A large portion of The Greener Gift ethos is centered around materials sourcing. Always endeavoring to improve, these are the actions that are currently implemented
Tell me about The Greener Gift’s sustainable fabric sourcing!
We get our specialty fabrics (a food safe PVC based fabric and an absorbent zorb fabric) from a small family-owned business based in PA, which gives us (based in CT) a reduced carbon footprint. The fabrics are woven in the USA and Canada, where the small family-owned factory can offer us insight into their ethics and working conditions. The PVC fabric is produced using 40% less petroleum as it uses rock salt instead, making it slightly more sustainable.
The majority of our other fabrics are secondhand, overstock and deadstock. We get them from another local family-owned business that buys cast-off fabrics, keeping all that material out of landfills!
Sometimes we need new fabric for specific interests (chickens, D&D, etc.), and then we buy only from small businesses, never big box stores (link to why to shop small info). Annnnnd, when we get fabric printed custom for us (like for our collaborations with Amelia Leonards Art!) we work with yet another family owned business in PA that prints the fabric on demand, which prevents unnecessary waste.
NOTE! If you ever see a Greener Gift fabric from a big box store, you can trust that we
got it from a secondhand source(either donated or purchased secondhand). Using secondhand fabric prevents demand for new material to be made.
Tell me about your sustainable, eco-friendly packaging!
- The clear cellophane bags that are sometimes used are made from wood cellulose and are backyard compostable(no special facility required- just ready to return to nature!), as are any stickers used on them, which are made from sugarcane.
- The rubber stamps we use on the packaging are made by a fellow CT small business. We use refillable ink pads, and algae based ink, which is more sustainable than typical mainstream ink products, and also dries faster.
- The Kraft paper wrap around some of the products (and the kraft paper tape) is recyclable (and was procured secondhand from a fellow small business who changed their packaging). We’re now leaning into some Kraft paper that has been procured from a factory that has been water powered since 1922 and is not only recyclable, but also recycled. You’ll see both in our lineup as we phase out the first option.
- Occasionally we’ll secure packages with hot glue. It’s stronger for shipping, though not environmentally ideal. We do purchase leftover/overstock/thrifted glue for this purpose, rather than buying new.
- Shipping materials are often re-used! Friends of The Greener Gift regularly save materials like bubble wrap from stuff they’ve gotten in the mail. They pass it on to us, and then we pass it on to you in your Greener Gift shipments!
Your product may also come in a gray poly envelope, which is designed to be re-used again, as it’s got a second adhesive built right in. The gray poly envelopes are recyclable with soft plastics (bins for soft plastics recycling can usually be found at the entrance to grocery stores).
We talk about this topic because we believe in transparency. Presently, The Greener Gift is a one-woman show. Any help that is receive is volunteered by friends and family who believe in the cause and the future of The Greener Gift. One of the main reasons that we don't have employees yet, is because we set forth from the beginning devoted to paying a decent wage and fostering a quality work environment.
The prices of our products are based on a $20/hr wage, the minimum wage in CT is $15/hr. In light of recent inflation, we are considering increasing this amount. In the meantime, this is all the more reason that we aren't hiring staff until we can pay them fairly.
When it comes to sourcing our materials, we do our best to source from small, US businesses who we hope are indeed treating their employees well and paying them fairly also. At the very least, we can guarantee, we're not sourcing our products from sweat shops like so many others in this day and age.
We are always endeavoring to improve, this is simply the current iteration of our values based business.