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As outdoor enthusiasts it's only natural that we should do what we can to make Cab9 as environmentally friendly as possible, so recently we took the first steps. The most obvious starting point was to look at our packaging and see how we could improve. Being a brand that delivers almost all our products by mail, it was a case of balancing the need to ensure our products are well protected during transit, at the same time as reducing the amount of materials used.
When our sunglasses had been arriving from our manufacturer, each pair came wrapped in no less than 3 pieces of protective plastic: 2 sleeves to protect the arms and a sheath to cover the lenses. To top it off, they were then placed in a protective pouch made of... yep you guessed it, plastic. Great that they took the protection of the goods so seriously, but we found it a bit overkill. So now we've managed to reduce this to one sleeve for both arms plus the plastic pouch, which may not sound like a big deal, but when you're talking thousands of pairs of sunglasses it does add up.
We've also started to phase in new cardboard cases to ship your orders in. The new cases are smaller, constructed from recycled cardboard and at just 24 grams they're 1/4 of the weight of the old ones which means our orders leave less carbon footprint during transport.
We now use recycled paper for the instruction leaflets that accompany the sunglasses and we include a message in the leaflet reminding our customers to recycle the packaging appropriately!
Did you know that recycled paper produces approximately 70% less air pollution that if it was produced with new raw materials? According to our research, using 900 Kgs of recycled paper can actually help to save 17 trees, over 1000 litres of oil, and a whole load of landfill space. It's exciting for us to know that even as a small independent brand we're able to make decisions that can have a positive impact, no matter how small.
We're aware there's more we can do and we've already been looking at making some of our sunglasses from recycled materials. However, this will involve further research and testing as the recycled plastics available often lack the properties of strength and flexibility that we require for our products. We'd love to introduce a collection of sunglasses made from recycled plastic and it's been firmly added to our list of things to do, watch this space!
If you have any suggestions as to how you think we can improve in this area please do let us know, we're open to ideas.