Sustainability Sunday // Atlas and Ortus

" We're strong believers that everyone has a responsibility to protect our planet - and that we could all be doing more to help reduce the use of single-use plastic in particular " 

Sisters Evie Calder and Francesca Watson are the team behind ethical lifestyle brand Atlas and Ortus. In this weeks Sustainability Sunday, Co Founder Evie Calder tells us a little bit more about their mission: 

wyatt and jack sustainability sunday meets atlas and ortus ethical brand

 

W&J: What prompted you to work in the ethical field?
A&O: I have always been interested in the environment and sustainability, and I have a Bsc in Environmental Economics & Environmental Management and an MA in Transnational Studies. I learnt a great deal about CSR and how trade can be used as a development mechanism. After working in communications for several years and travelling to New Zealand for 6 months, when I arrived home last October I was reluctant to return to world I was in before, and wanted to start my own venture that helped tackle the plastic problem here in the UK and also does good for producers in developing nations. I believe all businesses should operate in a way that benefits society and also uses profit to help fix social problems, and I hope Atlas & Ortus can be an example of the way businesses should be run in the future.
W&J: Whats your long game? What goals do you hope to acheive through running your business?
I hope to be able to mainstream environmentalism with our products - and join the movement helping make sustainability and plastic free living 'cool'. I also hope to be able to use both our supply chain and our profits to benefit vulnerable people in developing nations, particularly women and children.
W&J: How do you intend to get there?
I hope that our stylish products appeal to those outside of the ethical and sustainable community, helping them become interested in sustainability and our mission. We are already joining in with initiatives such as UK Coffee Week, and donating a portion of profits to this cause. We hope to continue growing and joining in with events like these. We also hope to expand our product range to include those made by ethical overseas suppliers, sourcing from women's collectives, helping emancipate women by providing them with a fair wage, so they can lift themselves out of poverty.
W&J: Whats the single most important thing you've learnt about yourself through running your business / brand?
I have learnt that I am capable of so much more that I thought I was - and that I am actually much more well suited to the business environment than I anticipated - I love it and I'm never going back!
atlas and ortus bamboo toothbrushes wyatt and jack sustainability blog
W&J: If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Stop worrying, believe in yourself, and follow your heart. Stop trying to do the things you think you SHOULD be doing, and do the things you actually WANT to do. It's the only way you can really be happy, which is the most important thing in life.
W&J: What can we expect to see from you in the coming 6/12 months?
In all honesty - who knows. It's a really exciting time at Atlas & Ortus, and we really don't know what's going to happen. So many amazing opportunities have arisen recently that we really weren't expecting. We're hoping to work with more stockists all over the country, and grow our product range. All I can say is watch this space...
W&J: Who are your ethical brand heroes and why?
When I was a child, I was always being dragged into The Body Shop by my Mum, who is a big believer in all things natural - so naturally I eventually became a big Anita Roddick fan. She was so ahead of her time, and always stuck to her values. I really look up to women like her. In terms of brands, there are far too many to mention. Obvious ones for me are TOMS and Patagonia, who both are doing amazing things for the environment and for people in need. I also love Divine chocolate, and the fact that they're owned by cocoa farmers. And, of course, how could I not mention Wyatt and Jack? Such a great idea - we need more companies thinking about and tackling issues in this way!
W&J: whats the soundtrack to your working day?
I listen to Coldplay pretty much all day every day. Their songs are so easy to work to, and they help me keep calm - so key when you're trying to run a business! If I'm in a rush and need to crack on with orders, I tend to stick on Radio 1 to get me moving!
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