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Shop Carbon Neutral for 2020

My Boutique

Shop Carbon Neutral for 2020

My Boutique is devoted to operating an honest, ethical, sustainable business and as part of our Shop Carbon Neutral initiative, we plan to do even more to positively support the environment; and monetise your shopping visits to safeguard the planet we share.

Since opening our 1st permanent store in 2015, we have considered the impacts of what we buy, who and where we buy from, how we serve our customers; and increasingly, the wider impacts all this has on the planet.

Although we have always tried to recycle more, use less energy and ensure that our supply chains meet minimum workplace condition standards around the globe; More recently, we have been able to measure our environmental impact and identify all the improvements we make, against new, environmental targets we have set.

As part of our Shop Carbon Neutral initiative, we have set new positive achievement goals for 2020, and beyond - which also includes our commitment to inform you, our customers exactly how your support for My Boutique is also helping to improve the wider environment.

Carbon Footprint – we have been busy identifying and measuring our carbon footprint so we know how much we need to reduce it, to achieve a carbon neutral business.

Our goal is to be at least carbon neutral as a business in 2020 – being carbon neutral means that we will not be negatively contributing to climate change at all.

We will also regularly update you about how we are doing to reach our targets.

Please take a few moments to read about how we intend to achieve our carbon neutral goal in 2020 and what we have already achieved:

Tree-Planting – As part of our 2020 initiative to make a positive contribution to the environment, we are funding the new planting of carbon-busting trees and funding the protection of existing forests in partnership with Earth Day’s Canopy Project & Carbon Footprint’s UK Tree Planting Projects.       

Each time a customer shops with My Boutique - orders a single, low value item online for delivery or collection or requires a guaranteed special delivery or an international delivery service; or selects certain vegan products containing man-made petrochemical derived fibres, we will arrange and pay for carbon-busting trees to be planted within registered forest projects (locally in the UK and another within impacted relevant international geographic locations).

This means that you can really Shop & Save… the environment. The more you buy, especially online, the more trees we will plant and the more protection funding will be provided to existing “forested” communities.

To learn more about the tree-planting projects we support and the contributions we are making to the Verified Carbon Standard approved REDD+ projects, please visit:

https://www.earthday.org/campaign/the-canopy-project/

https://www.carbonfootprint.com/treeplanting.html

https://verra.org/project/vcs-program/

https://www.un-redd.org/

We will also be adding options at checkout for our shoppers to voluntarily add inexpensive tree-planting contributions to their baskets, whether their order is for free delivery, click & collect (to off-set their own short journey to the store) or otherwise.

All our Tree Planting activities will be recorded and regularly reported so you can monitor our progress and also understand exactly how your shopping visits to My Boutique are helping to save the local and international environment.

With your support, we will start to combat climate change by planting enough trees during 2020 to off-set 100 tonnes of Co2 through projects overseen by Verified Carbon Standards.

Transportation/Delivery Carbon Emissions - By encouraging our suppliers (and customers) to combine deliveries, we reduce the amounts of packaging & shipping materials used and the number of delivery journeys required.

Equally, by preferring locally made goods over international alternatives and through advance buying in bulk, we further reduce our carbon impact and those of our manufacturing, supplier and logistics partners.

Even though My Boutique has always offered free UK delivery online, since 2018 it has levied an environmental surcharge on small, low value items purchased in isolation, in order to encourage online customers to combine purchases and reduce the impacts from the higher proportion of packaging waste and delivery trips otherwise generated.

As part of our 2020 initiative, we are improving how online orders are delivered; and will be more transparent about all the donations we make out of delivery and environmental charges.

Logistics research tells us that less-rapid delivery services measurably reduces the carbon & associated environmental impacts generated. From February 2020, all our standard online and mail order deliveries will be dispatched using 2nd class or equivalent services by selected providers who have strong environmental welfare credentials – our current preferred partner is Royal Mail who has shown a world-leading commitment to becoming at least carbon neutral.

