Sustainability has been at the forefront of everything we do at Spacecraft and in 2021 we joined the Taupo District Council's Resource Wise Business Programme. In the first year an audit showed we were diverting 84% of our waste from going to landfill. Over the past year we have been working hard to improve what we do instore and with the partners we work with. This year we have completed our second audit and to our delight we have improved our systems and we are now diverting 98% of our waste from going to landfill. Yay!!
Asking Suppliers To Cut Down on Waste
We continue to work with our suppliers to change and reduce the packaging they use on shipments we receive and many are now using compostable bags or eco friendly packing. For some we have had to make the hard decision to stop doing business with them - there was just too much bad packaging used and they weren't willing to look at alternative ways of doing things.
As part of our purchasing policy we have a number of sustainability criteria that are gone through when taking on and working with suppliers and we are constantly assessing supplier practices. It is important for us to understand where our products come from and the materials and practices used in making them. We are committed to working with suppliers who put innovation, change and sustainable practices at the forefront of what they do.
Here's a taste of the new suppliers we have taken on in the last few years:
- BOP company, Special Studio creates items that are 3D printed from recycled plastic. They are working on technology whereby they can receive back their items, break them down and reprint them into a new object.
- NZ based handbag designer, Duffle & Co, are B Corp certified and create handbags and wallets from offcuts, recycled leathers and Pinatax (a leather created from Pineapples).
- Clothing company Afends, from Australia, designs and manufactures clothes from Hemp, recycled cotton and organic cotton.
- NZ company ReCreate, employs women from the slums of Cambodia and are committed to providing fair and empowering employment to their sewing team. This company has a huge social focus, providing employment, health benefits, training and education to marginalised women in Cambodia. They operate with a soft footprint using circular design. Their goal is to help 1000 women live a life of dignity and without poverty.
And, of course, where possible we also reuse a lot of the packaging, cardboard and plastic bags we receive, and recycle the rest, which makes a big difference to cutting our waste going to landfill.
Improved Waste Management Station
Some of the changes have included creating a new waste management station under the counter - where rubbish, soft plastics and paper/cardboard can be sorted throughout the day, improving efficiencies and helping to prevent the wrong things going in the wrong places.
Recycling Soft Plastics Programme
We have also found an avenue to recycle soft plastic received from supplier shipments, through the Countdown programme. These soft plastics are processed by a company in Auckland, which converts the soft plastics collected into plastic fence posts and a Levin company, which converts the soft plastics into garden edging and cable covers.