GOOD ON YA – News on Companies Doing Good Stuff

Introducing NZ Store Tummah Ethical Trade #Fairtradefortnight

We’re pleased to kick off Fairtrade Fortnight by introducing you to one of NZ’s online clothing stores at the forefront of doing good business. Tummah Ethical Trade is an online clothing website that operates within the values of honesty, decency and fairness.

In their own words, integrity acts as an anchor for the business. In fact, the unique name “Tummah”, translates as the Biblical Hebrew word for integrity. The website stocks products that have been certified both Fairtrade and Organic; allowing shoppers to browse easily, online and guilt-free. Categories listed on the website include Accessories, Men’s Clothing, Women’s Clothing and even sports equipment.

Here at Ecomailbox, we understand that living in the 21st century, being conscious about shopping decisions isn’t always easy. However, Tummah Ethical Trade is making this possible. We commend this business, not only for working with sincerity but for their wholehearted effort to provide New Zealanders with an opportunity to shop with sincerity. Ecomailbox had the pleasure of talking with Founder, Caleb Morris, about how and why Tummah Ethical Trade does what they do.

How did Tummah Ethical Trade begin – how did this business get started? 

We began a personal journey ourselves of discovering what values and ethics we wanted to support with items we purchased. Initially, friends introduced us to the idea and benefits of choosing organic foods. From there, we went deeper and when the time came to purchase clothing again, we decided that we wanted to choose Fairtrade clothing. Buying items are so much more than merely consuming. When it came to trying to source these Fairtrade clothing options, we found it difficult in New Zealand. There was no Fairtrade underwear available, and the clothing options were more in the designer line and hence, fairly expensive. Everyday affordable ethical options did not really exist, so we decided to do something about it, and make Fairtrade clothing more accessible to the ever-increasing movement of those conscious consumers.

Here at Ecomailbox, we have so much respect for businesses that do good. What was the motivation behind stocking fair-trade and organic clothing?

When there is a choice between conventional fashion and Fairtrade certified fashion, then the decision is a no brainer. Fairtrade is about more than just a fair price. It’s about ensuring the livelihood of farmers and factory workers in the manufacturing process; whilst also supporting the communities they are a part of. The motivation isn’t about making ourselves appear morally superior, it’s more than the other option simply isn’t okay. Effectively with conventional fashion, we are saying as consumers that we are okay for farmers to be exposed to harsh chemical or workers to face horrendous working conditions, just so we can get a shirt for a few dollars less.

Our motivation for choosing Fairtrade and organic is simply – because it is better for the farmer, the manufacturer, and the consumer who wears the product. Simply put, it’s better for everyone!

What are the key messages you would like potential shoppers to understand about Tummah Ethical Trade?

We exist to make Fairtrade organic clothing more accessible and affordable for all New Zealanders. Consumers need to understand that our products are never going to be cheap as some places, that’s simply not possible. Those clothes are so cheap because of one glaring reason. Although we aren’t a not-for-profit business, our margins are low. Tummah Ethical Trade is a labour of love, not the next big money-making enterprise.

What challenges having you faced whilst working for Tummah Ethical Trade?

Firstly, this business is completely funded out of our own pockets, and we are just your average everyday young couple. As mentioned above, it has been a labour of love to get this off the ground. However, once we had the dream for this we just had to do it, there was no turning back.

One thing we have struggled a bit with is getting our name out there. Further, trying to get people on board with the Fairtrade movement has not been easy, as a lot of people shop solely on price and will not actually investigate what the Fairtrade difference even is. In saying that, everyone we’ve worked with has responded positively and been very supportive of what we are doing.

Finally, we are targeting ‘conscious consumers’. Consumers who think about their purchases, and do not buy willy-nilly all the time. Therefore, a loyal customer for us may only purchase something every few months, instead of every couple of weeks as at other fashion stores.

What are some goals for the future of Tummah Ethical Trade?

We would love to be able to bring in new brands to offer a more comprehensive range to consumers. Included in this would be the introduction of children’s clothing, which should be starting very soon. However, we, unfortunately, do not have the equity at the moment to really expand our range. Another dream would be to have a brick and mortar store! This would be a fantastic opportunity to introduce and educate more people about Fairtrade, through foot traffic of everyday shoppers. Ultimately, we want to introduce more people to the benefits of ethical clothing, and begin a change in the New Zealand market. To ensure that products stocked in New Zealand are made by workers who are making a decent living.

What’s the one piece of advice you would hope for readers to take away from this article?

Don’t be discouraged or feel guilty if it takes a time to get started. Yes, it can seem like it will cost a lot to switch to ethical clothing, but if you are choosing a wardrobe more consciously, then the cost will even out. When you treat clothing as an investment rather than a consumable – and actually get the full life out of the products – then the quality of Fairtrade organic clothing will begin to shine through over time. Also, you get the health benefits of organic clothing, as you are no longer exposed to the harsh chemicals that remain in the fabric of conventional clothing. Even trying to buy less from fast fashion stores so they aren’t getting your money and therefore your vote is a great step in the right direction.

“It’s about starting to ask questions before you purchase: do I know who made this, how they were treated, how long it will last, and whether I will actually wear it a lot?”

