In a quest to become an ethical and sustainable business, designer and founder of First Base, Alison Cotton is conscious about the decisions she makes when it comes to her business. As a business owner in the fashion industry, Alison is aware of the impacts business has on the environment. To combat this, Alison starts at the heart of her business and has implemented practices to make her workplace more ethical and sustainable.
1. Know your supply chain.
If you’re producing a product the only way to make sure you are producing responsibly is by asking the right questions to the right people. Know where your product is made and by whom, with what resources and where they come from. Take control and open your eyes to what is going on in your supply chain, from there you can make socially responsible choices!
2. Go paperless OR choose recycled paper.
We go paperless where ever we can but if we can’t we only use recycled paper, including all our packaging, swing tags, printing paper and even tissues and toilet paper! A bit more costly but not in the broader sense of the environment!
3. Rechargeable batteries.
We only use rechargeable batteries now. Way more cost effective and far less wasteful that then regular kind.
4. Go for chemical free cleaning products.
We only use chemical free products in the office to help reduce the pollutants getting pushed back out into the environment.
5. Recycle your ink cartridges.
There’s so many recycling options now for cartridges throwing them in the bin is not really OK.
6. Be power conscious.
We always turn off all lights, computers and anything we can from the power point. It’s a small power saving but it all adds up.
7. Have guidelines.
We have a Sustainable and Ethical Practices Manual that we have created for the office. It’s an ever evolving document but helps keep us on track and also educates our interns and new staff members about the way we do things and why. It’s a great tool to get everyone on the same page and to make sure standards are met.
8. Never take no for an answer.
Producing responsibly and in a more sustainable way can be far more complicated than the alternative. But it’s absolutely worth it. Keep pushing, keep asking questions, keep making positive changes and never take no for an answer.