Many of you might already be aware of our latest venture - our new shop in Sherborne!
Opening a new shop as an ethical business means that there are a lot of things that must be considered in terms of our social and environmental impact.
Being 'an ethical business' does not just mean producing and selling products that are consciously and fairly made, or using sustainable materials and practices. To be truly sustainable we need to take a 360 degree approach. We take into consideration our impact on the communities in which we operate and the natural resources we use, not just in our garments - but in our offices, stores and wider business impact, too.
When it came to the design and planning stage of the new Sherborne store there were many factors to consider - from flooring to lighting - here are just some of the conscious choices we made during the process...
We have up-cycled the beautiful original floor boards throughout the front of the shop and many of the beautiful fittings, from the brass hardware to the inlaid wood shop window flooring (above). At the rear of the store we have installed seagrass matting, a sustainable, natural fibre that is hard-wearing and once it reaches the end of its life, will naturally degrade - unlike synthetic floor coverings.
Outside, the shop has an amazing Art Deco shop front, which we have spruced up to conserve the beautiful old features. This has meant that we did not use a lot of unnecessary material and resources on the front, but revived the marble, brass and glass to bring it back to its former glory.
We have sourced ethically made and vintage wooden furniture and fixtures to dress the store and only use wooden clothes hangers to display garments. Where at all possible we have tried not to 'buy new', or have invested in pieces that we know will stay with us for a long-time and can be repurposed in future.
Setting up for sustainable business practices
One new shop, means one more facility where we need to ensure that we recycle as much as possible. We have set up dedicated recycling collection through West Dorset Council and thanks to our existing sustainable supply chain practices (we removed plastic from our packaging in 2020! ), which means our output is already extremely low.
Along with recycling, we have ensured that our energy provider is green to help us decrease our negative environmental impact and lower our carbon footprint.
Our light fittings are on timers and use energy-efficient LED lightbulbs and our operating procedures ensure all technology used in-store runs in the most economic mode and is not left on standby.
This is one we are very excited about, as it involves our own design, and perhaps a product for our future homewares collection - eco wallpaper! Our artisans in Jaipur have produced amazing wallpaper made of remnants from the fabric industry, printed using eco dyes (so cotton paper, and completely tree-free). It is the same materials our bags and tickets in-store are made of.
These are just a few of the initial steps we have made to create a sustainable retail space, as with all areas of the business our sustainable and ethical goals and practices are ever improving and evolving - feel free to email me, email@example.com if you'd like to be kept up to date with more of our sustainability news.