As you’re probably well aware, sustainability is having its time in the spotlight – and for good reason. Our beautiful planet is dying and we need to do everything we can to make sure it stays a wonderful – liveable – planet for the future generations.
Here at Passion, we’re hot on sustainability and doing our bit for the world. And we’re not the only ones! In our roster of incredible clients and agency friends, there are some who have sustainability at the heart of the business. TIDL, for example, is working hard to conserve our oceans and fix the plastic pollution problem, while Good Hemp is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. We sat down with three businesses to have a discussion about all things sustainability, including any advice for budding eco-entrepreneurs.
TIDL – Saving Our Oceans
TIDL is one of our newest clients here at Passion – an e-commerce start-up focused on creating lifestyle products manufactured from recycled plastic and sustainable materials. Although they are in early stages, we’re sure they’ll be making waves once we’ve got their digital marketing strategy up and running.
The founders were inspired to start the project after noticing an increasing amount of rubbish washing up in the oceans. As avid fans of the outdoors – and oceans in particular – they decided to do something about the plastic problem and focus on how they can recycle it. Thus, TIDL was born.
How they’re doing it
“Plastic ends up in animals and the ecosystem, which ends up back in our diet,” they told us. “The ocean is such a key regulator for our planet, the weather and everything that goes with it.” With responsibility like that, it’s no wonder that they want to protect the ocean.
Using recycled plastic in their product range “cuts down on CO2 emissions and uses less water” in comparison to creating new plastic products. “Plastic is an incredible material but it has so many downsides, so we’re using what’s already out there.” And they’re certainly not skimping on the design, with each product carefully built to both last a long time and be recyclable.
And if that’s not enough, every order comes with a pledge from TIDL to plant at least one tree and fund the collection of 1kg of ocean-bound plastic.
Problems they’re facing
Of course, no business is without its obstacles to overcome and for TIDL, this obstacle comes in the form of packaging. While many companies are looking at minimising the amount of packaging used and offering recyclable materials where possible, TIDL is looking further afield to how its products end up in customer hands. “We’re trying to tackle all areas of shipping and, where possible, choosing to ship by rail,” they told us.
The team is also looking at how they can manufacture products in the most sustainable way and, of course, looking at making all products with fully recycled materials.
Part of the service offered by TIDL is education. “We’re trying to open a conversation with our customers to inspire change in their lives. We offer information and aim to educate them.” So whether this is discussing the importance of recycling products or teaching the dangers of non-sustainable practices, it’s clear that the team at TIDL want to talk about it.
And if all this wasn’t enough, they’re now focusing on supplying their premises exclusively by green energy. We love the dedication to being green.
For any budding eco-entrepreneur out there, TIDL has some sage advice. “Go for it. The more environmentally conscious businesses out there, the better for everyone. It gives people more options: better for the environment, better for the planet, better for everyone!
“There will be challenges, but take them in your stride. You need to work out the best options and take these lessons and learn through them.”
Good Hemp – Fuelling The People
We worked with Good Hemp on their organic marketing strategy. They have one mission: to create sustainable food and drink. Over a quarter of all greenhouse emissions come from food, which they’re looking to reduce. The nature of hemp itself – as a plant and an ingredient – is that it’s sustainable and has loads of benefits. So why not harness this goodness and share it with the world?
How they’re doing it
“Hemp has lots of good benefits for the environment, soil health and for sustainability,” the team told us. “But once you’ve manufactured and packaged and shipped the products, there’s scope for more emissions. We have a chance to look at our products to say ‘our milk is carbon positive, how can we change that?’”
The company has already switched over to using green energy and is dedicated to recycling all the waste produced from manufacturing – including the water. And when it comes to merchandising, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be wearing Good Hemp goods produced from organic cotton that’s made to be recycled.
In fact, the team is well on their way to creating a zero-waste factory.
Problems they’re facing
While Good Hemp is already doing so much to become a zero-waste factory, there are problems the team is working to overcome. By the very nature of the business, Good Hemp needs plastic.
“To get onto a shelf in a retailer, your food and drink needs to have a good amount of shelf life. And to get a good amount of shelf life, you need to use a lot of plastic.”
But that’s not to say they’re not trying. The products are already packaged in recyclable plastic and the snack bars are wrapped in a compostable film. They’re also working closely with retailers in order to find the best possible solutions to this conundrum.
The team at Good Hemp is always looking for improvement. In fact, they’re in the midst of conducting their first ever impact report to see just how ‘good’ they really are. But they’re also all too aware of the costs this brings – something they’re looking to avoid.
“Often with these things, there’s a lot of money involved, which passes onto the consumer. The consumer shouldn’t pay more to have sustainable products. Our products should be accessible.”
We couldn’t agree more. Why should consumers have to pay more for sustainable choices?
“From a business point of view, you need to have all the data that you possibly can to find out where you stand and then create a roadmap from it to look at where you can improve.”
And for any wannabe eco-businessperson, Good Hemp suggests transparency – especially now, when there are plenty of companies that talk about sustainability in their marketing efforts. “It’s a good idea to have a look into the business and be honest and transparent about where you’re at. It breeds accountability for what you’re doing.”
Of course, being a newbie on the scene isn’t without its benefits! “If you’re starting out, you’re in a fortunate position where you can look at things from scratch. If you’re creating a product – whether a t-shirt or water bottle or house – you have an amazing opportunity to make the right choice when picking your suppliers.”
Wine&Something – Delivering Sustainable Wine
Wine&Something is on a mission to deliver good, affordable wine to the masses. And while that sounds like the ideal business plan, they’re also looking to make it as sustainable as possible – which is where it becomes slightly more tricky.
How they’re doing it
“Sustainability has been a keyword for a good few years now, and the awareness of such practices is increasing. It’s something that customers now actively look for when picking a supplier,” they told us. And with some of the best wines coming from the farthest reaches of the world, it suddenly becomes even more difficult to think about sustainability.
“We address the problem by using recycled and biodegradable packaging, and using partners and suppliers who have a focus on and commitment to being as environmentally friendly as possible.”
This sentiment is echoed throughout the branding and packaging offered by Wine&Something. All boxes are 100% recyclable and the paints used in any branding are water-based with no toxic elements that could leach into the environment.
The team is also selective about what vineyards they work with and buy from. They told us: “We use producers who practice low intervention in their winemaking and have a very high percentage of organic and biodynamic winemakers. Wineries are now also moving towards solar power, renewable energy and dry farming.”
Problems they’re facing
While all the wine supplied by Wine&Something is delivered in glass, which is recyclable, not all the producers choose to use recycled glass. “It’s part of an on-going discussion to encourage them to use recycled glass,” they say.
The team is also dedicated to educating buyers about how to recycle their products. Included in the packaging are recycling ideas in order to inspire customers to minimise waste as much as possible.
These tips include composting any corks and removing and recycling any screw caps from the bottles – and remembering to remove the plastic inserts first!
Much like Good Hemp, Wine&Something are aware that being sustainable can typically drive up costs. But the team has also noticed that the increased discussion about being sustainable has meant that “it is now easier to carry out business in this way”.
“We encourage any other business in and out of our industry to do their research as to how they can be more sustainable and environmentally aware. The more we do our bit, the better.”
If you’re interested in getting your eco-friendly business off the ground, but you’re not sure how to, get in touch with our team. We’re well-versed in dealing with sustainable clients, and we’re more than happy to help any business – large or small – find their feet.