With 80%* of UK consumers considering themselves to be ‘environmentally friendly’, the world is going greener, and consumer shopping habits are dictating new trading models aimed at adopting more sustainable practices. Soaring consumer demand, for products that are sourced in ethical and sustainable ways, is driving huge opportunities for the interiors industry, specifically for those brands embarking on longer-term projects focused on creating a sustainable future.
Some of our ethical and sustainable practices that are setting us apart include:
Manufacturing exclusively in India, the company utilises a network of over 25,000 independent weavers from across rural India to create their rugs and carpets. The quality craftsmanship for which they are renowned has been instrumental to their success and is in no small part down to their weavers who have become the cornerstone of their business, utilising artisanal skills that have been handed down through generations.
With a progressive approach towards employee rights and wellbeing, the company places great emphasis on their contribution to the weavers, their families and local communities, ensuring a safe and healthy working environment for all, accredited by Social Accountability international, as well as state-of-the-art facilities and unmatched employee benefits, including community support initiatives to help keep local villages thriving and the rug weaving industry alive.
In 2015, Obeetee developed the Women’s Weavers initiative, a programme designed to give women in rural India the training and opportunities to create an independent income for their families by learning the art of weaving. As an equal opportunities employer, Obeetee is helping to reshape the concept of the traditional female role in rural India, and has trained over 1000 women since the program’s inception.
As well as their work to bring equal opportunities to their local communities, Obeetee also helps provide education to 460 children from across 15 villages through their work with Project Mala, helping to reshape the future for many families and villages at the heart of the communities local to the business.
The brand’s ethical policies also extend to their production facilities, which strive to keep the eco footprint small by using locally sourced materials to fuel local factories, as well as operating on 30% solar power, reducing energy consumption and treating any residual output responsibly using their unique onsite effluent treatment and waste water recycling facility, creating minimal impact on the local environment and communities in which the company operates.
The company uses rice husk for steam generation in its factories, heavily reducing its carbon footprint on the environment. Obeetee was the first carpet company in the handmade rug industry to secure the prestigious SA 8000 standard.
Sustainability can mean different things to different people, but almost two thirds (64%) of the UK population believe it is all about “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future generations”, so corporations need to implement CSR initiatives that will significantly lessen their environmental impact.
Those unwilling to adapt to meet consumer demand for more ethical products and practices will be left behind, as Issues such as climate change, excess waste and unethical labour practices become much more salient than they used to be.
For more information on Obeetee’s sustainability initiatives, visit obeetee.com.