At Insideout we sell eco-friendly products. We try to be an eco-conscious store where we can, but sometimes it’s really hard to be and that simple fact makes me feel guilty. But it’s not through lack of wanting it and so I feel the need to explore the topic with you and to tell you why I believe it’s important for us all to take little steps.
More and more, shoppers are seeking brands and items that champion the values they believe are important; fair trade, locally produced, non-plastic, recycled, up-cycled… They look for the socially conscious mission statements and if they like what they see they’ll develop a loyalty that will see them return again and again. However, making changes to make products eco-friendly often comes with a cost and that’s not always cost that shoppers want to pay.
At Insideout we have definitely been taking small steps towards being a greener retailer. We have switched to low energy bulbs, we close our shop door in the winter to conserve energy, we have removed plastic from our own packaging. But we also take steps to challenge our suppliers into being greener with the things we choose to buy from them.
A perfect example of a tricky product and one that still hasn’t managed to find a completely eco-friendly solution is a greetings card. Cards often come in their cello packs to protect them from being over-handled and damaged on the shop-floor. These plastic cello packs were then replaced with a starch alternative, followed by a little latch label - but they’ve all had their issues and still need perfecting. But that’s what I mean - we’re taking small steps ourselves and so are our suppliers.
We’ve also swapped to paper bags rather than plastic. But despite paper being degradable, therefore better for the environment, it’s not in terms of climate change impact. Paper has a higher carbon footprint because they are much thicker than plastic bags and therefore take up so much more space. Therefore the impact is made in the transportation of those paper bags to a store like ours.
We know that many customers are looking to buy from makers and businesses that focus on sustainability across the entire supply chain. Therefore when we take on a new product we believe in questioning suppliers and challenging them on the eco-credentials. If we think they can make an affordable eco-conscious change, then we’ll say so and we’re proud to have some really good eco-friendly brands and items already on sale in the store.
For example, I use the Lemon and Rosemary Conditioner bar that we sell from Dartmoor Skin Care. I have shoulder length hair and it’s already lasted me a year! Think how many bottles of conditioner I’ve already saved from going into landfill!
A report from the World Wildlife Fund recently said that the UK uses 13.2 billion cotton buds annually and because of their small size, many of them end up in landfills or oceans where birds and sea life mistake them for food. Even after they break down into smaller plastic particles, they cause digestive issues and other health impacts in wildlife and marine life. That’s why we found and now stock this pack of 200 Bamboo Cotton Buds .
Other eco-friendly products we sell include:
We absolutely believe that sustainable purchasing, manufacturing and shipping practices should be at the forefront of every retailer’s and brand’s priorities in the coming years. Using sustainably harvested materials, recycled packaging, and efficient shipping and delivery methods is not only a responsible and forward-thinking strategy, but also a good way for us to carve out a brand loyalty with our Insideout customers.
It isn’t possible for us to do everything at once, but we hope you can see that we are trying as hard as we can and that you can hear the pitter patter of those little green feet as we do.