Living in harmony with our environment is one of the most important issues of our time. At Better World Arts we do our best to be environmentally responsible and leave a minimal carbon footprint, by actively minimising our waste production and prioritizing the environmental impact of both the production and distribution of our cross-cultural products.
Better World Arts seeks to continuously integrate environmental considerations into our business activities. We consider environmental, social, cultural and economic factors in all strategic decisions.
Here are the following ways in which we currently implement our desire to tread as lightly as possible:
Traditional handicrafts were developed before high polluting industrial processes, so are inherently environmentally sustainable. The Better World Arts cross-cultural products are handmade and created by artisans that generally have a limited electrical supply and are still living a traditional village lifestyle.
- The chain-stitch cushions and rugs from Kashmir, are created by groups of artisans in their home based workshops using natural lighting. Once the wool is hand dyed using vegetable based dyes, the chain-stitch is individually applied onto the hand loomed cotton backing. There are no electricity or industrial processes used in the manufacture process. This work is ideal in the remote regions of Kashmir where the electricity supply is intermittent at best.
- Lacquerware is a renowned Kashmiri handicraft and the Better World Arts papier-mâché items are predominately made from recycled paper. The items are created using only hand tools, such as wooden paddles and burnishers. The paint applied is water based and the lacquer is made using natural resins. The wooden lacquerware bangles are cut and turned using traditional hand turned lathes.
- Shanti Niketan (House of Peace) is a place in West Bengal that conceived a significant revival in traditional leather crafts. The pressing, embossing and stitching is undertaken using low-impact, hand held technology and all the painting is individually done by hand.
- The hemp rugs are hemp on a cotton weft cotton base. Hemp is a highly durable material that is beneficial to the environment because it is a fast growing renewable resource which uses minimal water and does not require pesticides.
- The new range of screen printed and embroidered cushions are created using organic cotton and water based inks, along with handstitched wool chain-stitch.
At Better World Arts we seek to reduce our environmental impact throughout the supply chain until our beautiful products rest in their new home.
Printed brochures and stationery products are produced by Finsbury Green, a multi-award winning company that has a keen focus on being carbon neutral. They operate under the best practice ISO14001:2004 Environment Management Systems certification, which measures and monitors all production impacts.
- We use recycled packaging as much as possible. Our wholesale orders are sent out using recycled boxes that we collect from various sources. Some local businesses keep their packaging for us.
- We use ‘green energy’ electricity as offered by our service supplier.
- Staff are enabled to work from home where possible; negating the need to commute daily and a number of staff are keen cyclists.
- Effects of transport pollution are considered and we use slow, but lower impact sea freight to receive our cross-cultural products.
- We strive towards paperless office principles, helped digitally by email and online shopping.
- Steps towards waste reduction includes using recycled paper, contributing to the reduction of landfill in producer countries, actively promoting recycling in the office, and avoiding excess plastic packaging around products.
- Environmental sustainability is one of the 10 Standards of Fair Trade. Better World Arts has fulfilled this accreditation assessment and is an endorsed Fair Trader of Australia.
We have recently introduced a new range of products that don't reproduce Aboriginal images, but insetad use images of Australian animals and flowers, and animal print patterns from endangered species. Royalties from the sale of these products are paid to environmental organisations. Cushions are the first items in this range and as funds and time allow, we will move into other product lines as well.