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  • Sourcing British

    Sourcing British

    There is so much noise about sustainability at the moment, it can be hard to sort the truth from the greenwash. One of the big issues, we think, is how often the impacts of shipping are overlooked when it comes to sustainable retail. 

    As Aerende grows we receive more and more enquiries from groups around the world interested in making products for us.  And yes, many of them have bigger, faster and cheaper production times than the people we work with in the UK. 
    But stocking products from overseas brings immense problems from an environmental (and transparency) perspective. 
    As a do-no-harm company, it doesn’t make sense for us to increase our carbon footprint in pursuit of growth. We’re interested in alternative economic models (especially doughnut economics - do look it up) and exploring how Aerende can develop without causing more harm to the world. And that means fewer air miles as a starting point. 
    We see other interior companies talking about sustainable items while also stocking products from abroad and actively seeking out global sales. A lot of business advice says we should be doing the same. After all, we have a compelling story that international customers are interested in and, of course, being online means we end up in front of people who don’t only live here in the UK.  But where is the sustainability in shipping in products on gas guzzling longhaul flights, only to ship them out again, sometimes to customers in the same place of origin? Is it just us that thinks that seems nuts? 
    We don’t want to be global. Our commitment to locality is enshrined in our name (an Olde English word that means care or message) and in everything do.There are enough customers here in the UK to keep us going. At times we have been so militant about this, we've even deliberately avoided certain hashtags to signify our commitment to marketing only within the UK. recently, things have loosened up a bit and we will send some items to customers abroad though we sometimes wonder if we should direct them to a similar product made closer to where they leave. 
    If this attitude loses us a sale or two, I’m OK with that. Running a shop is not an ethical thing to do. So we need to do things properly and with intention. I’m interested in what you think though. Have you ever wondered about the origins of your sustainably labelled product? Or thought about the environmental impact of getting that product into your hands?
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