Shop Sustainably At Tecorra: 10 Reasons Why
1. Charitable donations
A whopping 20% of our profits go to the Woodland Trust, helping restore and protect our UK forests and all the animals that rely on them!
2. We use a fulfilment centre to dispatch our orders
We chose this option, despite it cutting down our profits considerably, for two reasons:
- We're a tiny business. In fact, Izzy only does some volunteer work around her PhD and it's mostly me (Mike). I have a full time job which is funding Tecorra to go 100mph faster than orders alone would support at such an early stage and I want peoples orders to be dispatched on time and quickly, something I am not able to guarantee due to my full time job.
- It's more eco-friendly. The centre dispatches orders for many different businesses and loads up Royal Mail lorries that go straight to distribution centres. This reduces our carbon footprint compared to the alternative - me driving with orders every day to a post office, which then drives those off to a distribution centre.
3. We're debt free.
We don't use tax payers money for grants and we don't use startup loans. Around 90% of startups in the UK fail within the first 120 days - defaulting on loans, meaning the bank and their customers end up paying for it. Every penny that has gone into the business has come from my personal savings and monthly salary - proving my dedication to provide you with a sustainable business that truly cares.
We might use loans in the future, but only for what we call "good debt". To us, good debt is when you take out loans to purchase things like stock which has a known return on investment. "Bad debt" is something like taking out a loan to push advertisements, which don't have a guaranteed return at scale. Loans will always be manageable and we won't risk our business for the sake of gambling on faster expansion.
4. We're currently working towards becoming a Social Enterprise
Taken from the UK Govt website, social enterprise businesses are "Businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners."
In simple terms, a social enterprise can be defined as a business that ploughs its profits back into a strong social or environmental mission – i.e. trading to create benefits for people and planet not shareholder dividends (payouts).
5. We're developing our own products
Some unique, some not. Our aim is to start pushing towards making sustainable living both easier AND affordable. Currently, consumers can end up paying anywhere from 1.5 - 4 times the amount for a sustainable brand compared to what you'll find in your local supermarket. We want to break a hole in the market, and put cash back in your wallet.
By providing unique products we can peak peoples interest, but it's important that everyday essentials are provided at as low prices as possible to make them accessible to as many people as possible. This means making our own and cutting out some intermediate businesses.
6. Plastic free isn't everything
The focus on plastic-free has meant some products on the market are being sold as eco-friendly, when they're not. We take our time to look at the impact across a range of issues before making a decision.
For example, if wood is used it has to be FSC certified or 100% recycled. We look for brands with certifications whenever possible and will do the same for our products.
7. Locally sourced
It's down to carbon emissions. We try to source manufacturers, workshops and independent makers based in the UK first before looking abroad. When we do stock foreign products, it's because either there isn't a UK alternative or it doesn't make sense. For example, if we have bamboo products manufactured it saves on carbon emissions if the products are made in the same area the bamboo is grown. The same approach is taken with the products we resell.
8. Less products, more thought
We aren't the biggest online store, but that's because there's a lot of thought going into what we stock. Not only in terms of sustainability, but what's the most beneficial to consumers.
Some well-known brands in our opinion use unnecessary plastic, often to give much nicer looking packaging at a cheaper budget. We don't point the finger and we understand that it's hard for small businesses to compete whilst taking every step to be sustainable and ethical. They just aren't what we want to stock even if other zero waste stores do.
9. Being supported by our customers means a lot
The support of our customers to decide our store is the place to shop means a lot. Our loyalty program went live in May, and we back dated EVERY customer order manually. It's a personal pet hate when companies only give "New Customer" benefits and rates.
10. Realising a Dream
Finally, shopping at Tecorra helps bring a dream to life. The dream of a retail company that puts the planet before profit, uses sustainable resources, upholds social justice, cares about the impact on nature, pays the tax owed without avoiding through offshore accounts or paying minimum wage and topping up through dividends, and cares about more than what the customer sees, keeping sustainability as the top priority. It's not about being perfect from day one. It's about striving to get there with every decision we make.
There's a long way to go, but together we can make the dream come true. Keep in touch, there's a lot of surprises on the horizon (and they're not all bad like COVID-19).
Thanks for your support; please do have a browse here and if you think something could be better tell us!