Reducing Our Impact
British GT Official Merchandise started in 2019 with the aim of delivering quality lifestyle and souvenir merchandise to GT fans online and at GT weekends.
As part of this we want to keep our environmental impact as low as possible. We wanted to share information with our customers about what we are doing as we are asked about it from time to time.
We are striving towards improvement all the time. Working out what we can do now, next year and longer term as change can’t be as immediate as we would like.
Based in Suffolk, this is where we develop products, prepare for events and ship out our online sales. We are working to reduce our supply chain miles by sourcing from regional suppliers and manufacturers where possible. This is an ongoing journey as new businesses develop and we see a change in manufacturing as a result of attitudes to globalisation and the impact of Brexit.
We use electricity provided by a renewable energy supplier and no gas is used. We are working to reduce out energy usage by replacing lighting to LED and improving insulation as time goes on. We would like to generate our own power in the future but there are a lot of hurdles to overcome first.
Our business has a number of vans to allow us to deliver our work. Our longer term aim is to run a fleet of electric or hydrogen vehicles but as our work requires travelling long distances we need the vehicle range and infrastructure in place this is still a long term goal. All of our current vans have Euro6 and Euro6d engines which are the least polluting combustion engines on the market.
We develop our products to meet the expectations of us and our customers. We ask ourselves:
How long will it last?
- No tat please, this is British GT
What is the production process?
- What chemicals/waste is produced, who makes it?
Where has it come from?
- Location, raw materials, credentials of suppliers and supply chain
How could it be recycled in the future?
- If it is damaged or comes to the end of its life can it be re-used or added to a full cycle chain?
Can we find better?
- What alternatives do we currently have or what is there in the future to develop this?
Does it meet the expectations of a GT fan?
- A conscious fan who expects quality at a fair price from an ethical source.
What are SRO asking of their suppliers when it comes to sustainable merchandising?
SRO's sustainable merchandising principles are focusing on the following areas:
- Paper and board – Requiring that all paper and board used in our merchandising and promo materials is either recycled or FSC, PEFC or Ecolabel certified, if virgin fibre based.
Plastics - Maximising the percentage of the plastic content within our merchandising that comes from recycled sources:
- Recycled polyester and nylon in merchandise apparel
- Recycled PET and other relevant plastics in non-apparel merchandise
- Plastics recyclability – Requiring that all plastics used in our merchandising be of a type that is recyclable and generally collected by kerbside or events services.
- Cotton – Requiring that cotton sourced for apparel is ideally 100% BCI Cotton (Better Cotton initiative) or recycled cotton.
- Synthetic fabric/fibres – Requiring that all synthetic fabrics or fibres are certified as 100% (or x%) recycled.
We do not bag clothing into individual bags, and we do not produce plastic tags that go with them. Whilst these are small amounts of plastic in the grand scheme, we feel these are not essential and by not producing them it is also a small saving we can pass on. The only tags we produce are paper ones designed for events which we then remove and re-use at the point the product is purchased.
From 2021 we are bringing in more products which are produced with post-consumer plastic or from alternative materials which are either re-used or are a waste plant product. We will highlight these on the GT shop to allow GT fans to fully understand the materials behind the product.
All our online orders are shipped from Suffolk across the world. We use 100% recycled and/or recyclable packaging to ship them out. We are working to making all our packaging polymer free and replace with paper/card or a food waste solution (such as bamboo packaging or rice husk). Our future packaging solutions will be determined by how easy it is for the recipient to recycle or reuse (i.e. It doesn’t need industrial composting or a special type of recycling). Large orders are shipped in used boxes which have life in but were previously used to ship stock to us. We aim to give boxes more lives than a cat.
Our event shop:
At every British GT event you will find our Official Merchandise store. Our 40sq metre branded pop-up store has every GT product available. The store is run on solar power with a battery for those cloudy wet days at Silverstone (as it’s always cloudy and wet there!). We do not use any mains power or petrol generator. We use LED lighting to keep power consumption down. All our price tags are re-used at events through the year as the boxes we bring the stock to events in. Any rubbish that is produced we take back to Suffolk for recycling.
Very old stock:
After a couple of years, we sometimes end up with odd sizes that may never find their way to the home of a GT fan. These do not get thrown away. We find them a home which will benefit someone. These items, along with products from other shops that we run we check, box up and deliver to the charity Emmaus Suffolk.
Emmaus are a national organisation with local autonomy to support those living in homeless situations and provide the assistance to help them work their way out of homelessness. With the permission of the brand partner, we offer Emmaus all our very old stock for them to provide to their clients. The offer of brand-new quality clothing is a real boost to those in a very tough situation. Emmaus Suffolk also partner with other organisations across Suffolk including Women’s refuges and Asylum seeker charities to help distribute the products to where they are most needed. Nothing goes to waste and finds a good home.
Yes please! Positive, negative and progressive please. Either verbally at events or over e-mail would be great: email@example.com
All photos by Jakob Ebrey Photography