In a world where environmental concerns are running high on national and international agendas, sustainability has become one of the most important trends in retail, with consumer demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products growing like never-before and brands with green credentials rising to the top of their wish lists. Manufacturers and distributors are responding to this vital trend by developing goods which meet the requirements of environmentally conscious consumers.
The onus on trade exhibitions is to help guide retail buyers to products with strong sustainable credentials and the team at Glee has been working hard to ensure that buyers are easily able to source exceptional articles that are also kind to the environment. At the 2021 show retailers can take advantage of the new-for-2022 Sustainability Tour, where they will be taken on a journey around the show, with key ‘sustainable’ brands featured along the way. Elsewhere, on gleebirmingham.com exhibitors can also clearly flag key their environmental credentials, in turn helping retailers who plan their journey in advance of the exhibition to source products and suppliers which meet the growing consumer demand for products with a conscience.
Before the doors open on the 2021 exhibition, let’s take a closer look at some of the impressive way in which Glee exhibitors have stepped up to the sustainability challenge and underscored the crucial importance of the green revolution to the garden centre trade.
Going above & beyond – sustainable products & business practices:
AZPECTS LTD – EASYClickBase from Azpects Ltd is a synthetic sub-base which replaces the traditional ‘dig-out’ part of the construction process for patios, paths and driveways, saving time, money and – importantly – many tonnes of aggregate. Made from recycled ABS, EASYClickBase can even eliminate the need for cement.
BATHGATE – Bathgate is helping gardeners to grow greener with the launch of new peat-free and peat reduced products. The company already offers a Champions Blend 50 litre peat-free compost, which contains a blend of natural certified ingredients and is manufactured to the Soil Association’s strictest standards. Bathgate has also introduced a peat-free version of its 50-litre multi-purpose compost, ideal for seed sowing, cuttings, bedding plants, plug and pot plants.
B GREEN – Producers of beautiful pots created in an entirely sustainable way with zero toxic substances, and Cradle to Cradle Certified, B GREEN works with small, artisan potteries in Vietnam, where high standards are maintained, not just in production, but also for the workers. The pots are produced by hand and fired using rice husks for fuel, making use of a by-product that would normally go to waste. All packaging is made from recycled (and recyclable) materials. (pictured).
BLOOMIN AMAZING™ – 100% peat free products with weed suppression properties have been brought to market by the team at Bloomin Amazing™, including significant fertiliser content and moisture retention assets that is audited as an environmentally sustainable, low carbon footprint by-product with the raw materials being grown within an average of seven miles. These are fed into the anaerobic digestion plant, the gas is removed and cleaned, and the main by-product is a rich organic ‘digestate’ that becomes Bloomin Amazing™. The plant generates enough gas for 7,500 homes in winter and over 100,000 homes in summer.
CAPI EUROPE – Biodiversity is also a top priority at Capi, who has expanded its latest collection with the introduction of rain barrels, watering cans and plant sprayers, plus a new modular concept for birds- and insect hotels. Its ‘Made in Holland’ planters have already been awarded ‘CO2 neutral’ and the brand will go a step further at Glee by adding sea waste products to its 2022 collection.
EGROWNOMICS – A passionate brand that is putting sustainability above the bottom line, Ergrownomics manufactures entirely within the UK to avoid polluting freight. Planters are fully recyclable at the end of their 50-year design life and all packaging is either recyclable or compostable (with carbon neutral delivery). Planters can withstand years of outdoor use and the range includes a container built entirely from black recycled MDPE.
EVERCREATURES – The Evercreatures team endeavour to create wellington boots that are as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible, supplying all boots in recycled and sustainable packaging, using only limited, vegan-friendly ink. The rubber is 100% natural, obtained from sustainable sources throughout China and Thailand, where trees are planted when required to replace any seen to be damaged or dying.
FISKARS – The new for 2022 ReNew scissors from Fiskars are made from recycled and 100% recyclable materials, with two new pairs of scissors added to the collection for the coming season. The company has also launched a new Pruner portfolio, consisting of the Solid™, Plus™ and X-Series™ collections, which features 80% less plastic compared to current packaging.
GARDENING NATURALLY – Repurposing material is a hot topic for Gardening Naturally, who offer excellent wood fibre pots and wood fibre seed trays, which are all organic, peat free and biodegradable, enabling customers to garden organically and without plastic.
HENRI STUDIO – Henri Studio products are made of USA-mined limestone, sand, cement and water, which after decades of garden enjoyment will eventually break down into limestone and sand again. 95% – 100% of their product is recyclable, with the magnetic drive fountains using recirculating pumps to conserve water use.
HOZELOCK – Switching to sustainable packaging is a vital part of the overall quest to reduce single-use plastics says Hozelock, who have also committed to removing over 95 tonnes of single use plastic packaging by 2022.
HYGEIA – The Nature Safe range of fertilisers and lawn care from Hygeia is made from 100% plant based organic materials which are all child, pet and bee friendly. Seaweed harvested sustainably from the Connemara coast of Ireland is the foundation of the range and it is cold pressed by hand rather than through the less environmentally friendly heating process.
