On the Square Emporium are committed to helping to protect our community, our customers, and our planet. We are committed to minimising our impact on the world around us and we place the environment at the heart of our business. We assess the sustainability of our products based on the raw materials used to create them and the process in which they are made.
We consciously work with sustainable and natural materials with a focus on traditional methods of production.
We do not follow fashion but have our sense of individual style. Our aim to is to provide timeless products for the home, and believe that antique, vintage and sustainable products are both best for the environment AND stylish.
Our journals are made with recycled cotton paper & covered with off-cuts from upholstery projects; we reuse by-products to recreate new upcycled furniture; reuse leather from upholstery projects;
We also assist customers with getting longer lifespan from their furniture where we can, by reupholstering, fixing, patching and polishing.
– Handmade & Artisan
Many of our products involve traditional craftmanship such carpentry, metal work, and pottery making. Much of these are 50 + years old. Such historical pieces have high levels of craftsmanship and some skills that are not used today, therefore we are preserving these valuable pieces.
On our own creations and those by other craftspeople, salvage materials and hand crafts are also used. These artisan methods of production are naturally more sustainable
– Waste Reduction
This is inherent in our business. 80% of our products are diverted from going to landfill. The remaining 20% are sustainably made, sourced or high-end antiques.
Our packaging for shipping items is not yet as environmentally considerate as we want it to be, but we are committed to minimising the use of all new plastics and cardboard by December 2024.
We currently reuse all cardboard, plastic bags and plastic bubblewrap as much as we can, and recycle what cant be reused.
Another element of waste reduction is PRODUCT HIRE. We reduce the need to buy new, by offering clients the opportunity to hire then return after use.
– Circular Design
OTSE & ReFound work with local clients, designers and prop-makers to find interesting ways to reuse products. We have created many refurbished and upcycled projects for our commercial and home clients for kitchens, dining areas, gardens. We are also the go-to place for many vintage-style props, sets and event spaces.
A further way that we facilitate CIRCULAR DESIGN, is by creating one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and lighting which have personality & are inherently sustainable. We creatively repurpose and restore pieces for contemporary use, making limited edition products.
– Fair Wages & Living Wages
A Fair Wage is an equitable, freely negotiated and mutually agreed wage, and presumes the payment of at least a Local Living Wage.
A Local Living Wage is a remuneration received for a standard working by a Worker in a particular place, sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the Worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, healthcare, transport, clothing, and other essential needs, including provision for unexpected events.
– Fair Trade
We support developing countries by careful curation of hand selected accessories which add to our collection but also provide a living for those less fortunate. Organisations which produce Fair Trade products maximise the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible.
When we purchase new products for our store, we maintain our sustainable ethos by seeking out Fair Trade & Eco-friendly products. We give priority to buying products made from raw materials that originate from sustainably managed sources and have the least overall impact on the environment. The ‘REFOUND Sustainable Style’ arm of the Emporium specializes in these product lines.
– Our Challenges, Goals and Ambitions
OTSE aims to be an authentic, transparent brand. It’s important to us to inform and involve our suppliers and customers in our sustainable goals. We hope that by sharing information with you, it will allow you to make a more informed choice on the products that we sell.
Our company ethos is to reuse and repurpose rather than to buy new and with 95% of our stock preloved, we endeavour to find new homes to reduce the number of products going to landfill.
As such we aim to follow and encourage good sustainability practices, along with reducing the environmental impact of our activities and to give something back to our community by:
– Complying with all relevant environmental regulations and legislation.
– Promote resource efficiency by reducing energy, water, and raw material use.
– Supporting our local community including local schools, charities, and projects.
– Promoting waste minimisation within the company by reusing material, recycling, and reducing single use products.
– Sourcing products from environmentally friendly suppliers to reduce the impact of our supply chain.