Father Rabbit loves the environment just as much as he loves his beautiful homewares and fashion, so it is important to make sure he is always doing what he can to make sure he treads lightly on the earth when bringing you your gorgeous products. From packaging and waste disposal, down to transport and the products themselves, Father Rabbit always carefully considers the footprints these processes leave behind. We would like to share with you where we are at currently in our sustainability journey.
ONLINE ORDERS PACKAGING
We are proud to offer three packaging options for items that are purchased online to cater to our customers needs and minimise environmental impact where possible. First we offer minimal packaging, this will be stripped back to exclude any unnecessary materials that will end up going in the trash. We still ensure your products sit safe and tight whilst on their journey to you with the help of the wonderful compostable pop starch we get from Friendlypak.
Friendlypak looks beyond recycling by designing compostable and biodegradable packaging. Our cornstarch “packing peanuts” are intended to replace the foam polystyrene chips that are notoriously damaging to the environment. We use these as loose fill in our boxes to protect our beautiful products. These little wonders are made right here in New Zealand and are non-toxic, fully biodegradable, and can be thrown into your home compost heap.
Alongside this innovative filling, we also use R3pack’s clever compostable bags to send off our small to medium items. R3pack is proudly New Zealand owned and operated, priding themselves on bringing safer and more sustainable alternatives to the traditional plastic courier parcels. R3pack’s bags are made from cornstarch, PLA and PBAT and are created using non-toxic inks which in turn makes them certified to comply with the International Standards for home and commercial composting.
If you are too excited about your goodies inside to worry about what your parcel looks like, you can opt for our ugly packaging option at checkout. This will let us re-use existing packing boxes and materials when we have them, meaning we are sending out less waste into the world.
At Father Rabbit we appreciate the art of gift giving, so if you would prefer your products to come beautifully wrapped and ready to be given to the lucky recipient, we also offer gift wrapping with our gorgeous paper and ribbon/twine.
DISPOSING OF RUBBISH
We are happy to be working with the waste collection company Supertrash to consciously dispose of our plastics, cardboard and general waste from our online warehouse and our head office. We also use their composting bin and collection service that saves a ton of rubbish produced in the office kitchen from going into general waste. Supertrash is a small, family run service that strives to divert waste from landfills by using circular solutions and sorting through all the different types of trash. Supertrash proudly helps all their customers divert over 200,000kgs of Auckland’s waste from landfill.
The circular waste system Supertrash stands by allows products that would usually be used once then put in landfill to follow through a longer life where they can take on different forms and uses. The soft plastics collected across Auckland by Supertrash are then passed on to a company called Future Post where the material is then recycled into fences! This idea came about when Future Post founder Jermome Wenzlick found his wooden fence posts breaking when he was pushing them through waste plastic in the ground at a job site, this gave him the revelation that by building stronger fences through this plastic he could also help to eliminate the problem of waste. Future Fence is also designed, repurposed and made right here in New Zealand.In Auckland type 1 and 2 plastics are the only ones currently being recycled at material recovery facilities. This covers the standard milk bottles, fruit/vegetable punnets and the hardy PET and HPDEs. These plastics that are collected by Supertrash are passed to Flight Plastics to recycle. Our pallet wrap from incoming stock is also taken care of by Supertrash, and melted back down into the same material to be used again. We avoid receiving Polystyrene as much as we can, but when unexpected pieces do arrive at our warehouse we pass this on to Supertrash. The Polystyrene is melted down - from a 90:1 volume ratio! It is then sent to Malaysia, where is chipped up. The chipped material is sent on to China, where it is used to create other products, such as picture frames.We think it is important to work with brands whose values align with our own. When selecting new products to add to our range, we gravitate towards brands that implement eco-friendly packaging, materials and processes.
This is the beginning of our journey. Nick Hutchinson, our founder, completed the Albert-Eden Sustainable Business Programme in February 2020. Our future goals will include things like moving our delivery vehicles and company vehicles to electric or hybrid when we can afford to. This will help reduce our company and personal carbon footprints. We are also looking at perhaps ditching beautiful shop bags - instead getting customers to bring their own. Some of these things require buy-in from our customers. But from what we are hearing - these are the sorts of ideas that our customers want more of. There are so many ideas and we would love to hear your suggestions.