Transparency in Business, & Why Consumers Should Demand More

Transparency is good in business and we should want more of it!
I think transparency is very important when we, as consumers, are trying to choose brands and businesses which we believe in. It's can be so hard, to just even find out if they are local, where they are based, or if they value recyclable packaging over plastic packaging *sigh*
I want to encourage small businesses & brands to be more transparent and honest. Not everything about your business can be perfect or finished and that's okay! We all have goals that we can work towards. So I'll start with my own small business ------------

When I started Sublime Clouds, it was very important to me to be as eco friendly as possible. I want to buy from brands that value our world and create a brand that does too. I didn't realise how hard this would be! 
I started with prioritizing local suppliers and businesses as this reduces the carbon footprint of my products. This became more difficult as a grew, but not impossible and I found that we don't really make anything here in Britain anymore, everything is outsourced. But the quest went on! My prints, postcards, affirmation cards, wrapping paper are all made here by indie printers/ small suppliers #sharethelove #shopsmall. My sticky notes are made in Europe and  Washi tape supplier, who is based in Hong Kong and China. It is my goal to move this closer to home by 2025.
Next on my list was paper. I use all FSC certified paper which means it is responsibly sourced and the trees are not cut down without planning & approval. This is quite common practice as most paper suppliers in the UK use FSC certified papers which is great! (Great to also support other UK businesses who have good responsible practices too). Using recycled paper is also an option which I jumped on and once I found a UK supplier which produced good quality recycled paper I was so happy, meaning I could switch all my postcards to recycled paper. YAY! My prints & wrapping paper were already made with recycled paper, along with my business cards and thank you cards you receive in all your beautiful orders. As with all these things, choosing recycled/eco friendly options comes at a cost. It is more expensive to me. However, as I grow and order my product, instead of making more profit per unit (as ordering in higher volumes means cheaper products), I will move to the eco friendly option. This stage is different for different products.
Packaging - this was harder than I'd have imagined. As I sell paper goods, most people believe everything should be in plastic packaging but I have proved many wrong. All of my packaging is plastic free as I have chosen the paper alternatives. For example, tissue paper wrapping for each item rather than plastic or I use transparent & patterned paper bags for my stickers rather than plastic sleeves. I also think this makes it look much prettier. I use washi tape to seal all my packages as this is the paper alternative to Sellotape, win win. In addition, I don't use any plastic stickers or jiffy bags for my decoration. Additionally, I requested that the washi tape I manufacturer does not come in plastic shrink wrap, instead it is wrapped in paper.
I find it disheartening and frustrating when my suppliers use unnecessary amounts of plastic which I cannot refuse, reuse or recycle. If a supplier had a commitment to less plastic, this would be a major reason for me change suppliers. I always will take steps to lessening the plastic the whole way through the supply chain as it is so important. After all, if their customers (us the business owners) don't want plastic, they too will take steps away from plastic use. This bring me right back to transparency. Sharing more of the businesses position on such issues allows the consumer to understand their products journey and have an opinion on it.
I hope you found this helpful and useful to read. I am committed to my sustainable journey. It's not the easiest option but definitely the most valuable. I believe it is brands and businesses (however big or small) to make it easy for the consumer. Easy to buy good products with thought of the planet.


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