I recently attended a 2-week intensive course, at BCIT on the subject of sustainable events management. We spent 2 very fun activities, filled weekends discussing, and sustainability initiatives to implement, at different types of events. My unique perspective (being as I was the only male in a class of 25) leads me to recognize the connections between sustainable practices in events, the industry I currently work and small businesses. Every aspect such as sustainable supply chain management, waste management, is concerns that pertain to both industries. I spent a lot of time delving into a ton of great sustainable company’s in my local community, and have complied a top ten list of some of my favourites.
1. Fareware: (www.fairware.com):
Fareware specializes in sourcing sustainable and ethically promotional products. They dig deep in supply chains, going as far as visiting factories in remote parts of the world to make sure those workers are being fairly treated. Anything purchased by fairware is completely audited, from the zipper’s on their apparel to the rubber gasket on their stainless steel water bottles, they can tell you where in the world its made, the materials used, and the working conditions of the person who made it.
2. De brand: (debrand.ca):
De Brand responsibly recycles corporate waste, they will take old promotional and advertising materials such as uniforms and up cycle them into something useful. Corporate logos are removed form materials, before DE brand gives them a second life. DE brand created a Lululemon sponsored lounge in Jack pool plaza using up cycled yoga mats as cushions, and even turned duffle bag straps into a hammock.
3. Two rivers: (www.tworiversmeats.ca):
Two Rivers is an ethical, and sustainable meat company whose concept was conceived in an old school bus that the founders were living in, beside the kicking horse river. Since the unlikely inception they have grown to represent over 20 farms. The core of this business is the strict values that the company was founded on, values that include locally produced, sustainably raised, and probably most important delicious meats. You can find these tasty proteins at down town restaurants, such as the Alibi room, and Aphrodite’s café in Kits.
4. Commonthreads (www.commonthreadcoop.ca):
Common threads are a non-profit society that repurposes old advertising, such as banners, signage into new products. Vancouver 2010 banners were sewn into tote bags, and instantly became a collector’s item in Vancouver. Common threads diverse workforce includes new comers to Canada, and the mentally ill. A Commons thread is sewing with a purpose, giving back to the community, and it residents.
5. Greenworks (www.greenworksbuildingsupply.com):
Green works is the source for sustainable environmentally friendly building supplies in Vancouver. Offerings, such as non-toxic paints, flooring, and counter top there a one-stop show for all your Green building needs. Green works high standards in sourcing ethical, and sustainable suppliers makes them the go to company for green building materials.
6. The Juice Truck (thejuicetruck.ca):
Vancouver is all about the juice cleanse, and the guys behind The Juice truck are the originals. They were the first company in Canada to do cold pressed juice extraction, which means the juice isn’t heated up which occurs with other juicing methods, causing nutrient loss. The eye catching pink truck is usually parked in Gastown, and the devoted can be seen lining up to grab there organic locally sourced juices.
7. Culver city salads (www.culvercitysalads.com):
Who knew vegan food could taste so good, that’s what the team behind the Culver City salad food truck, and delivery service has set out to showcase to its Vancouver audience. Each homemade salad is packed with locally sourced veggies, and all come from sustainable sources. Eating vegan is one of the best ways to be sustainable, and no one makes being Vegan taster or more approachable. Check their Twitter feed to find out where the green truck is doling out its tasty vegan fare.
8. Western reclaimed (westernreclaimed.com):
This maple ridge based company specializes in repurposing reclaimed timbers and other building materials, to make unique retail spaces, barn wood desks, and reclaimed furniture. Sourcing their materials for historic landmarks like the Yale hotel on Granville St. preserves the city’s history, and gives new life to materials that would traditionally be thrown away. Their motto “Yesterday story, building tomorrow’s dreams,” sums up the great mindset behind this sustainable Vancouver outfit.
9. The Soap Dispensary (thesoapdispensary.com):
One of the biggest strain on our environment is our addiction to plastic, The soap Dispensary, aims to reduce our plastic problem, by offering refills on everyday products such as soap, and laundry detergent. Located on main St. this boutique store offers natural soaps, and cleaners that can are showcased is refillable bottles. When you run our of any cleaner just bring back the attractive bottles to this little storefront, and refill them.
10. Spud (www.spud.ca):
Spud provides home delivery of fresh organic sustainable produce and products to your front door. They pride themselves on sourcing their products from local sources whenever possible, and give back to the community through community garden projects.