Good On Ya, Tummah Ethical Trade! ☺ Shop their beautiful range here 

Plastic Free July All Year Round With Honeywrap

Plastic Free July is all wrapped up, with businesses, community groups and individuals having taken part in the plastic-free pledge. However, thanks to eco-friendly businesses like Honeywrap, making the lifestyle switch from plastic to plastic free alternatives for every month of the year couldn’t be  easier.  The cling film alternative  started off simply as a school project, where three Kiwi mums (Tara, Jo, and Amy) discovered the unique tackiness of beeswax blended fabric. With plastic wrap being a household kitchen staple, one which many use daily, Honeywrap is a great solution to cutting down on our plastic consumption. Honeywrap is a natural cloth wrap, handmade in New Zealand, from 100% organic cotton, beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin. The reusable food wrap, is eco-friendly, keeps your food fresher for longer, and is the perfect waste-free companion for lunchboxes and last-night’s leftovers. Honeywrap is built off the environmental principles of reduce, reuse, and recycle- from the process of production, to the compostable disposable properties at the end of its life cycle. We had the pleasure of chatting to Jo from Honeywrap about the business and their involvement in the Plastic Free movement.

1) As a plastic alternative, it must be exciting for Honeywrap to be part of a plastic free movement; what impact do you think Honeywrap has on individuals and their environmental consciousness?

We feel like using Honeywraps is an easy way to be part of the move to reduce single use plastic.  Some of our designs really appeal to kids so they love having their lunch wrapped in them.  Other designs appeal to adults and they really brighten up a bbq table or picnic.  This makes using Honeywrap a fun way to reduce plastic waste.  People always like to hear that using a Honeywrap saves up to 75 metres of plastic going into landfill or the ocean.

2) Other than being a plastic-free product in itself, how does Honeywrap reduce plastic consumption in other areas of the business?

For every part of the process involved with making Honeywraps the potential impact on the environment is a priority in helping us to make decisions.  All orders sent out both to individuals and stockists are packaged in recyclable cardboard or paper envelopes.

3) How have you and your family’s been involved in plastic free July at home?

It’s been school holidays for the last couple of weeks – so we’ve had a few outings to cafes/restaurants and we have made a real effort to say “no straws, thanks” when ordering drinks for the kids.  It’s quite hard to remember to request this – but once you’ve done it a few times it becomes a habit.

4) What are your favourite everyday uses for Honeywrap’s?

Can’t go past the kids sammies! But I’m an avocado lover and Honeywraps are great over avocado’s too.

5) Plastic free July is just one step closer to committing to a sustainable lifestyle change; what recommendations would you give to people in how they can reduce their plastic?

Start with one thing.  If you are still forgetting to take your own plastic bags to the supermarket – resolve to never do this again. Or if you find yourself regularly getting take away coffee – buy a Keep Cup and leave it by your purse so you never forget it when you’re walking out the door.

6) What is next for Honeywrap – Any future plans?

We are starting to offer more products on our website to encourage people to reduce their single use plastic. Things that we use and love like Keepcups and metal straws.  Also, we have some beautiful new designs being released in September – ready for people buying Honeywraps for Christmas presents!

 

On behalf of Ecomailbox, Good on Ya Honeywrap! Thank you for providing a plastic-free alternative, making reducing plastic consumption in our lives easier. Special offer for our readers 20% of Honeywrap products until the end of August 2017 with the code ECM20

Shop Honeywrap direct from their website here https://www.honeywrap.co.nz/

BEES UP TOP “Bringing Bees to Urban Spaces”

Word on the street is that there are new bees in town. Rescued bees are being re-housed in urban edens with thanks to Jess and Luke and their beehive rental business, BEES UP TOP.  Established in 2016, the Auckland based dynamic duo have combined their passion and knowledge for beekeeping in creating their business. Their bees aren’t just any bees, but ones which have been saved from extermination and given a new buzz of life. They work with you to ensure you have the knowledge and assistance in ensuring your bees are happy and healthy. Jess and Luke will also do the sticky job of extracting the honey for you, while your job is simply to decide what to do with your honey; keep it for yourself or to gift it. BEES UP TOP also gives back by providing a free beehive to schools with every ten hives that are purchased.  Through seeing the hives in action the students learn about the necessity of bees for our ecosystem; and that they are our friends, not our foes.

Ecomailbox had the pleasure of chatting to Jess about BEES UP TOP:

What inspired you to start up BEES UP TOP?

We have both been urban beekeepers for the past four and a half years. The more we learnt about bees the more we became very concerned by the decline of them and the importance of them as pollinators. We think that rooftops are such unutilized spaces in Auckland. They are great for bees because they are out of sight of vandals and the bees cannot upset neighbours, kids or pets.

What else does BEESUPTOP do?

We put beehives into schools for free because we want kids to learn about bees, not to be scared of them.  We plant bee friendly plants because as New Zealand gets more bees the food source is becoming scarce.

What impact do you think BEES UP TOP has on the community?

A good one! It brings awareness of the importance of keeping our little workers around and shows you how you can help even if you don’t have bees.

What other innovative and eco projects have you seen going on in the community?

For the Love of Bees – A collaboration to make Auckland city the safest city in the world for bees.

What is next for BEES UP TOP?

We are looking for businesses that would like a fully maintained beehive on their rooftop. They are great for cafes because the café can then use the honey in recipes or sell it to customers. It’s exciting for businesses too because they are doing something right for the environment and they get to watch the bees grow.

Here at Ecomailbox we strive to be a sustainable and environmentally friendly business, what are your top sustainable tips to look after our planet we live in?

Weeds provide food for bees. Dandelions are one of the first flowers to bloom in Spring and they are full of pollen for the bees! Please don’t pull weeds.

Good On Ya BEES UP TOP, we really think what you are doing is the bee’s knees. We wish you the best of luck for the future success of your business. Follow their journey and see how you can get involved or get businesses you know involved with their work. Bees Up Top Website  Instagram & Facebook

-Samantha Ritchie