My Boutique will still offer international deliveries and next-day guaranteed special delivery services but will identify the individual environmental impact and allocate additional funds generated from these services to our 2020 tree planting initiatives to help off-set the higher carbon footprint incurred.

Who we buy from – My Boutique sources products from all over the World and has bought from manufacturers and suppliers in USA, Canada, Far East, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Africa, Northern & Southern Europe (including Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Holland, Portugal & Germany) and whenever possible, locally in the UK.

As part of our previous efforts to reduce our impacts, we implemented a two-fold strategy of more local buying, combined with overseas advanced bulk purchasing.

This strategy has seen new ranges from Scotland replace those previously bought internationally; newly commissioned ranges manufactured in England replacing previous ranges imported from Africa; new ranges from Northern Europe (delivered by less impactful Rail & Road) replacing ranges (flown in) from Canada; and in AW2019 the non-priority bulk shipping of our most popular repeat ranges – although this caused some longer out-of-stock periods and delayed arrivals for which your patience and understanding is appreciated.

As part of our 2020 initiative, we will continue to source and “prefer” manufacturers and suppliers who are more local and/or provide less impactful non-air-freight options.

We will also continue to source the best quality goods available within any given price point and commit not to buy inferior products from manufacturers or suppliers who cannot provide satisfactory evidence of the origins of their materials used and/or the satisfactory pay and working conditions of those they employ overseas.

Electricity & Lighting – In 2017/18 we fully completed the 100% conversion of our stores’ lighting to LED. This reduced our carbon footprint by approx. 7.4 tonnes CO2. Today, our lighting carbon footprint is currently measured at 1.376 tonnes annually, which would have been over 8.7 tonnes CO2 had we not acted – so, we have already reduced our carbon footprint by more than 15,000 Kg CO2.

In addition, the longevity of LED lamps compared to traditional lamps (halogen and equivalent) sees us replace them about three times less often, also reducing the manufacturers carbon footprint and the amounts of old lamp waste going to landfill -  currently, lamps cannot be efficiently recycled.

As part of our 2020 initiative, this Spring we plan to switch from our current “traditional energy” supplier to others who employ fully renewable sources, including solar/wind energy.

Waste & Recycling - We continue to reduce the quantity of waste we send to landfill; by separating our waste more efficiently, by increasing the amount we recycle, by sourcing and preferring recycled packaging over single use; and by encouraging our suppliers to combine deliveries which reduces the amounts of packaging & shipping materials used.

As part of our 2020 initiative we plan to recycle about 98% of our cardboard and paper waste (a small percentage is always unsuitable for recycling due to contaminants) and to improve our sorting and recycling of the more challenging plastics. We will also record the quantities of waste we send for recycling, for future comparison.

We have also decided to move away from single-use carrier bags and to offer (recycled) paper carrier bag alternatives as an option; and have sourced new lines of fully recycled & biodegradable packing materials for our online delivery packaging.

Supporting Good Causes, our Local Community & Overseas Small Communities - My Boutique will continue to support other good causes (which has included Marie Curie Research, the Dog’s Trust and WilliamsFund in recent years). We will do this by attending and supporting fundraising events, through donations, and by always having a till collection box for our chosen worthy cause in store.

We will also continue to be an integral part of our local communities, by providing local sponsorship and supporting community events; and by prioritising the recruitment of local residents, whenever possible.

Overseas small communities also play a part in handmaking some of our products. This year, we aim to do even more to support their small community economies - which helps to provide and maintain new jobs and an improvement in their living standards; and on occasion, helps to maintain traditional skills that might otherwise die out.

We hope that you feel as we do on this critical subject and urge you to consider how you can help safeguard our planet by supporting environmentally conscious businesses over all others, in every sector – not just fashion.

Please contact us at CarbonNeutral@myboutique.online if you have thoughts, questions, advice or suggestions on what we do, what we are planning or what we could be doing better. It would be great to hear from you if you support us, but we’d still like to hear from you even if you don’t.