Merchants not green enough

Published:  10 November, 2009

TEWKESBURY: Builders' merchants are not green enough for ethical work ware, said Joanna Dale, who runs Ethical Workwear.

She supplies sources and supplies products with an ethical and environmental track record but does not think merchants sufficiently conscious of such issues to consider stocking the products.

Ms Dale said: "There's no point targeting builders' merchants. We'd have a lot more success with a company providing recycling equipment."

The retail price of her products is double that of "non-ethically-sourced" products, said Ms Dale. She launched the work wear business a year ago with a contract from environmental and agricultural specialists Adas UK.

"Originally I thought I would supply big organisations, but they squeeze margins so we are probably better pitching to medium-sized businesses."

Ms Dale targets the director tasked with sustainability or environmental policy, a job rarely found in smaller businesses. "Pitching to procurement or finance managers may not hit the right nerve," she said.

Her products allow companies to ride on the back of her ethical credentials by displaying the label, designer style, on the outside of the garments.

"That way," she says, "they can associate themselves with the ethical nature of the product. It will help them to make a statement about their company."

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