Responsible Sourcing and Social Impact
At HIPPIE we are committed to continuous movement towards a completely proven ethical product offering, and we are continuously reviewing own social impact as well as our supplier's approach to ethical trading. There are now a number of ways in which we are enhancing our social impact, including donating to charity, looking for new vegan, organic, recycled or fairly traded product lines to stock, and communicating supplier stories to our customers.
Supplier Images from Kolkata, India - Trading Fairly!
Fair Trade and Ethical Source Indicators:
"Fair trade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), fair trade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives." (Fairtrade Foundation)
The decision to add this information on to our listings is recent, and therefore only new additions added to the website from 30th January, 2023 will carry the information, or those older products that undergo a review from this point forward. Therefore, please bear in mind that many of our products will not yet carry such information, but are likely to be carrying great social impact:
- Cert. fair trade - A respected independent third party, (such as the World Fair Trade Organisation, or Fairtrade International), has audited the supplier and provided them with certification and logo. This usually requires the supplier to pay membership fees and commit significant resource to that third party. Therefore, may choose not to.
- Fairly traded - Substantial evidence and reports from supplier to manufacturer visits is made easily available to HIPPIE and other trade buyers, They may even publish some information as "supplier stories" for end consumer reading that HIPPIE can share. There is enough of this significantly weighted evidence to suggest they would be likely to receive certified status, if they wished to join a third part association. Many don't simply for cost reasons, as they have both established and evidenced themselves publicly, as supplying fairly traded items for a significant number of years.
- Ethically sourced - These suppliers may have begun to trade in the last few years and so do not yet have a long trading history of evidence behind them. They may also have a valid reason why they do not publicly publish their trading data, such as owning franchises, or being under certain other contracts for which publicising their own ethics may be a conflict of interest to other areas for parties. Under UK law, (which also effects any international company trading to UK) a statemented policy is expected to be upheld, reported on and evidenced. Failure to do may result in inability to secure funding, credit, or investment, or if published on a website or other place of consumer purchase, investigation by Trading Standards. It is the weight of these statements, that HIPPIE refers to, before deciding to place the term "ethically sourced" onto any of our product descriptions. Here are examples. A statement from an existing suppliers in each category:
Supplier 1: Cert Fair Trade
(Supplier name removed) is a Guaranteed Fair Trade member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) and regularly monitor our performance against the ethical standards set by WFTO. The majority of our products are bought direct from abroad, from suppliers who are members of WFTO, or who have been recommended by other WFTO members. Many of these suppliers have been set up as non-profit organisations to enable small-scale producer groups to export effectively, and to help them develop their products for larger markets like the UK. Most producers are organised in family groups or co-operatives, often in rural areas or small towns, and are highly skilled in their craft but have little experience of selling beyond a local market. By buying from us, you are helping to provide much-needed jobs in countries like India, Nepal, Thailand, Bali, Kenya and Guatemala - for people who are often on the margins of society with little or no other source of income."
Supplier 2: Fairly Traded
"We spend up to six months a year traveling in India, Indonesia, Nepal and China seeking out new product lines and trying to fulfil our customers wish lists.
We visit suppliers not only to do deals but also to see for ourselves how well staff and subcontractors are treated...this is our version of Fair Trade." - Fairly traded
Supplier 3: Ethically Sourced
"We only deal with mines, providers and suppliers that have a strong ethical policy in place, which avoids the use of child labour, operates a fair trade policy and are against testing products on animals. We also ensure that all products we source come from sustainable supplies."
Supplier 4: Ethically Sourced
."..We are committed to purchasing products that are produced with fair working conditions, safe production facilities, and fair pay for workers... are proud to support social projects in the communities...look out for the ethical sourcing sticker on our products."
Supplier Image- Bali, Indonesia, Trading Fairly!
By purchasing from our ever-growing ethical ranges, you are indirectly helping fund the charities and social projects mentioned in the individual product listings. By combining this, with UK charity donations on other items, and offering the opportunity to fund a tree planted in one of the world's most neediest places at checkout, via One Tree Planted, we are endeavouring to "be the change", both at home and away.
Fair Balance Packaging:
We endeavour to strike a fair balance between providing cost effective, brand identifiable packaging and making minimal environmental impact. We call this approach “Fair Balance Packaging” and achieve it in a number of different ways:
- by shipping as much as we can directly from local warehouses, avoiding the need for additional logistics and the extra packaging that comes with that.
- by reusing supplier boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts and paper shreds when ever possible, (we have never purchased or used a single piece of new bubble wrap!)
- by using recycled tissue paper and shreds when preparing parcels on site,
- by keeping brand identifiers on external packaging only, and on orders packaged on site only, reducing the production of new packaging,
- by using uplifting and useful items as order gratitudes, instead of printing flyers with discounts and vouchers