Alice here – the new owner of Little Deer. It’s been a whirlwind few months but I’m absolutely loving it and have some exciting plans going forward – yay! This is my first of many planned blog posts so I hope you like it, as the subject matter is something I’m truly passionate about. It’s a little wordy I’m afraid, but hopefully informative!
Over the past three months since taking over the business, I’ve been making it a priority to change the way we source, make and pack your orders to become more environmentally friendly.
As an online only shop, all our orders are placed through our selling platforms, then created in our workshop, packed in our studio, and posted out to our customers all over the world, so sufficient packaging is extremely important. However, since the harrowing images of our plastic-filled oceans, and with Sir David Attenborough’s warnings ringing loudly in my ears, I thought It was time for some big changes.
Bubble wrap is by far the form of plastic we use the most, so this was one to tackle first. To start with, we cut out the use of bubble wrap significantly by simply using thick padding paper as an alternative wherever possible as void fill, or as a thin protective layer to protect smaller items from becoming scratched in transit. Padding paper is recyclable, biodegradable and compostable, and in many instances is an excellent alternative padding material, where we would have previously used bubble wrap. This change alone reduced our bubble wrap use by around 10%, just by consciously making more environmentally friendly choices when packing our smaller orders.
Unfortunately we aren’t able to cut out our use of bubble wrap entirely yet as it is still used to wrap our rails and other made to order furniture which we carefully hand craft, and given how much time and love goes into making these pieces we need to ensure they arrive with you in perfect, undamaged condition. However, in order to reduce our impact on the environment, we’ve switched to an oxo-biodegradable bubble wrap. This still has the robust protective quality of standard plastic bubble wrap, but breaks down in to the environment in a way that normal plastic cannot, so is significantly more environmentally friendly. But there’s more! Over the next fortnight we’re testing a new paper bubble wrap which will be trialed as a replacement to the oxo-biodegradable bubble wrap we’re currently using where possible, with the view to eventually being able to cut out our use of plastic all together. The paper bubble wrap is fully recyclable, compostable and biodegradable so watch this space!
The second change we’ve made is to our tape, which we do get through rather a lot of as every box is sealed securely once carefully packed ready for dispatch, and it’s used to secure the wrapping on rails and furniture. Originally our tape was a basic plastic packing tape which was certainly not environmentally friendly given that it couldn’t be recycled and would take thousands of years to to break down, if at all. We have swapped our plastic tape for paper tape, which is not only significantly better for our planet as it is recyclable and biodegradable, but we’ve customised it with our own branding so it also looks lovely (I’m biased of course, but hope you agree!). Although it might seem like a small change, this is one which does make a surprisingly big difference.
These are two of the biggest changes made so far, but it doesn’t stop there. I will be continuing to review our use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in all areas of the company to ensure we’re continuing to make more environmentally friendly changes, and will update you all accordingly. Most of our other packaging is already recyclable and/or biodegradable, but when we receive a delivery containing reusable packaging, we use it again where possible so you may still occasionally find plastic packaging in your order. This is to avoid waste going straight to landfill – reusing is so important and we encourage all of you to reuse and recycle your packaging.
Although we have control over how we package the products that we make ourselves, we also work with a number of other brands and we do have limited control over the packaging of their products. Therefore, you may still notice that some of those products come wrapped in a plastic layer. The next step I will be making is to contact all the brands we work with directly to find out if and how they plan to reduce their plastic production and act accordingly based on their responses. When sourcing new brands from here on, we’ll be looking to work primarily with brands who are more environmentally conscious.
If you have any questions regarding anything in this blog, or anything else for that matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch!
Lots of love,