As someone currently riding the freelance, self-employed wave, decisions often feel quite perilous. It feels like I have so much more to consider now than when I was in full-time employment – am I always being transparent, is my work of value and interest to my readers? How can I create a considered home whilst also acknowledging that sometimes I just love things that may not always have a sustainable angle.
A few weeks ago it was the glut of autumn/winter press shows and more specifically “Christmas in July”. I understand it – traditional media has a long lead-time and brands need to get their products into publication schedules months in advance. Something about the consumerism of it all does make me feel a little conflicted though. So I was delighted to pop along to the Pure PR press day, one I’ve been to before, and learn about their own commitment to environmental concerns.
PR companies are often first in the firing line, in the past gifting so many items to both journalists and bloggers alike and sometimes with increasingly extravagant packaging – balloons filled with glitter to accompany a tiny bit of makeup anyone? But it certainly caught everyone’s attention. With being eco-friendly on everyone’s mind now though it’s refreshing to see agencies addressing this and Pure PR are leading the charge.
First up is their Packaging Promise , an effort to collaborate amongst all PR agencies to reduce packaging in mailers. You can read more about it here but essentially it’s their pledge to ensure that any packages they send out will utilise shredded newspapers and magazines and absolutely no plastics, with external packaging being fully recyclable too. And it’s these steps that are so important. It’s impossible to be perfect across the board of course it is, but any small changes are s worth it. As someone who describes themself as “predominantly plant-based”, I’d rather 100 people go meat-free once a week that one person absolutely nail it.
Then, the brands on Pure PR’s books are also looking inwards at their own production processes and business values. Luxury homewares brand Sheridan are introducing new ranges this month, including a 100% organic cotton bedlinen set. Their processes are awarded GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and there will be no plastic packaging with the bedding instead coming in a reusable organic cotton bag. Also in production for August is their new Tencell set made of Lyocell fibres which originate from renewable raw material wood. It may not sound comfy but my goodness, Tencell produces the softest bedding and it feels like a good step forward to see more brands adopting this material in manufacturing.
Personal and home fragrance brand Ashley & Co, also on the Pure PR books, hail originally from New Zealand and produce a collection which is naturally plant-based and 100% biodegradable. The Wash Locks and Soft Locks bottles are designed to be eco-friendly whilst not compromising on style in the home and the emphasis is to ensure only the finest and cleanest ingredients are both on our skin and in our homes. If you really stop and think about how many chemicals are flushed down the drain from our washing up to our showers and sinks it’s a frightening prospect. Again, yes we may pay a premium for items which have been thoughtfully produced, mindful of the local environment and sustainability, but surely that’s worth it to protect our planet for future generations?
As I mentioned earlier, it’s impossible to be perfect – I’ve been criticised for having leather handbags but they were bought for me before I gave up eating all animal products and I’m not simply going to throw them away. We also have to be mindful about alternatives, that not just the end result but also the entire process of production to that end result is not damaging as we’re hearing reports of things like coping with an increased global demand for avocadoes and quinoa causing huge issues in the countries they’re produced. But it’s still a conversation we need to be having and it’s not good enough to rely on governments and supermarkets to be making the change – we ALL have a role to play no matter how small and I’m hopeful that with the activities of agencies like Pure PR that increased awareness will help of us to think about the role we play in creating a more sustainable future.