People | Planet | Prosperity
Kia ora! The Flo family believe businesses have a responsibility to look after our people and our planet as well as making a profit. We’re on a journey to keep improving in all 3 areas, and we’d love to share this with you. We understand there are some huge issues facing the world right now, and that we all need to make some changes, with an ethic of Kaitiakitanga. As an industry, fashion and clothing is a major contributor to these major problems, and we want to help change that. The purpose of kaitiakitanga is to ensure sustainability (of the whānau, hapu or iwi) in physical, spiritual, economic and political terms.
There are three pillars of sustainability in business at Flo & Frankie: People, Planet, Prosperity.
Knowing that actions speak louder than words, below are some of the practices we’re actively engaging in to do so. We know we have lots of room for improvement, and are striving to make positive changes everyday.
The power of working collectively
Being a retailer that stocks over 200 brands of fashion and homewares, a lot of our footprint is down to each suppliers commitment to the planet and people - so we are well aware we’re in a position to help influence these brands in a positive way. We pledge to continue doing this as we have done so far, and we're motivated now more than ever to see our brands improving their practices in all three pillars of sustainability.
We are acutely aware of how our feedback towards brands and their sustainability practices are extremely important. Our team are using the values set out in our Ethical Edit, to encourage and hāpai (support) our brands to work towards using more ethical and sustainable practices (if they aren’t already). From the raw materials, to the processes, to their final product and their packaging, we have communicated and suggested specific ethical and sustainable alternatives, to give them a chance to incorporate these into their businesses.
Our influence varies across the different brands, for many smaller NZ brands, we may be their biggest retailer, giving us a lot more impact with the feedback we give them. Whereas for many, we are just a small one of their hundreds of Australasian stockists, buying a much smaller amount compared to bigger, international retailers, giving us much less power and influence.
We’ve built this pillar with the belief that everyone is worthy of love and that together the POWER OF KINDNESS can make a whole lot of difference in this world.
Our Flo Gives Back project in Nepal stemmed from our mission:
TO EMPOWER AND SUPPORT VULNERABLE WOMEN AND CHILDREN GLOBALLY.
To help us achieve this mission we’ve carefully sourced and designed a number of products where 15% of the sale price goes to helping vulnerable women in need in Nepal, through Tear Fund New Zealand’s partnership with Share & Care Nepal.
Check out the impact here: 2018 Impact. 2019 Impact. THANK YOU for joining our giving revolution and helping change the lives of these women in need in Nepal. Find out more about our Flo Gives Back project here.
Flo Family in Nepal in 2018, visiting Share & Care's work.
Thanks to YOU amazing customers, $3,000 was raised in 2017 to support women in developing countries start businesses, to give them a better future! 20% of the sales from all Christmas decorations and cards, were donated to make this happen. Together we supported Visionfund.org, to help them in their goal to work with communities in the villages of Chauk and Yenangyaung, to strengthen economic resilience, through better environmental management and farmer engagement. For more info, watch the VisionFund Impact video here.
As of 2019, Flo & Frankie began supporting Charity Water, by giving a monthly donation, to help the fight against the Global Water Crisis. 663 million people in the world live without clean water - that's nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide! Charity Water work with local experts and community members to find the best sustainable solution in each place where they work. Read on of their stories from the field here.
#FloGoesPink for the Breast Cancer Foundation
For the last two years, we have held a collection in store, encouraging customers to add a donation with their purchase, to help support the Breast Cancer Foundation. With 1 in 9 women being affected by this in Aotearoa, we felt this is such an important issue. We’ll continue to do this collection every October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Earlier in the year on Pink Shirt Day, the team participated by inviting customers to give a donation with their purchase, to this worthy cause. This day is used to raise awareness about bullying, and to share aroha among the nation, especially those suffering from mental illness. As a business we chose to match the donations by the same amount. Going forward, we’ll make this an annual tradition.
We love choosing brands with aroha (love), and whakawhanaunga (relationships) at the core of their business. Our supporting-communities section includes products and brands that give back, using one of the following practices: (1) donating a portion of their profits to a cause, (2) using a buy one, give one scheme, (3) volunteering their time, or (4) empowering and training local artisans to improve their livelihoods. You can shop away to your heart's content knowing that your purchase has a positive impact on someone or somewhere on this Earth.
People & Planet Pillar
Beautiful Nepalese women standing together in Flo Gives Back scarves.
As a family-run business based around strong values, we truly want to support businesses who are actively seeking to look after the people involved in their supply chain, as well as the planet through their goods and production. It was the eldest Flo’s sister Ruby’s idea, to create a ‘Flo & Frankie Brand Guide’, to understand how sustainable and ethical our brands are, comparatively. So without further ado, the in-house team worked hard to evaluate the hundreds of brands we stock, creating the mother of all spreadsheets! This information was used to form our Ethical Edit.
By 2020, we aim to create a Brand Manual & Code of Conduct, which details our ethical standards that all brands stocked at Flo & Frankie must comply with.
