Introducing Felt’s Eco Gifts Collection

Here at Felt we care about many things. We care about people (Felt exists to support people), we care about the environment, we care about hacky sack. All of the things. This week we’ve taken another small step on the journey to a better future for all, and created a collection of items that we’re calling “Eco Gifts” (or we might re-name it to “Gifts for Greenies” – comments invited!). This is in response to two things:

  • A lot of the creatives that sell on Felt celebrate the sustainability of their masterpieces. We see it in item listings, hear about it face-to-face, and read about it in our Meet the Maker series.
  • A lot of people who buy on Felt are environmentally conscious. One of the regular comments we get from our wonderful customers is that they like buying from Felt, rather than big box shops, because of the sustainability of the items they find.
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    It turns out that a LOT of kiwis are seriously eco conscious. But it also turns out that defining what is ‘eco-friendly’ and what isn’t is quite a complicated thing. So we wanted to explain our thinking behind which items are in this category to see if you, our sellers and customers, agree.

    We’ve taken three ideas and applied them to deciding if an item “fits” into this collection. On the whole we’ve tried to include items that meet all of these ideas, rather than only one or two:

    1. Materials – What is this item made of?

    For the collection we’ve embraced items made of natural, sustainable, renewable, and recyclable materials. We’ve also considered the treatments and finished of those materials – the whole picture.


     

    2. Reduce, reuse, recycle

    A big part of the problem of waste in the world is sheer volume. We followed the ideas of reduce, reuse, recycle which advocate for a general downsizing of consumption, through three specific behaviours.

  • Reduce: buy/use less. We’ve included items that will last a long time, rather than breaking and being replaced in a few short weeks.
  • Reuse: again, this is about avoiding things that are single-use or disposable and promoting things that are designed for a long and repetitive life.
  • Recycling and upcycling: these are both very popular with our makers. Salvaged materials are always a good thing!

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    3. Promoting nature, environmental ideas, or environmentally-conscious lifestyles.

    This third idea took a while for us to find the language for. We wanted to recognise that a lot of items on Felt are about celebrating nature, and our relationship with nature, and that this inspirational factor can be a great thing in the move to a more environmentally sustainable society.


     

    Reflections

    What this process raised for us is that, essentially, there’s huge subjectivity in what can be classified as “eco-friendly” or not. A lot of interesting items challenged our thinking. Do we consider environmental sustainability, animal welfare, and veganism? Ultimately we decided to keep our focus tight – and include a few items with a humorous riff on some of these things.


     
    We’d love to know your thoughts on this. Have we made good decisions? What other factors could we consider? What do you think should be included? How can we support makers to be more environmentally conscious in their creative endeavours? Should we call it “Eco Gifts,” “Gifts for Greenies,” or something else?

    Any comments welcome! 😊

    Jason and the Felt team.

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