Sheffield Sustainable Spotlight – BIDBI
Tell us who BIDBI is and what you do?
We are a textile printer that specialises in printing on sustainably sourced bags, accessories and homewares using environmentally friendly print methods. We make and print branded cotton bags as an eco-friendly, fairly traded alternative to plastic bags. We work with businesses all over the world and have been around since 2007.
Why is sustainability important to your brand?
We were founded to provide artists and businesses with ethically produced products that would help grow their business. We recognise that many industrial processes and practices are harmful to the environment and exploit the world’s natural resources. This awareness has motivated us to develop a product that provides businesses and organisations with a sustainable marketing solution that also demonstrates their green credentials to their clients and consumers.
Can you tell us a bit about how BIDBI puts its commitment to sustainability into action?
From our eco-print factory in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, we continually aim at reducing our environmental impact throughout our whole supply chain. This process undergoes rigorous checks by external auditors to ensure our impact on the environment remains as low as possible. Some main practices that we follow are minimising raw materials in the factory and office, transporting our bags to our factory using sustainable transport and consolidating orders. Additionally, as a Zero Waste to Landfill business, we prioritise reducing waste, followed by re-use, recycling and where there is no alternative, energy recovery.
It’s important to mention that we are a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) approved processing facility. GOTS is the leading worldwide textile processing standard. This includes; using at least 70% organic fibres, ensuring that all chemicals used, like dyes, must meet their low toxicology criteria, and water treatment plants must be put in place, amongst other social criteria that must also be met. BIDBI is one of the only GOTS organic home textiles printing companies in the UK.
Our bags are made of 100% natural materials only, and at our Sheffield based print factory, we specialise in environmentally-friendly production methods. Using ISO 14001 inks and having dedicated recycling bins are simple ways to put our ecological policy into practice. Operating sustainably is of high importance to us, we are continually working on and improving our environmental impact within the community and on a wider scale.
What is your favourite design or company you have done prints for?
That’s a tough question, there are so many! I really like prints that are bright, bold, and also detailed, like these tote bags we did for Beanies. Working with companies local to Sheffield is always very rewarding, you get a buzz every time you see someone walking down the street with a BIDBI bag!
I like anything on denim; you don’t see denim tote bags very often and when you do they always look very stylish.
I also like seeing designs on our coloured products, especially when it’s a range of different products with the same print.
Do you have any advice for other businesses wanting to use more sustainable products?
I would say, go for it. It’s super easy to take stock of what you use daily that can be switched out for sustainable and ethical alternatives. Be that tea and coffee, paper, lightbulbs, and cleaning products. Encouraging employees to take up greener habits such as recycling and using less plastic are other great ways to improve social and environmental conditions.
Going one step further and becoming a sustainable business through generating profit while improving social and environmental conditions is not impossible. This includes what you do (your product or service) and how you do it (the way you operate). And becoming a more sustainable business provides you with a plethora of advantages. In short, it helps the business become more efficient, achieve better growth, cut costs and strengthen stakeholder relations.
In addition to this, it improves your brand’s value and reputation, as promoting your environmentally friendly methods can set your business apart from your competitors and attract new customers who want to buy products and services from an environmentally friendly business. According to The Natural Marketing Institute, consumers are 58% more likely to buy from more ethical and sustainable businesses. Moreover, their research also showed that consumers are willing to spend up to 20% more on environmentally sound products and services.
Another great benefit of being an environmental and sustainable business is that it helps attract and retain quality staff. People increasingly want to work for companies that are “doing the right thing”. Lastly, becoming a ‘greener business can increase productivity and reduce costs due to the better usage of resources and following mindful and streamlined operations.