This year I’ve been trying to support and champion independent businesses more and been looking for more ways to to make my work more sustainable. If I want people to buy from my business then I need to practice what I preach and change my own shopping habits, and if I can show that I’m working to be more sustainable then it might urge others to do the same.
I’m really proud to say that around 90% of my purchases for my Baildon at Christmas stall (which you can read more about here!) were bought from independent retailers:
- Fabric to cover my stall table was purchased from The Shuttle on Baildon bridge
- The oranges, limes, ginger, nuts, seeds and herbs/spices for my potpourri were all bought from The Orange Grove in Saltaire
- All flowers, plants, spruce, moss and gift packaging for my wreaths/bouquets were purchased from GT Flowers in Leeds, a family-run business, or independent garden centres
- I managed to source around 10/12 different ribbons for my wreaths and gifts, which were all bought from Shipley Haberdashery in Kirkgate Market
- Vintage stamps for my handmade Christmas cards came from the lovely ArtStamped (via Etsy), who is based in Ilkley
The only things I didn’t manage to find from independents was packaging materials, such as paper bags (although I was sure to buy ones that could be recycled/were made from recycled materials), boxes (which were of course recycled) and small cellophane gift bags. I had to order these from Amazon due to the competitive pricing and delivery options but I’m glad I managed to find all of my other items elsewhere. If anyone has any Yorkshire-based packaging companies they can recommend then I’d love to hear about them!
In terms of being more sustainable with floristry projects, I’ve decided to stay away from using Oasis where possible. I learnt this from my time with Susanne of Beamsley Blooms – she’s a really big advocate for using moss in installations and I’ve been trying to do the same since working with her back in the summer.
I’m also trying to be better with deliveries (although sometimes this can be difficult!), by grouping together orders and mapping out a route to make sure I’m not driving for further/longer than I need to. Every little helps and being savvy with transport is a great way to start!