Like many people, we are parents. Our life values are reflected in the world we will pass on to our children.
We are retailers in a country known for out-of-control comsumerism and wastefulness. How can we best serve both the needs of our customers and also the needs of the planet?
A couple of years ago, taking a course on "Voluntary Simplicity" with the Northwest Earth Institute helped to explore ways to make work green.
We are committed to minimizing our footprint in the ecosphere:
We use recycled paper, print on both sides, and then recycle it again when we are done.
We have an agreement with a local business who saves minimally used boxes for us. We try to ship in a used box whenever possible to save on trees.
We buy sustainably. We not only look for eco-friendly natural fiber products to carry, but also buy them locally whenever possible. Some of our fiber comes from a local group of spinners and farmers. Our wool core fiber comes from Mennonite farms. We buy many of our cotton fabrics from suppliers in North America - even if it costs a little more than overseas, less petroleum is used in transport, to say nothing about preserving jobs.
When we moved into a larger commercial space, we set the goal of completely outfitting it with only used and recycled goods. It turned out to be an adventure, scouting companies that reclaim nice, but used office furniture, the local recycling center, Craig's list, a store that was closing and had fixtures to sell. Habitat for Humanity's "ReStore" turned out to be a neighbor, and was a rich source for everything from cabinets to electrical outlets. We ended up completely outfitting the store with all recycled goods save for some wood for a storage shelving unit and two wood doors for a cutting table surface.
In the office, reduce, reuse, and recycle is a daily practice. Keeping the windows open in the summer pretty much eliminates the need for air conditioning, and keeping the thermostat down in the winter and dressing warmly has become second nature.
Many of our customers express that it is important to them that the places they shop at care about our planet. After all, striving to become ever more conscious about how we live and work is an expression of loving our families and communities.