We believe that transparency in business creates a foundation of trust between the customer and the business, and promotes transparency across industries which can motivate change. Here, you will let us elaborate on phrases and practices that we use so that you can know exactly where Crushes sits on every issue, always with the aim to improve our output as a business.
'NEW ZEALAND MADE’
100% of Crushes products are from New Zealand businesses. We only use the phrase ‘made in NZ’ if that product was actually made in our country, otherwise we use the phrase 'made by a New Zealand business'.
Though using local manufacturing is one of our values, our primary goal has always been to support NZ businesses. This is an acknowledgement that a local business keeps its tax in the country and employs many people in our community. We believe that purchasing from small businesses builds our middle class and closes the insurmountable divide of inequality in our country.
So when Crushes says ‘Made in NZ’ we support over 60 businesses all over the spectrum of local totality, from a local business who makes their goods (in a verified safe and ethical way) offshore, to the makers who assemble many parts to create a design, and to the altruist who makes all their products in the same way.
Another important thing to note is that not many products out there are 100% made in New Zealand. For those who aren’t aware about our local industry, there is not much manufacturing left in our country. Most products that are ‘made in New Zealand’ still need some parts that are made off-shore when possible. Think, a beautiful glass sculpture, mouth blown in to shape by a NZ creative. In this example, the glassblower will still need to import the glass sand in to the country, as well as their packaging could be made in bulk offshore, etc. Or for example, a ceramicist might be making clay earrings by hand. Her jewellery fixings might need a butterfly which will be made by a machine off-shore. Because this manufacturing doesn't exist in New Zealand at all, and the other hand made nature of the earrings being made by hand, by a local, this would count to us as "Made in New Zealand" because the limitations of our local manufacturing is not the artists decision.
When a product has been 'assembled' by a NZ artist, we consider how much original creativity is used in the design before we use the phrase 'Made in New Zealand'
The word 'vintage' has different connotations to different people. For some, that means stocking clothing from the 50s-mid 60's (before clothing would be called 'retro'), and for some, it means anything pre-loved. We use the phrase 'vintage clothing' to pertain to any clothing made any earlier than two decades prior. Yes, that currently means we are including Y2K fashion currently!
We always aim to keep strict with what we stock, that it is in-fact of that age, but can of course sometimes not know the age of each individual item. If we are aware of it's age falling out of our parameters, we will always disclose on the clothing tag / online listing.
We purchase all of our clothing within New Zealand. We do this because we are passionate about eliminating our own textile waste by re-diverting clothing from the landfill, as well as it has no carbon footprint as we are not shipping bails of clothing by air or freight.
Crushes believes that if a business can’t afford to pay for their staff to live, then they cannot afford to be in business. That is why we commit to the Auckland Living Wage and any increases it may incur, in the future.
Crushes has a 'feminist business' approach to our workplace culture. You can read more about our principles and practices to facilitate this bold claim here.
WASTE AND CARBON FOOTPRINT
Crushes is committed to minimizing its waste as both a retailer, a wholesaler and an office. The goal is to be zero waste (that is, everything we use can be properly recycled or composted), of which we are getting closer to.
We have made some changes including changing over our office supplies to recyclable material (ie, receipt rolls, paper tape, paper ‘bubble’ wrap), and encouraging other suppliers to reduce their waste, of which we have had some positive responses and changes from.
We also are aware that retailers can push the problem of waste on to their consumer, and that is why we were motivated to changing our jewellery packaging to seed paper, re-designing merchandising shelves so we don’t rely on the use of plastic film, and use minimal packaging in the sale of our own in-house brand. We are soon about to start a candle vessel recycling programme. And lastly, we are about to start an option at our online stores check out for the consumer to choose between recyclable or compostable packaging as we are aware that not everyone has a home compost, so to send them a compostable mailer is simply well wishing, ‘green washing’.
We aren’t perfect yet. We still use plastic clothing tags from a tagging gun, of which we are yet to find another effective and fast solution. Only one of our fleet is electric. We do not have an in store compost or soft plastic disposal as of yet, and need to train our staff better how to properly dispose of the waste that accrues over the day.
Crushes often will make a product for the purpose of fundraising, like when we made reusable face masks that raised $7,000 for various non-for-profit causes, or a tote bag for the Australian wild fires. We also freely give product to any events raising money for charity. It is our pleasure to be able to be able to give in this way.