Waste is becoming a huge problem for businesses. Along with the environmental effects of too much waste being dumped in land fill, the financial cost of waste to a business, especially a home-based or small business can be quite a lot. After all, businesses have 2 ways to increase their income- earn more money & save on their expenses.
Here are a few suggestions for reducing waste or reusing materials etc. in your business.
- Look for ways to reduce leftovers or scraps. When I am cutting my fabrics, I lay the patterns like jigsaw pieces so they all butt up nicely together, minimising leftover fabric. Less fabric wasted initially saves me money & saves the amount of garbage my business is sending to the tip.
- Design new products that can use scraps. If you are a woodworker, can you design a small product like a box that can be made out of leftovers? Any decent size fabric scraps that my business accumulates are used for baby’s booties, bibs & beanies. I deliberately designed these products to deal with my ever growing scrap pile. Thankfully, they have since become good sellers!
- Form a partnership with another business. There may be another small business who would love your scraps (one man’s treasure etc.…..). You can donate these scraps or maybe set a small price or organise a trade for services or goods. We have in the past given fabric scraps to a business that used these to stuff their footstools. Even a business in a different industry to yours may benefit from your remnants. We now save all our cotton jersey scraps for a local sheet metal fabricator, who loves our cotton jersey for polishing stainless steel & also uses it to protect metals in travel.
- Donate your scraps/leftovers to a school or charity. Think about whether your local school or adults learning centre could use your remnants, offcuts of wood, buttons that you no longer need etc. Institutions like these have limited funds & are always thankful to receive any donations.
- Recycle whatever you can. When my children were attending preschool, they felt so special when they handed in the long cardboard rolls that my fabric was rolled on. These rolls were a great addition to the craft corner, along with thread cones & ribbon/binding reels. Many an interesting hobby horse or monster were made from these components! Any scrap paper or cardboard leftover from patterns is thrown into our compost heap. We even remove the cardboard label from zips & compost these!
Hopefully, this has got you thinking about some little changes you can make in your business to save your bottom line & help our environment, too.