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You're never too small to have Ethics!

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That's not an example of what I've been telling my kids - I've just been updating the 'About Us' section of the website.  

Firstly.....'About Us' has been changed to 'About The Littlest Costume Shop'.  It just seemed to be silly to suggest that there's an 'Us' when in reality there's only little old me in the little old studio.

I also got a chance to read through the ideals that I had when I set the business up.  I'm pretty happy with them in general.  A feeling that I want more from this than making money (good job really!) and that I'm trying to run the business in the most community and environmentally friendly way I can.

If you're putting on a play or going to a costume party, hiring Costumes is much more environmentally friendly than buying and then discarding them, but there is the laundering to consider.  I still wash everything with environmentally friendly products, wigs are washed in recovered rainwater from our tank, and accessories, shoes etc are cleaned and sterilised with eucalyptus oil or steam.

If you buy something from the website or ebay, it's packaged in bubble-wrap that was recovered from my suppliers, or (at the moment) covered a huge sign delivered to a new housing development on the outskirts of Melbourne and saved before it got to the skip...sometimes it's useful to be friendly with a builder.

Speaking of buying from the website....I'm still phasing out what I call the 'packet costumes'.  As a small business, I can't control what my suppliers do, and it's hard to investigate what conditions everything is made under, but these costumes are made with the minimum of care and often go to landfill after they've been used - so I'm not buying any more of them, and when current stock have gone, that's it.  I'm looking hard at other accessories too....

For the future.....It's nearly the time of year for me to sponsor a small business overseas again and I'm investigating ways to use my sewing skills to help my local community.....updates will come soon.

There's only one area that I'm not living up to my ideals - the way I treat Littlest Costume Shop staff.   Answering emails at six in the morning and phone calls at 8pm, working evenings and weekends and all for much, much less than the minimum wage....luckily it's just me here!

Now, time to go and talk to those kids about their Ethics.....

Mandy xx

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