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At Wild + Wolf, our guiding principle is to be the world's most thoughtful gifting company. For us, being thoughtful influences many areas of our business – including our mission to become more sustainable as a company.
We are thoughtfully and creatively working towards a sustainable future, that’s why Lorena Siminovich, our Chief Creative Officer and founder of Petit Collage, decided to create Wild + Wolf’s very own Eco Team. Their specific goal? To make our gifts more sustainable and reduce their negative impact on our planet.
We chatted to Lorena to get a glimpse behind the scenes, and to find out more about the various ways our Eco Team are helping us combine good design with a love for our planet…
How did the idea to introduce an Eco Team to Wild + Wolf arise?
Sustainability has always been intrinsic to product development for Petit Collage, and a key driver for me. So when I joined the Wild + Wolf family, I was keen to accelerate the existing efforts and bring sustainable practices to the forefront of how we develop all our gifts.
The product development teams at Wild + Wolf work quite independently across each brand, so I wanted to introduce a central Eco Team. What we have established is a group of people with shared goals but very different expertise, and this means any eco solution has the right skill set looking at it from every angle - product development, packaging design, 3D design, safety and compliance.
What sort of things get discussed in the Eco Team meetings?
The team meet every fortnight to discuss specific brands, products or packaging in development.
They start by identifying an eco ‘problem’ being faced. It could be linked to the materials being used for a product or its packaging, or perhaps how we’re approaching the transit of our goods. The team will then brainstorm creative eco ‘solutions’ to offer back to the business.
What are some of sustainability trends that you’ve been seeing in the world of product design, and in consumer preferences?
Sustainability is an ever-moving target, however I would say there are two key sustainability trends we’re seeing in product design at the moment.
The first is the removal of plastic trays from packaging. Some of the shops we sell our gifts to have even started to refuse selling any products that contain plastic packaging. Plastic is in the spotlight more than ever before!
The second trend is to make product packaging truly recyclable. We’re making sure to do this across all brands in Wild +Wolf as a priority, and in many cases we’ve already done so.
Forewarned is forearmed, which is why we spend a lot of time at the development phase anticipating the upcoming eco ‘trends’.
What are some of your goals as a team?
Everything we do has a carbon footprint; so our goal is to ensure that through thoughtful and creative design and manufacture, our products are as environmentally friendly as they can be.
We’re passionate about educating ourselves in green and sustainable materials and processes, and we are careful not to ‘green-wash’ our customers – not all natural materials are good and not all plastic is bad! We want to implement real changes that will benefit the product, the planet and most importantly, our customers.
Some of our short term goals include a focus on the materials we use, the size of packaging, and giving packaging a reusable ‘second life’ (this has been applied across all products for our all-new brand, Wanderflower, due out later this year!). We use recycled and recyclable materials wherever possible.
As for long term goals, ones of our biggest ones is to remove single use plastic from all Wild +Wolf products.
What’s the Eco Team’s proudest achievement so far?
We’ve significantly reduced single use and disposable plastic and card waste from our transit and product packaging. For example, since 2019, we’ve reduced the amount of waste card and plastic imported to the UK (requiring a recycling and recovery contribution) by an average of 95%. Where we are finding plastic difficult to remove, we’re working to provide recycled and recyclable options that have less of an ecological impact.
We’ve created a plan that is achievable, without green washing, and with a passion, above all, for beautifully designed products that goes hand in hand with sustainability.
What’s the best thing about having the Eco Team?
We all care about the environment we live in, and we all want to do our bit. As a manufacturer of thoughtful gifts, we recognize that the small changes we’re making have the power to impact hundreds of thousands of products.
Having a team that genuinely cares about making our products and our planet more environmentally friendly is a wonderful thing!