The Four Pillars of Sustainability
What does authentic sustainable packaging look like to us?
We know that authentic sustainability is more than just ticking a few boxes, and promoting them alone. The concept of sustainability is represented by 4 distinct areas, Human, Social, Environmental and Economic, and it’s the balance of these, that SammyBags is seeking to achieve.
Let’s take a few minutes to unpack what these areas are and how SammyBags is attempting to balance them.
This focuses on nurturing and improving the human component of a business.
If you’re reading this, you probably know of our story (which can be read here). Sammy, Pieta and I genuinely want the best for each other. We’re committed to unconditionally supporting and empowering each other on this journey called life. The way that SammyBags first and foremost achieves this is that the ownership structure is equally divided among ourselves. Secondly, we look for opportunities to invest in our wellbeing and learning with the aim of upskilling and personal development.
The intention here is to support and invest in the development of a healthy and fair society.
We achieve this by giving a portion of every reusable bag sold to support mental health in our community. This is usually expressed in the form of care packages to at-risk-youth who attend local programmes or schools. We also come into contact with individuals privately who are struggling, and extend our care packages to them as well. The other way in which Sammybags is benefiting society is with the products themselves. Our sustainable packaging products are designed to replace single use packaging with zero waste alternatives. They enable individuals to take ownership of their impact and participate in a zero waste lifestyle. This in turn helps businesses save money by reducing the amount of packaging they need to buy. What was once an expense, for those businesses, is now converted into a retail opportunity, and becomes part of their sustainability story.
This is about conducting business in a way that not only doesn’t harm the environment, but conserves and protects it.
We starting by sourcing the best washable paper, accredited by OEKO-TEX® (which tests for harmful substances), and is a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved product. From there we design, cut, print and sew all of our bags under-one-roof in Christchurch, New Zealand. We minimise our waste, save all of our scraps and use them for the washers needed for the fasteners. We use r3pack home compostable courier bags to deliver orders. For large wholesale orders, we reuse cardboard boxes that we save from being recycled by our other business, Pilgrim. The products eliminate single-use-packaging, thereby reducing the amount of energy, carbon emissions, money and waste, essentially going to landfill.
This is when a business can grow and create prosperity that provides something of value to society without causing harm.
In order for Sammybags to be profitable, we’re dependent on a large scale behavioural shift led by the grassroots. The early adopters will appreciate that our products will reduce waste, save money, and conserve resources. We’re committed to making environmentally and socially conscious choices now and in the future. We will continue to partner with like-minded businesses to bring about change and share accountability. We desire to be challenged so that we might to do things in a better way. Ultimately, we are looking at diversifying in terms of products and materials to provide an extra layer of economic sustainability.
So as you can see, there’s more to it than just the packaging alone when it comes to genuine sustainability and sustainable packaging. We would love to hear from you regarding our statement above and any feedback you might have. Please use the contact form here.
David, Sammy & Pieta – The SammyBags Team.