March 26, 2022
Over the past 12 months, we have worked hard trying to eradicate all harmful packaging from the Mr Ralph range. While we are not quite there yet, we are implementing action plans that will get us there.
We introduced paper packaging in 2021, and now 80% of our packaging is paper. This works beautifully for smaller fragile items, but shipping very large fragile items is always a challenge. To combat this, we have heavily invested in paper moulds which are still in the trial and error phase - although we have had some great successes.
Where we still need to use Polystyrene for protection in the courier service for fragile items, we include a card detailing the local Expol polystyrene drop-off points. It is our goal to eradicate all polystyrene packaging use by 2023.
We reuse and re-purpose as much as we can. Our packaging may not look pretty, but it’s made from re-purposed materials, which allows our customers to put it out with their household recycling.
Regarding glass rejects, we have a Taranaki artist who makes regular trips to re-purpose these into art pieces. In our Paeroa Warehouse, we have lots of excess paper mouldings, packaging etc, which go out to local schools (Tamariki Station, Goldfields School, Karangahake School), and the kids use them for art projects.
Lighting inherently has a long-life cycle, and we plan to reinvent many vintage items this year to continue the life of these beautiful objects by rewiring and reinvigorating them. By ensuring that the pieces we produce are top quality, we provide a long life cycle for the product.
We have a mix of imported lighting and locally made lighting products. Our locally made pieces are increasing all the time. We are proud to stock Mat Macmillan in Tauranga, Light Studio in Wellington, Shady Lady in Wellington, and Variant in Christchurch. The newest addition to the collection is beautiful recycled old Rimu pendants made locally in Cambridge. We are also working with a design company in Raglan to produce a range made there.
Where we import glass or rattan, we ensure that ethical work practices exist as much as we can. Our founder, Rachel, travels to these locations, and this is our most significant criteria for dealing with a manufacturer.
This is part of the next chapter for us. We are a small NZ business with only 16 staff, but as we progress into 2022/23, our goal is to begin looking at ways to measure this.