An unashamedly positive celebration of small actions. Things we are all able to do, sometimes with little effort, that can make a big difference to the world around us. Things that will hopefully inspire the rest of us to just get stuck in and see what happens.
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"Just One Small Thing Can Make A Big Difference" (tm) and "J1ST" (tm) are copyright of Jon Howard (just in case I ever want to write a book or something)
Have been finding out more about the One brand this week. With its challenge that we can all 'do One good thing', its vision is a perfect expression of what this blog is all about: that small things can make big differences.
With One, their model is very simple: buy a One branded product and 100% of profits go to support a related Third World development project.
It's a really clever model for engaging people in social issues that might otherwise disinterest them, focusing on behaviour change rather than attitude change...given that latter are actually pretty hard to change, with beliefs more often than not following behaviour.
In fact, it ticks most of the boxes that I set out here.
The one (ho ho) challenge? Ensuring their brand and products have appeal beyond those already engaged with the issues they are supporting. Without this the model doesn't really work, at least in terms of maximising donations and bringing the disinterested into the fold. Only time will tell on this.
In the meantime, if you think One sounds like a good idea and want to offer your support, you can like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
Common Treads is a new initiative from Patagonia that looks to reduce the environmental footprint of both its business and its customers.
It's based on 5 pledges to reduce, repair, reuse, recycle and reimagine...
1. REDUCE We make useful gear that lasts a long time; you don't buy what you don't need.
"We design and sell things made to last and to be useful. But we ask our customers not to buy from us what you don’t need or can’t really use. Everything we make – everything anyone makes – costs the planet more life than it gives back. The biggest, first step we can all take to reduce our impact is to do more with what we have. Much of the energy consumed over the course of the life of a garment – about half – goes into laundering, ironing and drying, activities that shorten the life of your clothes as much as wearing them does."
2. REPAIR We help you repair your Patagonia gear; you pledge to fix what's broken.
"What we have should be things we can repair. If you have the skills to turn a frayed collar or darn the worn heel of a sock, good for you. For our part, we should make clothes that wear out as evenly as possible and repair quickly what you send back to us to be fixed. Our policy is to get repairs unpacked, done and back in the mail to you within 10 business days. We pay for repairs that we’re responsible for and charge a fair price for repairs due to normal wear and tear. In addition, many of our stores have relationships with local tailors capable of working on our clothes."
3. REUSE We help find a home for Patagonia gear you no longer need; you sell or pass it on to someone who needs it.
"Nothing wearable should be hoarded; useful things should be in circulation. Reuse what you no longer need, whether you’ve given up climbing or no longer wear brown. Donate unused clothes to a charity or sell them through the Patagonia Common Threads Initiative site on eBay or on our website, (where you can also buy used rather than new, eBay handles the purchase). We donate our own factory seconds to activists working in the field and send some of last season’s unsold goods to people who lose their belongings in disasters."
4. RECYCLE We will take back your Patagonia gear that is worn out; you pledge to keep your stuff out of landfills.
"Everything natural or manufactured comes to the end of its life. Everything natural gives life to something new, so should the things we make. Whatever you’ve bought from Patagonia that’s finally worn-out, you can return to us, so that we can recycle it into new fiber or fabric (or repurpose what can’t yet be recycled). Since 2005, we’ve taken back 45 tons of clothing for recycling and made 34 tons into new clothes – thanks to our customers who have become partners."
5. REIMAGINE Together we will reimagine a world where we take only what the planet can replace.
"Two-thirds of our economy is based on the purchase of consumer goods. But to blindly purchase what’s good neither for the planet nor ourselves to keep the game going is the very definition of unsustainability. Let’s buy what’s healthy and useful; let’s stay away from what we don’t need and what causes unnecessary harm. Every action we take together to protect the land and waters we love adds to our knowledge and confidence that we can reimagine, then help bring about, a sustainable world for those who come after us."
In part, a justification of a hefty price tag (quality lasts); in part, good marketing (reaching out to like minded people). But a vision for future sustainability more business should have in place.
When it comes it small things that make a big difference, I want your help. If you spot anything that fits the bill; or if you're on the receiving end of some small things that have made a big difference to you; or if you're actually doing stuff yourself (don't be shy!)...I want to hear about it. Drop me a line here. Build on a post. Send me links and photos. Whatever might inspire the rest of us to do something ourselves. And I will blog about it.