As a growing company, we have to make decisions about how we evolve every day.
Essentially, these decisions are based on our commitment to a few things…
- Quality — over anything else.
- The environment.
There are other secondary considerations, but these are the top three we talk about — even debate, sometimes loudly — here in the office regularly.
Recently, we started to talk about one of our processes that seemed to be a little environmentally egregious when held up to our own standards.
If you've ordered from us before, I'm sure you noticed that each product comes with a “tent card” that lists how to use the product and the ingredients we've used to make it.
If you order that same product again, you would get that same product card again… and again… and…
This process started when we first began when we really didn't know all the intricacies of shipping all over the world. At that time, we also didn't have any software or ability to determine — at the point of shipping — how many orders you had placed that would automatically give instructions to the packer based on that number.
We didn't need much chatter to all decide this was an environmentally wasteful practice which we needed to address immediately. For issues like this — when we question them and determine they're not fully up to our mission standards — we bump them up on the priority list and take care of them fast.
So to address this and how we address all things like these, we needed to figure out exactly what the core issue was — what problem the tent cards were attempting to solve — and come up with a solution to address this problem in a more environmentally friendly way.
The core issue was easy to identify. We wanted you to know how to use the product and see the amazing ingredients that are in it when you receive your package. Simple enough.
The existing solution was to send multiple tent cards with every order. This, we had already determined, was outdated, wasteful and maybe not even necessary at all (we know many customers who just throw them away with the packing materials.)
Rachel, our project manager, and I talked about a solution that would be sufficient and came up with a few options.
The first, most obvious option is putting the ingredients and instructions on all of our labels.
While this is something that is in our pipeline for 2014, it's not an easy or cheap project to begin. So, yes, that's the most effective solution, but it's not the most feasible right now. (Stay tuned!)
So the question changed to “what is the solution in the meantime — before we get our labels finished?”
The second option was to send the tent cards with only the first order of a new product. So if you ordered the Aloe Herb Cleanser for the first time, you'd get an Aloe Herb Cleanser tent card. If you ordered it again, no tent card. While this seemed like a good idea when suggested, we didn't figure in the fact that we'll be eliminating the tent cards all together once we have new labels. When that was brought up, we knew it would be silly to set this all up to have it all change next year.
So finally, we decided on a more minimal and more environmentally friendly solution. (I say “more” because when you ship product, there is always an environmental cost — no matter how you swing it.)
What we've now done is greatly decreased the amount of paper materials in your package. We'll now only be sending 1-2 cards in your package and we've eliminated the letter that we send as well. The card or cards that you do get will direct you or any new customer to an online brochure page that has all the details we'd normally have on paper.
Here's that page in case you're curious — click here.
When there, you can read how to use what you've purchased, read the ingredients and view reviews of that product. You'll also be able to print out the page in case you wanted to bring it along with you somewhere or share with a friend.
So, again, instead of receiving multiple cards and the same letter on multiple orders, you will now get one or two cards depending on how many times you've ordered and we will all save some trees together.
What's even more exciting is how these cards look. I've included one at the top of the page here that you can see. But we'll let you be surprised with the others.
We think the images and the messages on them represent our products, ourselves and the lifestyle we all want to live — one that respects our environment, is filled with fun and reminds us to appreciate the beauty in nature and ourselves.
We want to know from you, what do you think of the new design? Please post your thoughts in the comments below…
P.S. If you love the tent cards and don't want to see them go, we hope you forgive us. This is a necessary decision and today's technology allows us to be incredibly thrifty in terms of how we use our precious and limited environmental resources. Stay tuned for our new labels that will contain everything the tent card did to amplify your own enjoyment of our products.