We have 3 golden rules for everything we do:
1. Our Commitment to Fair Trade
We’re proud to uphold the principles of Fair Trade, valuing our producers’ skills, traditions, and their communities.
We only work with producers we know personally and visit them as often as we can. This means we’re able to guarantee that all aspects of our business follow the guidelines as set out by the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) and the British Association for Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS). We’ve seen for ourselves the positive impact Fair Trade has, and we’re determined to support this as much as possible through our business.
What does it mean to be Fair Trade?
Fair Trade is a system that ensures a certain set of standards are met when products or ingredients are produced. Providing rights for workers, safer working conditions, and a fair standard of pay, it means that the incredible people who make our products are treated as well as they should be.
Take a look at the 10 principles of Fair Trade to see all the ways we’re working towards a better future.
What’s different about the way we work with our producers?
- We always pay at least 50% upfront for all of our orders, send extra when it’s needed, and pay the full remaining balance as soon as we’ve received the order.
- We work collaboratively with our producers on the development of new products to respect the traditional designs and techniques they use.
- Wherever possible we ensure our producers are using local, traditionally made materials in order to cut the carbon footprint and keep work within the local community.
- We aim to visit our producers at least once a year to exchange feedback, discuss future improvements, plans, and products, and to keep our relationship strong.
2. Reducing Our Environmental Impact
All our products are created with planet-friendly materials wherever possible. You’ll find paper made from cotton rags salvaged from the waste of the Indian garment industry, and photo frames crafted from elephant dung. Christmas baubles blown from recycled glass, and decorative signs cast in recycled metal. We also use sustainable materials like merino wool, Lokta shrub, and mango wood.
Most important of all we choose quality materials that last well, to live long, happy lives in your homes before coming to the end of their use. Check out our Care Guide for some tips on looking after your Paper High treats.
Here in the UK we hold true to these values too. All of our packaging is fully recyclable – even the bubble wrap! We reuse the boxes from our suppliers to pack our wholesale orders, and you might notice that they’re filled with shredded junk mail and wastepaper.
We also minimize our carbon footprint by importing goods by sea rather than air whenever possible, and we’re sure to offset our carbon emissions every time we visit our producers.
We never throw products away; sometimes we receive leather items from our suppliers that are not quite up to our high standards. As part of our ethos, we never send anything back to our suppliers, withhold payment or dispose products. Instead, we list them on eBay at a heavily reduced price to ensure they still find a home. Check out our eBay shop here.
3. Making a Positive Social Impact
We always choose our producers with the aim of forming a lasting relationship. We hope that our business has a positive impact for the families of our producers and their local economy, and by continuing the relationship in a mutually beneficial way we can both plan for future growth.
As well as this, we’re always looking for other ways to help out, whether that’s financially or otherwise. Our fantastic gift wrap producer Get Paper Industries are involved in a whole host of charity work that supports their community, including establishing the Anita Milan International Academy, a school for disadvantaged children in Kathmandu. We’re proud to sponsor 17 girls, a number we’ve increased over the years thanks to our Fair Trade Fortnight events each year.
We also try to support our own local charities whenever possible, with donations made to the Brighton food bank and local primary schools over the years.