Seventeen years ago, when Heide Hackworth wanted to work for a company with an environmental focus, she had to start her own, Earth Greetings.
Inspired by her joy for nature, she wondered if we could find more enlightened ways to live, work and create – where businesses could operate as a model for good, to help heal the Earth and restore precious wild places.
At that time there were very few greeting cards produced using recycled paper, so creating sustainable paper products was a good place to start and an Earth friendly greeting card and stationery business was born.
Earth Greetings collaborates with talented artists inspired by Australian native flora and fauna, to create beautiful cards and gifts with the lightest possible planetary footprint.
In turn they inspire people to connect, care and celebrate, while contributing to a brighter future for wildlife and our planet.
It proved difficult to find printers and paper companies that took her questions seriously and were able to provide information about their environmental impact.
Heide takes up the story: I had no concept of how challenging producing ‘Earth friendly’ paper products would be.
But Finsbury Green were able to understand what I was talking about and provide answers at a time when no-one else could. They spoke the language and it was an easy decision to work with them because I was comfortable, they were addressing genuine sustainability holistically and not just adding a green label without any substance.
Trust has built up in the longer term and I have never had to worry about Finsbury Green’s eco credentials and commitment to sustainability.
Earth Greetings is a great example to other businesses too.
Before the pandemic sales were overwhelmingly to retail outlets. However, in 2020 many bricks and mortar retailers shut their doors. Earth Greetings immediately reduced print runs and increased speed to market through some creative forecasting and supply strategies. They had to pivot very quickly and focus on growing their online business and social media.
In the process an important question surfaced. How can we stay relevant and show kindness to people and plants and sell things people would appreciate during the pandemic? The answer was right under their nose – by reaching out and selling gift packs online to help support people stuck at home in lockdown.
Greeting cards became really important again, and during many lockdowns provided some excitement and relief when people received a handwritten letter or card through the letterbox. Someone had thought of you and taken the time to write a personal message and send a card.
Sales of gift packs kept improving and print runs increased again. Reaching out to personal shoppers has increased online sales to 20% to date and growing.
Now we are engaged with many more personal customers it’s amazing how much they care about the products they buy. So many people think before they consider their purchase and you really have to answer their questions with credibility.
Sales from the gift packs has also allowed Earth Greetings to maintain their donations to help wildlife and habitat. They are a perpetual sponsor of Trees For Life, donating 5% of all profit annually, and since 2008 have directly enabled over 50,000 native trees to be planted which has directly supported habitat restoration for native wildlife.
As an Australian business, having a local supplier like Finsbury Green has been essential to our ethos. Offshore is cheaper of course, but customers are more determined now to buy local.
Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. As a carbon neutral business, we ensure our products have the highest eco credentials. We support organisations that help native wildlife survive habitat loss and climate change and donate over 10% of our profit to support them.
Finsbury Green save us money and effort by providing a printed carbon neutral product and we really appreciate their Sustainability Reporting data and validation.
You can read more about Earth Greetings and how they tread lightly at earthgreetings.com.au