Simple Reusables - Better for the planet!
At Team Cheeky we're passionate about providing Simple Reusables, alternatives to single use products which create heaps of landfill and burn through our planet's resources. For us, that means working with trusted factories in Turkey, Pakistan and China to provide goods at a pricepoint which is accessible to many rather than just the well-off few. But that's not the only way that we try and be sustainable.
Obviously, our products help our customers to reduce the amount of waste needing to be recycled. Whether that's our cloth nappies or cloth wipes replacing disposable wipes and nappies, or our period pants and cloth period pads replacing tampons and disposable pads, switching to reusable options will massively reduce your waste over a period of time.
However that's not the only way that we aim to reduce waste. We're super vigilant on our packaging front which covers three areas. There's packaging on the products themselves, and then mailing packaging and packaging for trade orders too. Helen our founder, is constantly asking the question 'but if this packaging is going to be binned as soon as it's received, what's the point? How can we make the packaging dual use, perhaps by making it mailable, or providing instructions on it?'
Packaging is an area which is constantly innovating so if you see any great packaging that you think we should take a look at, please do let us know!
On our wipes sets, kits and makeup removing wipes, a simple cardboard wrap holds them together and provides usage instructions too. Our cloth menstrual pads and period pants are bulk shipped to us and then we simply place them in a sturdy paper mailing along with a separate instructions leaflet, no additional packaging necessary.
We also steer clear of the single use plastic hygiene strips in our period pants. Our pants can be tried on OVER UNDERWEAR to check for fit and the team are always happy to offer advice on size/style. Check out the details in our 45 day trial.
This is an area where you have to be really careful of 'greenwashing'. At one stage we used biodegradable plastic mailers, however we discovered that these were only biodegradable in a home compost heap, which few of us are lucky to have. Using bags with a high percentage of recycled material was also considered, but these bags couldn't then be recycled themselves. We were delighted to find really sturdy paper mailers which we now use for all smaller items (so sturdy that they can easily be reused - often when we receive returned items back in them, we still can't tear into them and they have to be cut open!) Larger items go in cardboard boxes, again all easily recyclable.
Where possible, boxes that our products are shipped to us in for shipping trade orders is reused. Where bulk packaging is necessary, brown kraft paper, also easily recyclable is used.
Reduce energy consumption
At the warehouse reducing energy consumption is also a major consideration, so all lighting is low energy LED lights. The pick and packing area was positioned within the warehouse to take advantage of natural light and solar gain, again reducing energy consumption for heating. Staff are encouraged to walk or cycle to work with cycle parking available for everyone. Our factory in Pakistan has a fantastic solar energy array, generating electricity to supply the factory.
Reduce product wastage
We really hate waste. And we really believe in our products which is why we offer a money back guarantee on our wipes kits, pads and pants. But this does mean that we sometimes have clean used items returned, or occasionally we have items which get a bit dirty in transit. Obviously these can't be resold, however we're loathe to just throw these out. So any items which fall into this category are saved and then forwarded to the UK Cloth Nappy Libraries for reuse, or passed to one of the womens' refuge charities or other charities which we support.
Obviously, the wipes can be reused and repurposed when they have finished wiping baby bums and faces and lots of customers have mentioned that their wipes now make great cleaning cloths. Our wipes containers can continue to be used in a myriad of ways. Jo, our customer experience manager uses her old mucky box (well cleaned!) to store baked goods, but you could use them in the kids playroom, utility or wherever.
But again, that's not where the potential for operating sustainably comes in. We encourage our warehouse and office staff to bring in any packaging that they receive which can be reused - so if any any stage you find some random packaging in your order from us, you'll know why! We also give away any large boxes that we don't need to a local house mover, so in houses across Seaford you'll find possessions stored in Cheeky Wipes boxes!
Again, when they reach the end of their life all of our textile products can be recycled in textile recycling. And our wipes boxes can be recycled in recycling group 5 (PP).