Having attended BETA, Horse of the Year Show, and Olympia, one of the lasting memories was the smell and abundance of plastic, in all shapes and colours! Grooming products, leg protection, packaging, it was everywhere! And I asked myself, what are people going to do with the gear when they don't want it anymore? What will happen to it? Do we even consider this when we make purchases?
Let's focus on packaging for example, the product we buy arrives in our hands and the packaging is how we judge it! Very often, the more fancy the packaging, the more we label it as quality! Yet the packaging gets ripped up and thrown in the bin, and then we are often left with an average product that we hold still in high esteem due to our first impression!
What happens to that packaging? It goes into landfills or slips into the ocean it seems, and it disturbs nature. And we like to say we think about this, but realistically this fact still does not change enough of our purchasing choices. And it's not just packaging, it's products also.
What about how the products are made? Are they ethically made? Many factories abroad still use child labour, and working conditions and pay are horrendous, and why? To ensure that the products are made cheap so that the end user receives their product at what is classed as an affordable price. The problem with this is that we live in an age where people are used to wanting and receiving instantly, and in order to achieve this we need to keep prices low to offer the opportunity for spontaneous purchasing. What happened to saving the money to purchase items, and waiting?
Continuing with the how products are made theme, it's rare that we consider when we buy an item the pollution caused when producing it. How often are planes used to ship items over? Does production spill toxic chemicals into the atmosphere? How much electricity is used to make the items?
So much that should be considered when producing an item, and so much to be considered when purchasing. And whilst the demand still exists for cheap, abundantly available products, then the type of production that is not kind to our planet will continue.
So how do we at HUSK work to be kinder to the planet?
Firstly we do not have excess packaging! All HUSK items come in a reusable bag, our breathable horse boots in a wash bag, and our horse and pony breathable saddle pads and rugs come in a re usable handle bag, and that's it! Our parcels are all sent in recyclable and recycled plastic bags. With regard to our manufacturers, we re use our boxes and our bags to send items between us.
With regard to the people, we know everyone by name, and we work with family businesses. We pay fair prices for the production of our products as we know this turns to fair pay for the our stitchers, cutters and designers. Our air flow horse boots, rugs, and saddle pads are all made by hand, and are not subjected to lines of factory machinery, just hands, sewing machines, cutting knives and scissors! We have relationships with our production specialists and we are able to amend designs and methods of manufacture directly and specifically for HUSK.
Pollution wise, we do our best to be considerate to the planet. Our products are cut using knives shaped to our patterns rather than laser to minimise air pollution. We manufacture 2/3 of our kit less than an hour from where we live, and source our fabrics the same! 1/3 of out kit comes from abroad and we try to order 3x max a year to reduce our pollution contribution. Our offices and horses are all fed by a natural spring, and we switch off all our electrics at night, as well as being very mindful about how much electricity we use during the day.
We do not over order so that we hold excess stock and have wastage, and we use every off cut of material possible to make product from to minimise our waste. We also use recycled fabrics to prevent waste in landfills, and our fabrics are also recyclable!
Needless to say we at HUSK love our planet and all that it represents, and we do our best to look after it and represent it when we work.
So in future when you are thinking of buying a product, please ask yourself these questions, as it is the choices that we make now that will determine the future of our planet for our children and grand children, as well as the plants and animals that we love.