We strongly believe the best way to operate a business is to be as sustainable environmentally and financially as possible. Below is a list of ways we operate to ensure we can be as sustainable as possible. In 2019 we won the Glastonbury Festival Sustainable Trader award in recognition for our efforts.
- We have always used solar power for all our stall power requirements. This includes lighting (out front, in stall and out back in crew areas), charging crew phones and card machines, fridge and shower. Our solar lighting rig is on the roof of our van and includes two recycled solar panels from Germany which are a combined 360 watts. At the 2019 Glastonbury festival this was enough to run our stall and two others which had power issues.
- We have never used plastic carrier bags. Instead our shopping bags are made from a combination of recycled paper and cotton and hand screen printed by a family in India for us on a fair trade basis. They are reuseable and biodegradable.
- We have encouraged our suppliers to stop putting our garments in single use plastic bags. Instead our stock is shipping to us in cardboard boxes which are lined in thicker plastic sheeting. This sheeting we reuse as tarps to cover our clothing rails at festivals when it rains.
- We have reduced our stock of woollen items after discovering that most Nepalese wool has a high carbon footprint, having been imported from New Zealand where is it a byproduct of the meat industry. Wool items are also harder to wash and not so long lasting with modern washing machines meaning higher waste.
- To offset the carbon footprint from all our stock coming from India and Nepal we used a carbon calculator to work out how many trees we needed to plant to offset our 2019 emmissions. We then planted a 1.5 acre orchard in Priddy to offset our carbon. Over the next 5 years we plan to plant another 4 acres to further offset our footprint.
- We always pay for our stock in advance of receiving it. We never buy on credit. For the small family businesses who make most of our clothing this often means paying 50% when we place an order so that they can afford to buy the materials. We are making sure our suppliers can operate in a fair and sustainable manner.
- Any cardboard waste from our business is recycled in our 0.5 acre cottage garden (built in lockdown in 2020 partly from reclaimed building waste). We use the cardboard in our compost as brown waste and in our raised beds to aerate the soil which is especially good for potato crops.
- We have recycled the old tyres from our business van, plus more from the garage next door, to create raised beds for growing tomatoes and potatoes.
- We are always happy to share ideas and knowledge on how to operate sustainably with others and to learn ourselves in order to improve and evolve in an ethical way.