avoided harmful emissions from transportation as local.
Recycle: 95% of their waste is used for their recycled products and the final 5% is converted into Refuse Derived Fuel.
Reuse: Reuse ink cartridges and invest in print technology to save paper.
ISO14001 certification: ensures high standards of environmental wellness.
Future Improvements: once I have sold all current stock, any further orders will be on recycled paper.
All my notebooks are using 300gsm white recycled board.
The current poster printers I use are gender equality advocates: active steps to address the gender pay gap and inequality by: improving their recruitment process, supporting working parents, supporting leaders to create inclusive environments and changing the culture through events and conversations.
I have researched and found a poster printing company which uses 100% Recycled Uncoated paper. My plan is for future purchases to be with them once I have bought and learnt to use the software necessary in order to print with them.
I always save old packaging, envelopes and scraps of paper to create recycled packaging for my products. I recently found some scrap material which I have been cutting into strips to form ribbon to tie parcels together. Not only do I feel strongly about reusing materials, but I also love the unique look of recycled packaging.
Occasionally, I use plastic postage bags which I bought at the start of trading (when I wrongly did not always have environmental concerns in mind). Once these bags run out, I will not be re-ordering plastic packaging.
To minimise my paper usage, I use QR codes that people can scan, instead of physical business cards.
SEPTEMBER 2019 UPDATE:
I have always been concerned by climate change and this has certainly influenced my decisions in relation to how I live my daily life and the running of my business.
However, with the activist work of my past housemate @greenmeantashmachine, I have been inspired to position the importance of minimising my effect on the climate as a priority.
The company I have always used to print tops is carbon-neutral (they reduce, recycle or reuse all they can, and offset those emissions they can’t), their printing process is 100% non-toxic, produces no harmful waste, are vegan-friendly (their inks contain no animal by-products), and importantly they pay their staff and contractors in excess of the living wage.
But, when I first started goodstrangevibes as a business, I didn’t always have the environment as a priority. I would like to change this, and I pledge to do so.
MY PLAN MOVING FORWARDS
Postage and Packaging
At the start of trading, I ordered plastic postage bags, I will use these up (as not using them would be counter-productive) but once they have run out I will switch to a more sustainable option, such as cardboard packaging.
I have found a way to order postcards made from recycled paper, so once I have sold all current stock, any further orders will be on recycled paper.
I will order business cards on recycled paper. I have researched and found a poster printing company which uses 100% Recycled Uncoated paper, and my plan is for future purchases to be with them once I have bought and learnt to use the software necessary in order to print with them.
I am going to experiment with buying tops from charity shops and hand drawing onto these to further reduce my businesses' impact on the environment. Additionally, I would like to reduce the prices of these so they are more affordable, especially for customers who may be unable financially to purchase the current range of tops, while also creating a money-saving incentive to customers to purchase environmentally friendly clothing.
I would like to thank the Alumni Association Student Initiative Fund at Newcastle University, who awarded me with a grant to develop goodstrangevibes, and this has enabled me to invest more into recycled goods.
© 2021 by Lou Brown