As a team we worked hard to create an Ethical Edit to celebrate our brands that fit into the following categories: Ethical & Fair, Eco-Friendly, Supporting Communities, Support Local, and Animal Friendly. The motivation behind our Ethical Edit, is so that we can encourage our brands to be more transparent about the 'behind the scenes' of their products and motivate them to improve their practices in these areas. Read more about how and why we created our Ethical Edit here.
By 2020, our goal is to complete a 5 year strategy outlining our goals for taking responsibility of the 3 areas of business sustainability - people, planet and prosperity, with an ethic of Kaitiakitanga. This 3 pillar strategy will outline our goals and how we will look to achieve them, in a document available to you lovely customers, so you can see where we’re at with this journey. We’ll use this as our driving force for change, a tangible call for measurable action to see more and more positive development towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Te Whare Pounamu Dunedin Women's Refuge host a sample sale to fundraise money in order to aid their provision of some of the most difficult but necessary services for our society. We've loved being a part of this by supplying them with high quality seconds and samples they can then onsell a sample sale with all proceeds going to the Refuge for the last 2 years. This avoids wastage of clothes in good condition, and allows us to be involved with this incredible organisation.
Photo by: Trees For the Future
Our Carbon Footprint
To reduce our carbon footprint, we endeavor to ship as much product as we can by sea. We are aware of our increasing carbon footprint with online orders, so have just recently introduced a way to somewhat contribute to offsetting this, by working with Trees For the Future, planting a tree for every online order placed.
We are currently looking into how we can make our online order deliveries carbon neutral and look forward to updating you on our progress soon!
We are passionate about encouraging the reduction of waste by selling products that helps customers do that. Our https://floandfrankie.com/collections/all-gifts/eco gifts section includes products that replace single-use items that help to reduce waste.
Selling clothes that are higher quality and long lasting (made to be loved and kept), we believe in fashion beautiful pieces that can be worn over and over again.
We use R3pack compostable bags and no toxic inks for all online orders and any transfers made between stores or to suppliers. We made the swap from plastic cups for our in store customer water canisters, to using compostable Ecoware.
As for packaging, we’re in the process of sourcing compostable stickers, and a more eco friendly version of bubble wrap. By 2020, we aim to print all marketing & packaging materials on recycled and/or FSC certified or compostable materials, using only soy based inks.
Staff Sustainability Survey, April 2019
We conducted a survey for all staff to complete on where we can improve our practices to look after one of the pillars of sustainability, ‘planet’. The goal of this was to involve our team in this process, and to give feedback as to where the business can lessen their impact on the environment. We were absolutely thrilled to see just how passionate our staff are about this, so we couldn’t wait to use their responses as a tool to influence the brands we stock, to look into where they can reduce their footprint and overall impact on the environment, as well as continuing to develop ways to do so on our end.
Beach clean up event by OSOF X Flo & Frankie
Thanks to the initiative of our previous assistant manager in our Merivale store (Ruby D), in celebration of Sea Week, we teamed up with Our Seas Our Future to host a beach clean up in Christchurch. Our aim was to promote looking after beautiful NZ marine life & the environment, as well as to promote a waste free lifestyle. We aim to collaborate with more organisations looking after Aoeteroa in the future.
Repairing / Adjusting Garments
We’re acutely aware of how big of a polluter the fashion industry is, and that often when people are giving away their old clothes to op shops, that a huge portion (approx 84%) of these clothes inevitably end up in landfill (Newsweek, 2016), without a second life. When garments are not sold in stores or are deemed ‘unsellable’, we repair or change the garment as best as we can, to avoid this from ending up in landfill.
Head Office & Resource Use
We are constantly trying to come up with ways to reduce our waste at our office, by making simple swaps from single use plastic, for their eco friendly alternative. We’re not 100% there, but we’re all trying to learn and do our best. In terms of stationery and supplies, we’re so excited to keep hearing about the new eco friendly alternatives to regular stationery etc, so love using FSC certified printing paper, CompostMe liners, Greencane products and more. We even have a vegetable garden which gets such good use for our team lunches - working from home sure does have its perks!
We are trying to manage our waste systems as best as we can, to save unnecessary things ending up in landfill. Recently, we started working with Wecompost across our Auckland stores, to compost food and any other material that can avoid going into landfill. We recycle all soft plastics through Waste Management, and the packaging from our deliveries and keep our non-recycled rubbish to a minimum if at all possible.
We Are On A Journey
We call this a journey, because we know there is always more improvements we can make to become more sustainable, and we feel every little step, no matter how big or small, is important. We recognise we are far from perfect, however, believe that any progress is better than no progress, and are excited to keep aiming to improve our triple bottom line of sustainability.
If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback for us, please feel free to flick us an email. We would so love to hear from you and get in touch with companies that can help us tread a little lighter on this wonderful world of ours.
If you’d like to know more about us, please have a nosy here 'Our Story'.