Eighteen Rabbit is an independent retailer selling fairly traded arts, crafts and gifts with a focus on style and design. We operate from a physical base in Hay on Wye as well as online at eighteenrabbit.co.uk. We have a particular passion for items from Mexico and Central America. We are committed to operating as a responsible, sustainable business.
We follow the Brundtland report’s definition of sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." This means we are conscious of the social, economic and environmental impact in all that we do.
We seek to reduce the negative effect of what we do as much as possible, but more than that we seek to find ways in which to make a positive difference through our own actions and through seeking to influence the actions of others.
This policy explains our approach to sustainability, showing how we live our values. It provides a reminder and guidance to staff in their day to day work, and clearly communicates our approach to sustainability in terms of the suppliers we buy from, the producers we admire and the customers we serve.
This policy covers Eighteen Rabbit’s values and operations as a company in our core business activity which is retail.
As a company, we want to embody our values and ensure that our own practice as a company supports our aims. We have a strong sense of the ‘Eighteen Rabbit way’ of doing business and everything from our staff engagement, to our physical location to the design of our bags and tags plays a part in this.
Every day in retail is different, with changing patterns of supply and demand throughout the year. For this reason, we do not set out here a rigid set of requirements as a “one size fits all” approach to such diverse circumstances would be too vague to be practical. Instead we provide clear guiding principles that aid our planning and decisions.
1 Energy demands
- Our energy supply comes from Ecotricity who build new renewable supply with their profits.
- We choose low energy alternatives such as light bulbs throughout our business.
- Energy efficiency is a key consideration when acquiring new electrical equipment.
- Our shop is lit by ample natural daylight, and use as little electrical lighting as is practical.
- We turn off all lighting and electronic equipment when not in use, and have a strict policy for switching off and unplugging overnight.
- We monitor and record our energy consumption.
2 Transport demands
- Our shop and office locations are accessible by public transport.
- The predominant mode of transport is to walk.
- Where we do have to drive, we use a hybrid Toyota Prius car with lower than average emissions.
- Air travel is a necessary evil in order for us to be able to monitor and assist our producers, but we will investigate on an ongoing basis any other options such as Skype and email exchanges.
- To this end we encourage telephone or virtual meetings where possible.
3 Air emissions
- The green energy and transport policies outlined above are also important in minimising damaging air emissions.
- The shop is a non-smoking environment.
4 Water use
- We use a water filter to encourage staff to drink tap water rather than buying bottled water.
- When considering locations for our shop we will prioritise those which allow efficient use of water supplies.
- We will support communities overseas in their right to have access to fresh drinking water at no charge.
5 Land use
- We will choose an existing shop unit for our retail location ensuring that no green field land is used.
- We will support farmers and producers overseas by paying them a fair wage for their produce.
6 Cultural impact
- Eighteen Rabbit embraces all cultures and we have an equal opportunities policy.
- Through our work we aim to present different cultures in a positive light and encourage greater understanding between different countries and faiths.
7 Waste and recycling
- We operate a closed loop recycling policy, looking for recycled options in our procurement, and recycling as much as we can.
- We reuse paper where possible, with used paper in the printer for internal printing.
- We recycle all of our shop paper, card, glass, cans and printer cartridges through the local facilities.
8 Ethical supply chain
- We only purchase products which we believe meet our ethical standards around sourcing.
- We use eco friendly cleaning products.
- We apply a sustainable approach to all our procurement, asking:
- Do we actually need it?
- What is it made of, who made it, where was it transported from and how is it packaged?
- How long will it last?
- Can it be reused or recycled at the end of its life?
- Have we investigated and evaluated possible alternatives and sought the most sustainable option?
- Is it good value?
- Our company’s mission is based on the concept that trading fairly will make the world a better place. We spend each day aiming to make this mission a reality.
9 Transparent relationships
- We use our website as a portal to communicate with customers, via our blog, Facebook and Twitter feed.
- We are open and fair in the contracts and terms we issue to producers and suppliers.
10 Local sourcing
- In tandem with our support for artists and producers overseas, we also prioritise support for local businesses and the community where we have our base.
- We aim to be good neighbours in our community and play an active role in local life.
11 Security and safety
- We will provide a safe and secure working environment for our staff.
- We have £1 million public liability insurance, and £10 million employer’s liability insurance.
- Through our work we aim to provide a safe and secure environment for our producers and their families.
12 Equality and diversity
- We have a positive company culture that recognises the contributions made by all staff.
- Our shop will be accessible and open to all.
- Through our work and the products we sell we hope to encourage a positive attitude to different cultures and groups.
13 Community impact
- We will support events, activities and our neighbours in the town where we work.
- We will ensure that our shop operates in a way which does not inconvenience our neighbours through noise, litter or unnecessary disruption.
- We aim to play a full, active role in our community while recognising that we are relative newcomers who should treat all members of the community with respect.
14 Financial impact
- Eighteen Rabbit is a trading name of Seventeen Events, which is a Limited Company. Our company registration number is 6137096.
- We are committed to offering fair pay and conditions for all our staff, both permanent and temporary.
- We aim to ensure best value for money for all our customers while ensuring that our producers are paid fairly.
- We believe that a sustainable approach to life doesn’t have to cost more money and can in some cases save money.
15 Stakeholder communication
- We log and monitor all communications we have with our producers and ensure we are asking them all the relevant questions we feel we need to in order to establish the fairness of the price we pay for their products.
- We communicate with all customers about our fair approach to trade. We use our shop and website as a window to offer a glimpse into the lives of our producers and the incredible skill they bring to the products we sell.
- Where appropriate, we will include clauses in third party supplier contracts which hold them accountable for actions relating to the fairness of our trading relationship.
16 Monitoring and feedback
- We will produce an annual report detailing what we have achieved, how we have used our budget and how we plan to improve in the year ahead.
- We gather feedback from customers, and use their feedback to improve the way we operate.
- We will hold a weekly staff meeting to monitor and discuss the way we are managing the shop and the products we are stocking. Any member of our staff should be able to speak pleasantly and confidently about any of our products.
17 External Communication
- We aim to communicate openly and transparently with like-minded people interested in our industry, to share ideas and best practice.
- We write columns for a number of publications.
- We will regularly update our website, blog and twitter feed with news, tips and ideas.
Date compiled: October 2012
Last review date: August 2015
Date for next renewal: August 2016