Over the last decade or so, a rapid rise in "for purpose" businesses and having an impact focus model has been influential in the way that consumer behaviour has changed. With this rise came along a term that is now commonly recognised in business - Social Enterprise. Whilst there is still no legal framework around the definitions of a Social Enterprise, it broadly defines a business process and methodology towards for profit AND for purpose. The goods or services provided in a social enterprise usually focus on providing a solution to an issue our world is facing whilst still keeping up with consumer demands.
A clear phase of consumerism towards fast fashion and low cost imported goods is still present, however a positive movement towards transparencies in manufacturing and other business process facets is proving hopeful for a cleaner world and better humanitarian rights in the industry. This comes off the back of a number of exposures into the harsh circumstances seen in some of the manufacturing sites in the less developed world. Whether it was a child labour scandal or the environmental degradation factors, social enterprise has stepped in to offer an ethical alternative.
It sounds like a no brainer to switch towards socially beneficial enterprise right? Why isn't everyone making the switch? The biggest factor that is holding back social enterprise and supporting greener initiatives is cost. By being ethical in your business process it usually comes with a higher cost to your basic products and services. Until the demand for business transparencies and particularly products that are ethically produced rises, the cost of the goods will stay high. In its simplest economic form the supply and demand scale is pronounced in ethical manufacturing as we see a relatively new phenomenon. Raw material costs are often much higher than the standard sourcing methods until we find the demand sufficient and economically viable for bigger businesses to invest their resources into these methods.
Our challenge to you as consumers is to approach your favourite brands and manufacturers to explore their business process and supply chain. By simply promoting greater transparencies for large business we will inevitably find a progression towards a more sustainable and ethical model whilst also on a broader scale bring the costs down associated with supporting better business.
Our labels 321 Water and Uppercup are ethically manufactured locally here in Melbourne, Australia. We directly support families of a refugee background through our manufacturing employment program. All the materials that go into our product range are sourced from high quality resources and ensured that they are entirely recyclable or compostable (Filters) at the end of their life.