Working To Build A Sustainable Future
Wow, what a rollercoaster of a year 2020 turned out to be! It was a bumpy old year but we made it through, in large part thanks to the support of our wonderful customers, thank you.
Amongst all of the chaos it has been a year of reflection for us, as a business. We first came into this five whole years ago now and there's no denying that it has been TOUGH on occasion, juggling a young family with a business that grew to include a physical store as well as online threw up some of the most enormous challenges. We have worked really hard across the last couple of years to smooth out operational issues. Securing a warehouse and having a proper distribution hub was a game-changer for us and we are lucky enough to have a really strong and committed team who have been nothing short of amazing during this pandemic.
And so to next steps really. Since our very inception, shortly after the birth of our first daughter, we have tried to make considered choices from purchasing through to packaging. It has always been our intention to learn as we evolve, building a business that our children would be proud of, a business that is fully sustainable.
As we continue to grow, so too does our awareness of the impact our industry has on both the environment and the people working so hard at source to produce all that we consume. The legacy of Junior Edition is really important to us and we have thought hard about what our footprint will be and how we can positively influence the future based on our decision making now.
Becoming fully sustainable is a long term goal, there are lots of hurdles to overcome and numerous areas of both our business and industry to scrutinise. It is really important to us to work with people that are transparent about their production practices and it is our aim, as soon as Spring/Summer 2022, to comfortably guarantee that everyone involved in the production of the clothing and products we sell at Junior Edition receives fair payment for normal working hours in safe working conditions.
The vast majority of our manufacturers have taken measures to guarantee their organic credentials whilst others are pioneers in bringing environmentally friendly versions of existing fabrics to market, something that we will be looking at more closely in a separate blog.
We already work with brands that are, in some cases, world leaders in sustainability whilst others, like us, continue to work hard to meet those goals. In-house we are forever tweaking procedures and processes to help bring us one step closer to being fully sustainable.
We are adapting our buying practices and shifting focus to supporting small volume artisan produced brands as well as our popular high-volume names. Brands who work incredibly closely with small teams of talented craftsmen and women, based in locations such as Nepal and Peru making the most beautiful products by hand but in much smaller quantities.
We are in the process of changing all of our packaging to reduce the reliance on single use plastic. We use only recycled cardboard boxes for larger domestic orders and for all International orders and have removed all usage of plastic tape. We are currently experimenting with recycled paper mailing bags and continue to search for that one bag that is able to combine environmental credentials with durability and water resistance - if you have any suggestions, please do let us know!
In 2017 we opened our bricks and mortar store in the heart of Brighton’s North Laine and since that time have not sent any waste to landfill. We use Paper Round to handle all of our waste which is either recycled or incinerated to generate energy.
In 2019 we expanded into a warehouse space in Newhaven's Enterprise Zone. Our unit is purpose-built and super-insulated reducing the need to heat or cool and both the warehouse in Newhaven and physical shop in Brighton use Valda to provide 100% renewable energy.
As an online retailer with significant global reach we are responsible for shipping parcels worldwide, unavoidably creating a measurable carbon footprint. We now offer the option of donating to One Tree Planted at checkout to help offset this. One Tree Planted is an environmental charity that plant trees around the world to create a healthier climate, protect biodiversity and help reforestation efforts. Since its introduction on 7th December 2020 our customers have so far donated 239 trees!
As our journey continues so does our education, whilst our commitment to becoming fully sustainable is unwavering. We fully embrace working together with our manufacturers and customers to create a brighter future for all of our children and the generations to come and will always welcome ideas and suggestions so please do get in touch in you have any.