Eco action has never been more important and here at Joe Cool, we are continually looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Developments in materials and technology and an awareness of environmental issues are enabling the notoriously ‘un-green’ fashion and novelty industries to improve their practises.One of the most challenging areas in fashion jewellery and accessories is on the packaging front. For several years we have re-used cardboard boxes and recycled cards and bags where ever possible, however we now feel it is time to make a much greater and more concerted effort towards becoming a truly eco friendly company. Towards this end we are considering more ecological options and alternatives in all areas of our business.Recently you may have noticed a few changes; In packing and distribution, the more traditional polystyrene packing fillers previously used have been replaced with 100% biodegradable foam nuggets, bubble-wrap is now kept to a bare minimum and more often than not we are re-using existing packing which has been already used at least once. We are pursuing ‘genuine’ cellulose options for jewellery bagging to replace the high polyester content cellophane bags commonly in use. We are phasing out all plastic jewellery cards (which are themselves recyclable) and replacing them with recycled recyclable cardboard and bamboo fibre cards. You will also notice in coming weeks and months less individual bagging of jewellery and accessories where they can be packed in a way that the product is still protected and not vulnerable to damage in transportation or storage. Other eco steps we are taking include putting a new and well insulated roof on our warehouse and secondary glazing on all the windows. We have modernised the IT infrastructure, gradually upgrading our hardware to use more energy saving equipment and we are increasingly finding paperless alternatives in our everyday administration. For our buyers, what was once (and still is!) the necessity of flying economy, is now a virtue and we now use rail travel within the UK and where possible within Europe to further minimise our carbon footprint. We are constantly trying to improve upon our ordering and importing procedures to ensure that, as much as possible, we can ship goods by sea rather than use air-shipments.
In terms of the actual products we wholesale, we are increasingly turning towards natural materials such as wood, textile, shell, stone and glass but we fully appreciate that the nature of our business means there is a long and challenging way to go in achieving a product range that has truly ecological credentials. In order to try and mitigate this we always try to source jewellery and accessories which are stylish, interesting or fun in the hope that they will end up in homes across the world as firm favourites and classic pieces which will be treasured and passed on rather than ‘thrown away’.
As always, we are very keen to hear your views, suggestions and experiences. Please do get in touch with your eco ideas and feedback!