At the start of a new year, splash out in support of some great causes at THE One by indulging in feel-good retail therapy that can change the world.
With corporate social responsibility (CSR) deeply rooted in the company’s core values and products, ethical sourcing is just one of the ways in which THE One is making a difference. As the home fashion brand sources from all over the world, it is committed to helping protect it and the people who live in it. The company only deals with manufacturers who sign a legal agreement confirming that they do not use child labour or wood from rainforests and furthermore works with the Rugmark Foundation – a private, non-profit organisation that ensures that each rug bearing its label has been woven without the use of child labour. Eighty-five percent of all rugs sold by THE One have the Rugmark label.
Just last year the brand launched a range of furniture made from Verification of Legal Origin certified wood. From charming colonial classics to Asian-inspired cabinets, the ‘Good Wood’ collection features a host of dining and coffee tables, entertainment units, sideboards, mirrors and chests of drawers that have all been created using wood from managed forests or plantations and not from illegal logging. Independently audited by TÜV Rheinland, documentation of each piece of wood ensures that it can be traced back to its source, so tree lovers can rest assured the entire process is above board.
Moreover, THE One has focused on bringing customers a variety of products that support disadvantaged communities worldwide. The beautifully hand-embroidered Palestinian wrist wraps and cushion covers sold in its stores are not just fabulous accessories, but in fact support the Qalandia Camp Women’s Handicraft Cooperative, which aims to raise the educational, social, cultural, health and economic standards of women and children in Palestine.
Inspired by this and with proceeds going to THE Onederworld – THE One’s Sustainable Village Community programme (www.theonederworld.com ) – the company launched its very own limited edition wrist wraps made out of its staff’s recycled jeans in addition to a 2011 Onederworld calendar. With such innovative products to be had, its customers have unique opportunities to change the lives of underprivileged children in Kenya for a nominal amount. So far the company has built six classrooms of a brand new school and has implemented healthcare and clean water initiatives as part of their first Onederworld project in the Pimbiniet community in Kenya.
THE One also stocks other fashionable accessories with a mighty mission! Funds raised from its range of FEED Bags and Bears, in stores since October 2009, go towards helping end child hunger. For instance, every purchase of their newly introduced FEED 2 Kenya Bag - handcrafted by a co-op of women and hearing impaired Kenyans - not only supports these artisans, but feeds two Kenyan children for a year thanks to a $100 donation to the United Nations World Food Programme's School Feeding operations in Kenya. For a nation dealing with a food crisis leaving 10 million Kenyans at risk of hunger, this support is much needed. Made from natural burlap, hand-beaded and lined with traditional Masai tribal fabric, the FEED 2 Kenya Bag with its leather handles and shoulder strap not only looks great, but does a great deal of good too!
Also on its shelves is The Power of the Invisible Sun by philanthropist Bobby Sager. This coffee table book is a moving photographic collection of his encounters with children in war-torn areas of the world and all proceeds go towards the Hope is a Game-Changer Project, which delivers indestructible soccer balls to disadvantaged children.
In the home fragrance department the brand offers shoppers an unrivalled selection of earth-friendly candle ranges made from soy, vegetable or coconut wax instead of paraffin. Not only are the former renewable resources, reducing our dependency on crude oil, but such candles last longer, burn cleaner and are therefore healthier.
In a move to help reduce plastic consumption across the globe, THE One replaced its regular plastic shopping bags with degradable bags that will start disintegrating six months after production, eventually vanishing into thin air. This seemingly magical feat is all down to an additive (d2w) which is included at the time of manufacture.
CEO (Creative Emotional Originator) Thomas Lundgren took a conscious decision to charge customers for the new eco-friendly bags as he believes that putting a price on the bags is necessary to give them a value. “We hope that charging a nominal fee for our bags will encourage our customers to buy as few as possible and reuse them until they disintegrate. After all, what is the price of a plastic-free planet?” he said.
Besides the new degradable bags, which are printed with eco-solvent ink, THE One provides shoppers with two other alternatives to regular shopping bags; reusing its boxes free of charge or investing in one of its eco-chic fabric tote bags.
Big on reusing instead of reducing the planet’s precious resources, THE One offers a wide variety of eco-chic product ranges made from recycled railroad ties, glass, iron and even tyres! They were also the ones to bring GreenPan to the Middle East. Made from recycled stainless steel and aluminium, this revolutionary cookware features a new, ceramic-based, non-stick technology, which unlike traditional coatings, doesn't release toxic fumes at high temperatures - making it good for their customers and the planet.
As the company’s turnover is the funding source for all its CSR activities, the better the business does the more good it can do. So, as long as home fashion fans continue to shop their hearts out at its stores, the Always Different, Always Limited, Never Expensive retailer will continue to make a difference by Changing the World Together. Now there is a feel-good reason to go on a shopping spree in 2011!