I’ve been really moved by the recent climate strikes being staged by school kids around the world who, quite rightly, are demanding change to protect the planet that they’re inheriting – we could all learn something from their brave acts. Here at Deja Ooh being environmentally conscious has always been a big part of our ethos so I thought I’d share the background behind our sustainable story.
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It’s pretty obvious that it’s not sustainable to keep on discarding stuff at the rate that us humans do every day – something needs to be done to turn the tide against a society that is continuously consuming and rarely reusing (cue Greta Thunberg). I see an array of very good quality materials being shipped off to landfill every day, material that is perfectly useable – so at Deja Ooh we endeavour to use them.
We started back in 2013 going around the streets where we lived finding items of furniture, doing them up and selling them on. Throughout this process, it became horrifyingly obvious that there is so much that is being needlessly disposed of, with such catastrophic consequences to the environment.
We have slowly changed our focus from furniture and street finds to our own designed product ranges, but the use of found materials has not gone away. In part, it is a cost exercise that means we can get raw product for free, add the commodity that we have – time and unique design – this creates something totally new that has a far smaller impact on the environment. Bit by bit, we are trying to put these materials back into use without the costly and energy-zapping process of recycling.
Another big part of sustainability is our packaging. As a society we have come to expect our online purchases to come in beautifully packaged, oversized, boxes full of plastic. Yet this generally means that a colossal amount of card, tissue paper and bubble wrap is used each and every day. All the card that we use to package our products repurposed from high street stores. We make connections with bike shops and wine merchants and collect a proportion of the card that they are discarding (good job we like bikes and wine!). We then create the boxes bespoke for each product – it’s pretty time heavy, but we have perfected the process over time and are now looking at how we can add branding to our reused box packaging with stamps of silk screens.
There’s still loads more that we could do and we are continuously working on making our existing systems more eco-friendly, as well as developing new product ranges that are more sustainable. It is, after all, down to us all to help care and protect this beautiful planet that we will pass on to future generations.