Sustainable Business; Makers

sustainable ethical makers

This is the last in my series on Sustainable Business. Of course if I find more info for other sectors I’ll draft a new one, but for now I’m done with this segment. To date I’ve written on

Please share these posts with businesses that you think might be receptive to making more sustainable changes. It’s only by supporting businesses that share our values and nudging others that we’ll create the world we want. (Of course political pressure matters too but that’s a different post)

Nothing mentioned in this post has been sponsored. It’s all just my own personal opinion. If you like your bloggers to remain independent then please share this post or support me with a small monthly donation via Patreon or with a once off donation via Paypal.
Photo by Matilda bellman on Unsplash

Packing Material

  • Karo Pack make cardboard filled reusable packing pillows from old cardboard boxes. Based in Germany.
  • Woolcool offer insulated packing material for temperature sensitive goods made from sheeps wool. Based in he UK.
  • Sweetair is a brand of air filled pillows to protect fragile goods in transit. Based in the UK.
  • Pluumo make packing material with feathers not suitable for down. Based in the UK.
  • Cardboard Converters sell cardboard shredders that allow you to reuse cardboard boxes as packing material. They have an office in Ireland.
  • Flex-hex use expandable cardboard sheets to protect bottles
  • Palletsock provide reusable durable socks for use to palette thereby doing away with the need for acres and acres of stretch wrap
  • Recycled cardboard packing material by Ecor
  • Flexible compostable packaging by Tipa
  • Compostable sealable pouches by Sirane or Tishwish
  • One simple way to promote your business is to list your packaging policy on your website and apply to join the website Slash Packaging

Packaging & Stickers

  • The Tiny Box Company in the UK offer recycled jewellery boxes, recycled bags and acid-free tissue paper.
  • No issue offer bespoke paper stickers and FSC certified tissue paper printed with soy-ink. They’re in the UK.
  • The Print Factory in the midlands is a design and print company focused on sustainability, including recycled paper, compostable tape and plant based inks.

If you’re in the clothing industry you may find this article on packaging options for clothing useful. It’s American focused but still some interesting insights.


  • Repack is a supplier of reusable mailers that customers post back once they’ve received their goods. They are based in Holland, Germany, Iceland and the US.
  • Living Packets offer a genius reusable rigid ‘smart’ box!
  • Limeloop is another brand of reusable mailers operating in the US.
  • Polybags offer paper, recycled plastic and compostable plastic mailers. They are based in the UK.
  • No issue offer compostable plant-based mailers. They’re in the UK.



  • Buy second hand equipment when you can. Check out this blog post for a list of second-hand goods resources
  • Tools for Solidarity in Northern Ireland collect and refurbished sewing machines, knitting machines and leather machines for disadvantaged communities in Africa. They may be interested in selling to makers in lieu of a donation.

Garden Centres

  • Offer a plastic pot return scheme for customers.
  • Poispot in the UK is a cardboard pot that customers can transport their plants home in. Alternatively French company Le PoEthic offer biodegradable pots made from compost.
  • Use organic compost, and peat-free if you can. Offer compost for sale in returnable bags.
  • Avoid all herbicides and pesticides and explain why to your customers. If you’re looking for information on what to say check out my post on Wildlife Friendly Gardening.


  • Urban volt install LED lights with no money down. They get paid from a percentage of the savings you make from using less energy. They’re based in the US and Ireland.
  • Monitor your energy usage and set targets for reductions
  • Monitor your water consumption and set targets for reductions


  • Print posters with offers and invite customers to photograph instead of doing individual catalogues
  • Source your stationary from Klee Paper they offer products like refillable markers, low-toxin glue sticks, recycled paper etc
  • Use a custom stamp instead of business cards or printed coverslips or encourage people to take a photo of your contact details instead.
  • Use an eco print company like The Factory in Co Offaly. They print on recycled or sustainbly sourced paper using plant-based inks and toners on low energy printing and finishing machines/ Their packaging is 100% plastic-free.
  • Consider using waxed cotton for outdoor signs instead of plastic coated ones like Millbee Studio did.
  • If you’re organising an event then contact Native Events in Dublin 1. They design, construct and run sustainable events. They may also be interested in any props that you no longer need.


  • Get yourself or your staff driving more sustainably with the device Lightfoot. It plugs into the vehicle’s on-board computer and monitors driving performance. This is then displayed on the dashboard with a series of little lights. They’re based in the UK.

Positive Actions

  • One percent for the planet work with companies that want to donate 1% of their gross sales to environmental charities. They are based in the US but work with companies all over the world.

Thanks again for reading, till next week


Published by livinglightlyinireland

I am a reformed interior architect that now campaign for and write about sustainable living in Ireland.

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