What a funny old week [again!]]
Theres been SO SO much press recently, NONE of which we were expecting, but all of it positive!
Well, to be honest, I'm not sure 100% on that- as i've been banned from reading it/ watching it / looking at the comments. Steve put the ban into place after a thread of remarks/ comments insinuating that our ethos or objectives were false and we were in fact, lying?! I got really upset and steve said i wasn't allowed to read them anymore...
Anyway, this week, i had an interview.
Everything started off ok, then suddenly, a curveball.
The presenter asked me if we were just making a 'fast buck' on the back of the growing concern around sustainability....
Well, I laughed my head off!!
Genuinely, i found it funny.
A decade of working 70 odd hour weeks isn't what i would consider anything like a 'fast buck'- anyone?!
What was really interesting about it, was what he said when the interview was finished.
He apologised for his line of questioning and said that the majority of his particular audience wanted something controversial...
But lets say hypothetically, he's got a point.
That particular demographic are in fact, mostly cheesed off the majority of the time? Does that mean the media should be feeding that? Or would it be more responsible to diffuse it as often as you can, to not add fuel to someones already raging fire?
Coincidentally, [as these things so often are], yesterday evening, we were sent a mention in someones Instagram story. It was a poll to ask people whether or not they thought it was morally right that we were 'profiting from peoples donations?'
Again, an interesting point. Firstly because, on odd occasions, we do receive donations of broken inflatables that would otherwise have been sent to landfill, [which is VERY kind- thank you!] But the majority of the time, we reimburse postage and / or send a courier, because we're trying to disrupt what we believe to be, a flawed system.
We choose to buy our fabrics 'second hand' if you like.
We don't want to add to the landfill problem.
Thats literally it!
So, instead of buying a whole roll of brand new fabric- we buy ours in a different way- through postage- that is it. But its yet to catch on... people assume there must be something dodgy about it.
Its not 'ethical' its obvious!
In the growing world of ethical / sustainable business, theres a lot of guilt and conversation around whether or not its morally ok, to make a living from an ethical business?
Isn't it funny, how people who are ethically minded, feel BAD about earning a living, doing something that may benefit others and or the planet?
Where does this guilt come from? Ive struggled with it myself... like, its not ok to make a living from something that is deemed ethical? Very weird.
That should be the norm surely? All businesses should be ethically minded AND make a living? Why is it ok for enormous corporates to make livings from businesses that are FAR from ethical OR sustainable?
We are a growing, FAMILY business. We're looking into renewable energy sources for our new workshop, we're not there yet, its a long process... we operate an 'end of life' policy, so we remain responsible for the items we create... we don't get it right all the time- but we're hoping to and trying really hard to get there...
Don't get me wrong, I don't mind answering awkward questions, I just wonder why there isn't so much of a spotlight on those businesses or companies that are, quite frankly, doing literally F.A about anything, when they have the power to do so...
Secondly, a note on our Inflatable Amnesty collection / drop off points
These people are AMAZING! They have been behind what we're trying to do, [some of them since the very beginning] and they don't receive bags for free, discounts or any of that malarkey and even if they DID [and they probably will once Lottie and i work out a way to implement it] I really can't see an issue with that?
Thanking people for being involved in something that you didn't know would work or not, by sending them a gift? Is that something that would cause anger?
I don't understand?! I really hope not...
I also wanted to write a little bit about order status, which would usually have been a separate post, but i have so little time to write anything at the moment, i thought i would stick it on here, hopefully thats cool?
To give an idea of whats happening our end at the moment, as mentioned briefly on an instagram post, in addition to lots of press coverage, we also had someone share a post about our Inflatable Amnesty® that was viewed over 100K times
The result of that being, that we have been inundated with orders- we are REALLY grateful for each and every one of them- THANKYOU!
At the same time [i know, right?] we have just moved to a new workshop and have expanded from a team of 4 to a team of 11- in a WEEK!
IN. A. WEEK....
I stay awake at night worrying about this kind of thing.
Ive read lots of articles over the years about how little businesses that grow too quickly, can drown [the irony of that when we're dealing with inflatables...?!]
We really don't want that to happen. So we're doing literally everything we can, to train people up and get orders out to you all, as quickly as we can...
Everything we make, is made here, on the Isle of Wight, by hand.
Individually hand cut, hand sewn [well, on a machine, but with a person behind it, obviously!] and hand packaged up, in a shell of a workshop, that Steve and I are trying to make less like a shell, as quickly as we can!
We don't use distribution houses, because we want to make sure that everyone is happy doing what they're doing and that the product is right when it leaves us.
Nobody could have predicted whats happening to us at the moment- and its amazing, but we still want to ensure the same quality and standards and that takes a little bit more care and time... if you feel like we're not meeting those standards, we want to hear about that too!
Thanks so much for bearing with us- we're getting there!