AN ETHICAL PRESENTS GUIDE FOR CHRISTMAS

AN ETHICAL PRESENTS GUIDE FOR CHRISTMAS

It’s that time of the year again, presents will be bought, exchanged and given. We want to express our love, say thank you, pamper and make loved ones feel good. We think that this a great opportunity to make a difference, why not choose something that looks good and does good? With our 50/50 Project, half of the profits go to good causes. Our first partnership is with UK Charity The Passage, when you buy a poster from the range, together, we’re helping them end homelessness. But we know that we’re not the only ones trying to make a difference, that’s why we’ve created an Ethical Presents Pinterest Board that we hope will inspire you next time you’re looking for a present. Below are the posters from our 50/50 Project plus a small sample from our  Ethical Presents Pinterest board, don’t forget to check it as we’ll keep updating it! 1. 50/50 Project Sharing 50% of the profits with homelessness charity The Passage, for sale on Etsy: 2. The Soap Co. An ethical luxury brand that employs people who are visually impaired or otherwise disabled or disadvantaged. Have a look.   3. Living Naturally. A Plant-based Laundry, Haircare & Skincare Range for sensitive skin, based on Certified Organic Herbs & Certified Organic Wild-crafted Soapnuts. More about them here.   4. Iam By Nature. The easy way to make natural products at home. 0% Preservatives. 100% Natural. Gives 1% of profits away to Find Your Feet, to help women in rural communities build a sustainable future for their families. More here.   5. Faith In Nature. “We believe in doing good for our customers. We believe in doing...
WHAT DO ROOF TILES & CARS HAVE IN COMMON?

WHAT DO ROOF TILES & CARS HAVE IN COMMON?

  If you haven’t heard the news already your answer might be nothing. That certainly would have been the case less than 15 years ago. On Friday, Elon Musk unveiled the new solar roof tiles that Tesla and Solar City are bringing to the market (Tesla is due to take over Solar City). Why will you buy a car and roof tiles from the same company? Once it’s clear that we’re talking about electric cars and solar roof tiles from Tesla, the answer seems obvious, but that wouldn’t have been the case just a couple of decades ago. After all, it was just 2001 when a computer company successfully launched and started selling what’s become the most successful mp3 music player, 2 products that on paper, you wouldn’t buy from the same company. The real questions should perhaps be, what do Tesla and Apple have in common? The answer is they both know their why. Apple believes in thinking differently, in designing products that aren’t just beautiful but also easy to use. That’s why they can be a computer shop, a music shop, a phone company and a watch company at the same time. Tesla also knows its why, they want “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”. What they believe in determines and inspires what they do, that’s why buying a car, a home battery and solar roof tiles from them presents no contradiction. Don’t get us wrong, brands are not the latest church, with followers that congregate around a shared belief blinding following their leader. Noble principles are not enough, ultimately, if your product and/or service isn’t as good or better than the...
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

The 21st day of September has been marked since 1981 by the United Nations as the International Day of Peace. You can find out more about it here: http://internationaldayofpeace.org We thought it would be nice to celebrate it with an olive branch, but with a local flavour. That’s why we chose the Robin. It would be lovely to see designers from all over the world celebrate it with birds that represent their countries, especially as birds...
PERCEIVED VALUE

PERCEIVED VALUE

    This is a great TED.com Talk from Rory Sutherland. It’s both extremely funny but drives home an important point. Marketing, branding, and advertising help large brands gain power and profits and…it works. They wouldn’t do it otherwise. Branding is about managing perceptions. Often this is a manipulative tool, as Tim Jackson puts it, we are “persuaded to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to create impressions that won’t last on people we don’t care about.“ The problem is that most marketing is selling things that are bad for us, the people who made it or the planet. We aren’t necessarily made happier by what we consume. Like a hollow chocolate egg, it tastes sweet for a short while, but soon it’s gone and we crave what’s next. Rory argues that marketing can change human behaviour by changing our perceptions of what we buy and it’s inherent value. There is real value in being good. We can change how the world works, but we need to learn from those that market/brand/advertise themselves successfully. Rory Sutherland is right to point out that in a society where we face many ethical and environmental challenges. We need to  learn to do more with less, to appreciate what we have instead of what we don’t. Doing this in a way that makes our lives richer (without perpetuating the idea that we need to accumulate an endless amount of stuff) is key. As a business, it doesn’t make sense to deplete and compromise your source of materials / ingredients for the short gain if it means you won’t have a business in the long term. As consumers, it doesn’t...
BUSINESS ADVICE FROM EINSTEIN: EXPLAIN IT TO A SIX YEAR OLD

BUSINESS ADVICE FROM EINSTEIN: EXPLAIN IT TO A SIX YEAR OLD

Albert Einstein was born 137 years ago today. He may not have been giving business advice with the quote above, but he makes a strong point. Strong brands have great trust. This trust is won by confidence. Confident brands are very good at articulating and communicating who they are, what they do and what they stand for. The real test of this is the reason for posting Einstein’s quote. You may use lots of technical jargon amongst your colleagues which gives the illusion of knowledge and understanding, but the proof of it is making yourself understood by those unused to the jargon. This fact from the National Literacy Trust might come as a bit of an eye opener (if you didn’t know it already): “Around 16 per cent, or 5.2 million adults in England, can be described as “functionally illiterate”. They would not pass an English GCSE and have literacy levels at or below those expected of an 11-year-old.” One of the best ways to make yourself understood is to tell a story. We remember stories more than any jargon, charts or statistic. The language used in a story may change slightly depending on it’s audience, but the story is essentially the same. We remember stories from our childhood more than what was written on the blackboard. If you have a brand, you need to engage with people. You need a story, a reason for what you are doing so people can believe in you. You may have an excellent product or service that you’ve developed through hard work and a lot of expertise. Expertise often comes with a great deal of jargon attached to it. If you operate in the ...
KEEP THE LORAX HAPPY

KEEP THE LORAX HAPPY

Today is Dr. Seuss birthday, a fitting day to share his wise words. Here are a few things any business can do to keep The Lorax happy: Use ‘green’ energy: we (and other 177,114 people when we wrote this post) use Ecotricity, we thoroughly recommend them, renewable energy with great customer service, what else could you ask for? Host your website with a company that uses renewable energy: we use Kualo and have no plans of going elsewhere. Plant trees while you search the web: we love Ecosia, they are the opposite of  ‘can’t find the forest for the trees’. They find everything and plant trees. Get your office supplies from a green stationery company: The Green Office have great choice, FSC? Recycled? They have it. Use a printer that’s working to minimise their impact on the environment: we’ve been using Kopykat for a number of years now, and have always been happy with the results. They hold FSC Chain of Custody, use vegetable based inks and have eliminated alcohol from their printing process among other things. Feel free to share your list below. We’ll add to ours...