Fortunately, ecological awareness is growing. Now more than ever, there are conversations taking place in the media and in many schools regarding this important subject. Consumers also are becoming more and more aware of the state of the environment and are starting to make more prudent purchasing decisions.
We buy organic food, segregate waste, give up plastic straws and shopping bags, but is it enough?
For Edgar Textiles, a dynamically developing company that likes challenges, we asked the question “what else can we do? In what additional ways can we run a more sustainable business and how can we improve our offer?”
For us, sustainability is a concept that encompasses a long-term perspective. This means the responsible use of resources in such a way as to allow them to be rebuilt before being exhausted. In order for business to develop in a sustainable way, we need the presence and balance between the three guiding lines that take into account People, Planet and Profit at the same time.
In terms of People:
Competing with price, while still important, is not always the primary consideration for a more eco educated client. Consumers and potential employees care about the ethical side of the business and company values that align with their own. We make every effort to demonstrate that the mission and values of our company are worthy of their attention.
With our employees in mind, we take care of their personal development, by offering them practical improvement opportunities within the industry to meet their growth expectations. First, we look to involve our employees in each process that takes place in our company. Their point of view is important to us, and employees that feel they are involved, are more productive. Thus, both the quality of work and its efficiency are significantly improved in a business operating according to the principles of sustainable development.
When it comes to people, our approach is more holistic. Human resources are most of all employees, however, we are also part of a community that our company’s activities somehow affect, even if this community are not customers of our company.
The most recent activity we can boast about is a donation of outdoor seats to our local childcare group. The seats were made of fabrics and foam that was not suitable for sale due to defects. The joy and appreciation of the childcare staff and children was priceless. As it was for many of us, their work was also difficult due to the events and restrictions related to the pandemic, and thanks to our seats, some of their activities could take place in the open air and in comfortable conditions.
In terms of the Planet:
Statistics show that the biggest problem for many societies are increasing usage of water and excess plastic. That is why we give plastic bottles a second life by offering the first recycled fabric. This is our step towards a change for the better, stronger & cleaner environment.
Focusing on intelligent solutions, in 2020 we introduced our eco-fabric collection called GREEN LINE with the VERSO fabric in our offer. The fibres that make this fabric, come from the post-consumer recycled polyester, which is confirmed by the GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certificate received. This collection has been very well received by Irish consumers and is a popular purchase choice.
We are also proud of the flame retardant formula that we use on our fabrics. All fabrics used in the furniture industry should comply with the requirements for fire resistance. In this regard, we also managed to achieve success. All our fabrics are treated with the eco-friendly flame retardant offered by Amber Guard. The ingredients of these product are 100% natural, as they occur naturally in fruits and vegetables or are found in nature in their elemental form. It degrades 100% naturally with no adverse environmental effects, and most of all, it is non-toxic and human-friendly. There are no substances in our eco friendly product range included on the list of Substances of Very High Concern – SVHC and PH value is neutral (7.2).
Our company also offers upholstery foam cut to size. This service carries a lot of waste, so we took decisive action in this matter also. Using the advanced technology of machines, foam waste is ground into small pieces and serves our customers as a filling for cushions, seats, animal beds or toys.
In the long run, a balanced approach to business not only adds prestige to the company but also allows for considerable savings. From the beginning of our business, we use electronic invoicing, and store the documents securely on our server. Thanks to this, we save on paper, ink, printers, etc. We have also invested in motion sensors and LED lighting, the efficiency of which is longer and use 85% less energy than traditional light bulbs. The advantage of this type of lighting is also the fact that, unlike fluorescent lamps, it does not contain toxic mercury.
We reuse packaging when we deliver our orders. They do not contain prints of our logo and company details, so we recommend our clients to do the same and reuse the packaging. Most of our orders, if possible, in terms of dimensions, are delivered in cooperation with EcoXpress, a courier company that uses only electric vehicles and is eco-minded just like us.
In terms of Profit:
Generating profits is necessary after all, we cannot survive without them, however, when a company focuses on additional aspects, it can create a lot more value. Contrary to the traditional business model where owner welfare is the goal, our profits are reinvested back into the business to help it grow in every way possible. As a sustainable business, we care about the well-being of our employees, which extends beyond working conditions and fair remuneration – on which, in our opinion, they are the basis! We redistribute a portion of our company’s profits to employees, over and above their base salary.
We can proudly admit that we have successfully implemented the solutions we proposed and that we have improved our products, and anyone can do the same.
Only integrated and responsible actions can stop the progressive climate change and excessive consumerism and deficits of superior resources needed by man. We are convinced that the concept of sustainable business will, to a greater or lesser extent, contribute to increasing the value of the future of the planet and the next generations.