PACKAGING FOR OUR PLANET

An update from Namaste UK

Ethical • Hand Crafted • Eco Friendly

Namaste supports ethically made Fair Trade products, created with the least possible environmental impact. All goods are carefully sourced from eco-friendly, naturally sustainable and recycled materials wherever possible. A large majority of the goods we sell fall into this category and we are aiming to increase this all the time.

Naturally, we want to package those goods with equal consideration for the planet.

At Namaste we have been taking action against our consumption of plastic.

We have stopped using plastic bags to protect the items we sell (unless there is currently absolutely no alternative available and if the plastic is absolutely essential) and instead are challenging our suppliers to look at other alternatives. Where possible goods are now being wrapped in recycled paper or environmentally friendly Fair Trade Lokta paper from Nepal, cotton or recycled materials to protect them from damage and keep them clean.

We are encouraging the use of corrugated paper/card and corrugated corners to protect more fragile items. At present, a minimal use of bubble wrap or polystyrene may still be necessary to stop some products getting broken but rest assured we are looking at alternatives for this also and we are trialling alternatives.

Some of these changes will take a while to filter through, as we keep substantial stock quantities in our warehouse. For new orders we place, this process is easier and these will be the ones you notice first.

Where plastic use is still necessary, we support a circular system where existing plastic is kept in the economy and out of the environment. We will remove any plastic necessary to protect the shipment of goods from supplier to Namaste and we already recycle all plastics.

We have been using recycled boxes for packing your orders for 20 years and will continue to do so.

We also recycle cardboard and paper by shredding it on site and we use this for extra packaging where needed.

What we’re doing:

We’ve introduced a highly restricted use of plastic on our products. Where it’s deemed absolutely necessary, we insist keeping its use to a minimum and insist, wherever possible that plastic from recycled sources or plastic that is possible to be recycled is used (or both).

Our suppliers are actively trialling suitable eco friendly alternatives to plastic and polystyrene across our 1000+ product range

Methods such as corrugated recycled paper corners for furniture protection, are being assessed and trialled.

Fair and Bare. Goods like throws, rugs and some clothing will have no packaging at all. They’re simply being rolled and secured with eco-friendly jute string.

Small, delicate items are being wrapped in recycled paper and card rather than bubble wrap.

We are working closely with our network of 80+ suppliers in managing improvements and reaching the highest possible environmental standards. We are asking all suppliers for an updated environmental policy.

We have always avoided air-freight wherever possible and always try to ship full container loads in the largest containers available in order to minimise carbon emissions.

We do face particular challenges in that Fair Trade goods are often made in home or workshop or small village based craft units or factories and then transported to the packing site. They need to be protected against dirt, dust, insects, rain, high humidity and multiple handling/transport.

The goods then need to be protected for their journey to the port and for the packing to be weatherproof and robust and long lasting enough for the goods to arrive at Namaste, be stored for long periods of time and then handled again, distributed and delivered undamaged to our customers.

We need to minimise our environmental impact but the goods we buy also need to be undamaged and to be presented attractively once they do finally reach the customer. These need not be mutually exclusive objectives and we do believe we can achieve both but we need to achieve this in a way that does not put our suppliers at risk and does not lead to unnecessary price rises or damaged goods.

Given the huge range of Namaste products and our own small team, there is no instant remedy to all of the environmental challenges we face. This process will take some time but we are relishing the challenge and making good progress and we remain positive.

We want to look after our fragile planet but we also need to work with our suppliers to find alternatives that work for the environment, our suppliers and our customers.

We really value ideas and comments, from our customers so we can work together on finding ways to reduce our impact on the environment.

Please send your suggestions, photos, links to websites or samples of packaging ideas to susan@namaste-uk.com or sam@namaste-uk.com. Alternatively give us a call or visit us at our showroom to discuss packaging ideas.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Namaste Management and Team