Sustainability at Avorium
We launched our website at the start of November 2021 with our shop on Colliergate opening 2 weeks later. We wanted to create a product that was kind to the environment but with the luxury details and finishes that elevate us from most “green” brands around today. This page is dedicated to letting you, our customers, know what we're doing to run our brand as sustainably as possible, so read on to find out more!
Our packaging makes our customers go WOW! Anything bought in store is wrapped in 100% circular, Avorium branded tissue paper and presented in a gorgeous, blue Avorium gift bag – recyclable of course! Our products speak for themselves, but the packaging takes the gift experience to the next level – we even offer recyclable gift boxes (also Avorium blue!) so any gifts can be given directly to the recipient! If we're sending something a little more delicate in the post (like plant pots or mugs), we use compostable packaging peanuts to protect the products. This way, the products should arrive in good condition, but since the peanuts can biodegrade, they don't end up in landfill like traditional packaging peanuts.
We feel very lucky that we are starting a business in these ethically conscious times as we have been able to build our brand with the planet in mind; rather than having to improve on legacy processes that are less than environmentally optimum. This is reflected in our product design, materials used, and attitude towards manufacture. For example, we use no animal products! Our A4 folio is a bestseller and made using vegan leather – a material that uses far fewer resources to make than traditional leather. We also designed them to be reusable as the paper pad can be replaced. In theory, they should last forever! On that note (pardon the pun), all our paper is FSC approved with more information on this available on our blog:Avorium Paper Blog
Damaged But Beautiful
As siblings, the three of us contribute to the business in all sorts of different ways but we have to admit that this idea was a stroke of genius from Olivia, the youngest of the 3! Our brand has a luxury feel and all products have a very simple, yet colourful design. This means if there is a small scratch or blemish on the product, it shows up quite clearly and the air of perfection is lost. Many brands would deem this product unsellable and discard it. Not Avorium! We see no need to throw away perfectly good, usable products so we give our customers the opportunity to grab a bargain! The “Damaged But Beautiful” section of our store includes charmingly imperfect products for a hefty 50% off! Damaged But Beautiful has not only been a hit with customers, but it also means no products unnecessarily go to waste! A win for customers’ wallets and the environment!
We have ensured that our supply chain is totally transparent – we work directly with manufacturers to ensure materials and processes are up to the highest environmental and ethical standards. For some products we take it a step further, for example, for every ballpoint pen we sell, we plant a tree to ensure that not only are we acting sustainably but we are actively helping the planet to heal.
In early 2022, we began using Forge Recycling for waste collection. None of the waste they collect is sent to landfill; 60 per cent is recycled into new materials, and 40 per cent is used to create energy. They also support a deforestation avoidance project in Brazil as well as plant trees here in the UK. This was a no-brainer for us; an easy switch to an environmentally conscious service! More info can be found here:Forge Recycling
As well as in our physical store on Colliergate, we sell online. In January, we were starting to realise that a fair amount of our online orders were coming from people based in and around York; presumably having visited or walked past our store and looked us up online. We decided to take on the York Collective as our primary courier for all York orders. It is a cycle courier service and therefore has no carbon footprint! We are delighted to be working with the Collective and any York customers can be confident their deliveries are being made in the most environmentally friendly way possible! We encourage other York business to follow suit; the York Collective are also super friendly and deliver with a smile even in the Yorkshire rain! Some deliveries are even made same day! More information can be found here:York Collective
At Avorium we are committed to sustainability and working in the most environmentally friendly way possible. While we have tried our best to reduce our carbon emissions as much as we can, we have teamed up with Earthly to offset both our initial start-up emissions and ongoing environmental impact. We have calculated the carbon footprint of our initial product intake and have offset this by 200%. We want to be climate positive, not just neutral! We have contributed to tree planting projects in Madagascar, Peru and the Amazon Rainforest. In total, we have already contributed to the removal of 15.048 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent of 122,941 kilometres driven in a car, or 60 hours on a plane! We will keep a running tally of all the trees planted by Avorium, so we can all see how we are positively contributing to the environment. You can follow the link below to see our current impact:View our profile
One of the areas of our business we’d like to grow in the next year is our corporate branding service. We can brand company logos onto our products with a professional, clean finish. Many products that are available to be branded that are currently on the market are cheap and low quality. This means they are often thrown away straight after a promotional event. This doesn’t need to be the case! We believe there is a gap in the market for high quality, corporate branded stationery that Avorium can fill. The whole practice of corporate gifting would be far more sustainable if the promotional products given out were items that the recipients actually wanted to use.
As a vibrant, friendly, local siblings-run business we love nothing more than forging lasting relationships with other York-based businesses. Yorkshire has a unique culture of togetherness and thus far we have found the most fruitful and rewarding professional relationships have come from York locals. Working with locals is a sustainable way to run a business as travel costs (both carbon and financial) are reduced and we’ve also found people from York begin an interaction with an open mind and an air of trust. We also take great pride in our community and culture and the more we can support our fellow York dwellers, the better!
Finally, we want to put our sustainability efforts at the forefront of our marketing. Whilst our products are high quality, chic and personalisable, it is becoming clear that our sustainability features are getting noticed and that running the business sustainably is quickly becoming one of our most valuable USPs. We care, but now we know our customers care.