Sustainability is a step-by-step process
Undiemeister®️ has been working in the field of sustainability for a while and our first point of focus has always been on textiles. The most logical route to achieve our goals. We strive for maximum sustainable solutions and that is exactly what it's about: striving. We have figured this out in the meantime. It is a process of steps, in which you sometimes take two steps forward and one step back. That's just the way it is. We're not pointing fingers, but we are dealing with a chain of suppliers. And our customer is you, the consumer. Undiemeister®️ is the last link in the chain.
The sustainability challenge for Undiemeister®️ is greater than others
And why is our sustainability challenge greater? This is due to our high growth rate. And a growth process sometimes goes step by step, but more often in fits and starts. And with growth spurts. Where that is the case, it is important to keep “everything” on track. Running a company requires continual adjustment, and sustainability is a big one for us. It is important that our suppliers can deliver what we want. And as quickly as possible. Sometimes our suppliers manage to meet our demands and keep up with our pace, but not always. That's when we have to take a step back to be able to take two steps forward again.
If you are always striving for sustainability, will the goal ever be achieved?
Whether you achieve the sustainability goal depends on your definition of that goal. Our first aim has always been to develop maximum CO2 neutral textiles. We use the word “maximum” for a reason, because the question is whether textiles will ever become 100% CO2 neutral. We are now very advanced in this area and we are very close to that goal. But we remain critical, because we are actually never satisfied. That is why we do throw around unattainable claims. They might sound good, but we'd rather leave that to others. That is how we roll really; don't make things sound more beautiful than they are. Stay realistic and do your best. Every day.
A sustainable company is more than just its products.
And although we have our hands full with textiles, which will always be the case, we understand that, as the last link in the chain, we can do even more. We had been annoyed by the packaging for a long time. You may also be familiar with the phenomenon that you have a parcel delivered to your door, only to discover that the actual parcel containing your item is somewhere on the bottom. The rest of the space of the packing box is filled with plastic bags, styrofoam, or other material. Whether that filling material is sustainable or not, without it is always better. But perhaps even more importantly in that case, the carrier is mainly transporting air. Because there is only so much space for parcels in one van. And with large boxes of air you'll soon fill an entire van. So that means more trips and therefore more CO2. All because of the packaging boxes.
Custom packaging boxes
The problem, or rather recognising the challenge, is step one. Criticising it is step two. Solving the problem is step 3 to 10. And sometimes more. Anyway, we don't tend to shy away from a good challenge. For a long time, actually, from the beginning of Undiemeister®️, we wanted a solution for the many filling materials and the transport of air. But how does one go about that? After all, every order with us is different and there are so many possible order combinations that it is impossible to have different packaging boxes made for those different order quantities, which match the content exactly, so without air and filling material.
Our logistics supplier Promese came up with the solution
Of course Undiemeister®️ needs the support of its suppliers for many solutions, especially with this one. We are not a logistics service provider. Others are simply much better at that. That is why the trick for a company like Undiemeister®️ is to find suppliers who not only operate at the same high-quality level as Undiemeister®️, but are also able to help us with our challenges. And although Undiemeister®️ always tries to keep its suppliers out of the spotlight as much as possible, we will make an exception in this case. Because Promese from Brabant, who takes care of the logistics for our customers, offered us the option of customising shipping boxes per order, so per customer . No more air transport, no more filling materials.
It's a bit much to explain how the customisation of packaging boxes works in this blog and to be honest, we don't really understand it all that well ourselves. Here's a modest attempt: on part of the distribution line there is a machine, a kind of robot, which measures every order by volume or size. Probably with laser technology. Or with weight, or both. Whatever, it just works! Because that robot then cuts the shipping box exactly to size, folds it around the order, and to top it all off, our logo is then also printed on the box. How beautiful is that!
Watch a video of this fantastic machine below:
Pffff, another step
A great milestone in our sustainability process. And at the same time…. a lot more work to be done. For example, we are working on collection points to reduce the number of transport movements of vans. Easier said than done, it turns out, because how difficult can it be? Quite difficult as it turns out, lots of hassle with software. But again, we like a challenge. And if it doesn't require some effort, it's probably not worth it either, is what we tell ourselves. After that we will have another look at our product packaging. Because there's room for improvement there too. We have now set our sights on completely biodegradable material made of cane sugar (what a great idea) and that seems to be a big contender.
To be continued!