INFINITY CHRISTMAS TREES – Christmas trees produce a habitat for wildlife to shelter, and also, absorb tonnes of carbon dioxide and provide oxygen for us all to breath. Infinity Christmas Trees plants as many, or more, Christmas trees than they harvest to maintain that balance, alongside broadleaved trees to preserve biodiversity on the land they use to farm their trees.
IVYLINE – Ivyline’s recent partnership with Royal Botanic Gardens Kew has seen the removal of plastic from all online packaging, as well as a move away from traditional Far Eastern supply routes to massively cut the carbon footprint and more natural product collections from sustainable sources. Ivyline is soon to announce a new sustainability partnership with one of the world’s leading certification bodies as they head for a carbon neutral business.
LEON BOOTS CO. – New to Glee 2021, Leon Boots Co. offers all its products in plastic-free packaging, presenting the ultralight wellingtons in a recyclable cardboard box with no plastic in any part of the manufacturing process. (pictured top).
NOSTRAND – Manufactured to last at least three times longer, Nostrand products are designed to reduce timber usage and waste. The plant display trays enable a 70% reduction in water consumption whilst all run-off water can be easily collected and recycled. The trays are also made from 50% to 60% recycled fibres.
ONDULINE – The new range of corrugated bituminous roofing sheets and tiles from Onduline – which use 50 – 60% recycled fibres – are ideal for DIY enthusiasts looking to give their sheds and other garden buildings an eco-friendly upgrade which last up to 15 years.
PLANTGROW – The first in the UK to produce natural plant foods and growing mediums through a patented renewable energy process, all PlantGrow products are organic and made entirely from plants, 100% free of peat, chemicals and animal waste and is backed by Soil Association approval.
PLASTIA – The Urbalive product line from Plastia brings products that ease the path to nature, a healthy lifestyle and the sustainability of natural resources, such as the Urbalive Worm Farm or new Bokashi bin, which easily transform kitchen bio waste into a natural fertiliser that provides optimal nutrition and protection for plants.
PRIMEUR – Rubber tyres enjoy a new life within Primeur’s multi-award-winning ECO Garden collection. Featuring self-watering planters and landscape essentials including stepping-stones, borders and patio products, to-date Primeur has helped to repurpose over five million tyres; tyres which would otherwise take upwards of 80 years to decompose. (Pictured here, the Octavia planter)
PRIMUS/ A PERRY – Transportation and logistics form another area where manufacturers are seeking to become more eco-friendly. PRIMUS and all PERRY brands have introduced high-tech warehouse software that amalgamates orders into as few shipments as possible, reducing the need for additional packaging wastage and requiring less fuel to fulfil orders. Their RSPB-licensed hand carved wooden birds also form a flagship product range that is FSC certified and 100% plastic free in the product and the packaging.
ROUCHETTE – Rouchette’s ORIGIN range, a partner of Refores’ action, has seen over 4,000 trees planted since its launch in 2020. Through these actions, which are parts of the company’s CSR policy, the French family company hopes to raise awareness while offsetting its carbon footprint. Rouchette is also working on the durability of its products thanks to a quality raw material: natural rubber.
SIPCAM HOME & GARDEN – The ecofective® brand from Sipcam Home & Garden features pesticide free, bee friendly formulas that are better for garden wildlife, whilst all bottles are made from 100% recycled materials and are fully recyclable, and the new concentrated ‘Refills’ help reduce plastic waste. The brand is entirely Made in Britain.
VITAX – Organic All Purpose Plant Food and Organic Tomato Food from Vitax use 100% natural, plant-based ingredients, are child, pet and bee friendly and ideal for vegan gardening. Both are packaged in a recyclable bottle.
ZEST 4 LEISURE – The award-winning decorative and GYO collections from Zest 4 Leisure use expertly selected timber from responsibly managed forests and this year the company is collaborating with its main Polish manufacturing partner on a re-planting scheme with the Polish Forestry Authority. In Wales, Zest is working with The Wildlife Trust on its Woodlands for Water project, promoting and demonstrating the sustainable management of wooded habitats.
Sustainably pet friendly
Millennial pet owners are leading the sustainable charge and demanding more from pet brands as they look to place more of a holistic focus on their own wellbeing as well as that of their pets.
GOODCHAPS – Somerset-based family business, Goodchaps, specialises in eco-friendly dog treats and toys. Their fish-based treats are sustainably sourced from trusted fish merchants within the UK, whilst their dog toys are all handmade inhouse using 100% unbleached cotton. All packaging is 100% plastic free and biodegradable, compostable or recyclable.
AQUEOS – Manufacturers of alcohol and bleach free, cruelty free pet disinfectants, shampoo and first aid products, Aqueos also proudly displays its shampoo in a recyclable bottle, whilst its disinfectant has less than 1% active ingredient and is pH neutral and bio-degradable. All Aqueos products are manufactured locally in the UK.
SCOFF PAPER – Debuting at Glee 2021, Scoff Paper’s greetings cards are the world’s first rawhide-free edible greetings for dogs to eat. Available in five flavours, they are vegan friendly, made with natural ingredients and are gluten, wheat and grain free. Each card comes in biodegradable packaging and envelope and dog lovers can even buy a dog friendly ink pen. (pictured).