In today's society, one can't live a day without making an impact on the planet.
Just doing something simple as going to the supermarket to get some stuff for dinner is leaving a footprint. Probably more than we realize!
Since we have started Salty Vibes "sustainability" has been an important topic.
We had to ask ourselves what our true definition of "sustainability" is since it seems to have also become a popular term nowadays that is used everywhere.
We found that to us sustainability means; "that something can be done forever" In other words, if it can't be done forever it means that a recourse will eventually be depleted or an eco-system destroyed.
After asking ourselves this question we realized that we are by far not perfect and that it’s nearly impossible to have no impact at all on the planet. But what we can do is minimize our footprint as much as possible and give something back to the earth as well.
As Salty Vibes is a young and growing business we aim to continuously be aware of our impact on the environment and adjust where necessary based on what seems to be the most sustainable option at that time.
Since this will be a learning process for us while we work on it suggestions on how to improve our sustainability are more than welcome!
As much as we love the rugs that we sell, at the end of the day, we are a business and our aim is to make a living off it.
However, we want is to do this most ethically and sustainably that is available to us as a small business.
Here we have summarised for you the good and the not so good of Salty Vibes and what our plans hold for the future.
In this way, we'd like to show you what goes on behind the scenes and stop showing the "perfect" image which we see a lot of companies do and is simply not realistic in many cases.
We are a 99% plastic-free company
All rugs from Salty Aura are shipped to us directly from their factory in cardboard boxes.
All rugs are shipped in compostable mailing bags from our warehouse to the customers.
The 1% plastic will be found in and small supplies that we buy and are used in a company-related activity. Sometimes items come wrapped in plastic for example. We try to avoid this but it just isn't always workable.
All Throw rugs are made from recycled cotton
This recycled cotton is made from "pre-consumer waste". These are offcuts of other textile products that would initially end up in the landfill. These offcuts are shredded and re-spun back into yarn. This yarn is on it's turn woven into the beautifull Bohemian Style Salty Aura Throw Rugs.
By recycling material that already exists, tens of thousands of litres of water is saved by not having to grow new cotton.
Salty Aura's rugs are woven by a company located in mainland china that has passed their fair work & SGS certificate.
We found that recycling cotton from pre-consumer waste is the most eco-friendly due to the current amount of textile waste.
Around 35% of all materials in the fashion supply chain end up as waste and have never even made it into a product! (click here for the source)
We only wear or use our textile items on average 7 times before they end up as waste. Studies have shown that a simple and effective way to reduce the environmental impact of the textile industry is to wear or use items until they are worn out, which is 100-200 times with most clothing items. We encourage our customers to use their Salty Aura rugs way more than this as they are made to last!
At first, we thought that ocean transport would be the best way to reduce our ‘environmental footprint. This seems to be true when looking at CO2 emissions, a plane emits around 500 grams of CO2 per metric ton of freight per kilometer while ocean transport emits only 10-40 grams per kilometer.
However, when looking at the total emission both methods of transport seem to be roughly equal. Even though air transport has a significantly higher CO2 emission, the fuel used for airplanes is of the highest grade and burns much cleaner with a few by-products. The fuel that is used for most containerships is called ‘’ bunker fuel’’ which is of the lowest grade and contains a high amount of sulfur. None of these emissions get filtered or blocked which leads to ocean shipping being one of the highest emitters of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide (Both are a colourless gas that is produced by burning fossil fuels and contribute to the problem of air pollution).
A third option is railway transport. The CO2 emissions are around 60 grams of CO2 assuming an average diesel train is used. Which is significantly less than transport by air but still higher than ocean transport. Most cargo trains run on diesel which is not the cleanest burn but still better than the ‘’bunker fuel’’ used for containerships since it contains less sulfur than bunker fuel.
But.. railways have to be built and maintained which is polluting as well.
All three methods of transport have their pros and cons but at the end of the day, they all leave an impact on our environment. However, it looks like ocean and railway transport are more likely to improve and reduce their emissions in the near future since we have the technology to make these methods of transport more environmentally friendly (think about electric trains on green power or high-efficiency fuel filters in containerships for example).
We have chosen to use mainly ocean and railway transport since they seem to have slightly less impact on the environment and are in our eyes the most likely to reduce their footprint in the near future.
Even though we try to minimize our footprint in this way it still leaves an impact on our planet when the rugs are transported across the globe. Since we are only selling online, shipping products is a core part of our business and it will be nearly impossible to not leave a footprint. For this reason, we want to give something back to the earth, based on our environmental footprint. Like planting trees that equals the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced per order for example. This goal is set to be realized by 2022. Feedback, tips, or suggestions on this are more than welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org