Here’s an interview we did with author, stand up comedian, blogger and generally awesome individual Lizzie McKie, where we shared some of the things we currently do to increase sustainability and environmental credentials when running our small business. Do feel free to comment and share an ideas you might have, we are constantly looking at ways to improve our practices.
Looking at Sustainability in small business.
It’s January and Little Legs Baby Kilts is looking forward to the coming year and working on ways to improve and expand the business. After the consumer extravaganza of Christmas and as the business grows, thoughts are turning to sustainability and environmental concerns. With this in mind we’ve got a post on sustainability and the small business according to Little Legs Baby Kilts.
Last year Little Legs introduced a new service of offering offcuts and remnants for sale to customers. What gave you the idea for this?
Many of our customers are creative themselves and I wanted to be able to do something with the offcuts of the kilt making process. In many cases the tartan are not readily available, and in the interests of reducing waste I wanted to offer customers an affordable way to purchase their own family tartan in small quantities.
What have you learned about your customers from their creations?
Well, it’s the variety of projects that has been a surprising bonus. It’s great to see what customers have decided to create. So much so that Little Legs has started a regular feature of customer’s creations called The Friday Crafting Series. It can be found on our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/littlelegsbabykilts/
What are the other sustainability benefits of operating a small business?
I run the business from my workshop at home which cuts out the upkeep of another premises and the doubling up on heating and electricity. There is also the elimination of commuting and associated pollutions that brings.
How does Little Legs reduce it’s carbon footprint?
All our tartans are sourced from UK, so nothing is travelling the world to get to us. In addition we have a preference for Scottish mills wherever possible.
You’ve outlined what you do with larger offcuts but is there any other waste in the production of your products?
We’re very resourceful in how we reuse offcuts. We use them to make smaller homewares, as stuffing in our tweed hearts or they are donated to local schools, nurseries for crafts. You can see some of the younger crafters creations here:
How else do you promote green practices?
We currently reuse cardboard and plastic packaging but we are looking at ways to reduce plastic usage. The cardboard bolts which our fabric comes wrapped in are reused as paint boards by a local artist, and we have introduced a biodegradable polythene for the (rare) occasions it’s required. We still use plastic postage bags because there is a trade off between it arriving safe (and not wet) and being environemnetally conscious, we haven’t quite come up with the ideal solution to this yet. We’d welcome comments from customers about whether they’d prefer biodegradable postage bags (grey – not pretty) as opposed to plastic postage bags (nice and colourful) or whether they have some other ideas?
Anything else you’d like to add on sustainability?
Yes, we’d like our customers to know it’s something we are constantly reassessing as new products and services become available. If you’d like to get in touch with any questions or ideas we’d love to hear from you! Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org