It’s always nice to give or receive an unusual gift. This week we look at a particular website – www.uncommongoods.com – that is as committed to sustainability as it is originality.
The company was founded by Dave Bolotsky who, after a visit to a Smithsonian Museum craft show in Washington DC in 1999, was impressed by the sheer range of handmade goods and the talent involved in producing them. He recognised the public demand for beautiful design and decided to create an online marketplace to connect creatives with individuals looking for quality and quirks, regardless of the physical distance between them.
And it seems that Bolotsky has fulfilled his vision. Each month Uncommon Goods employees get together to discuss how they can make their organisation even more environmentally friendly and socially responsible, not to mention a more rewarding place to work. These days, the website sells a broad spread of creative and exciting merchandise including homewares, jewellery and clothing, with suppliers ranging from artists to small manufacturers.
Since its founding, Uncommon Goods has never sold products containing leather, feathers or fur. Instead you’ll find innovative and amusing creations like the up-cycled silk sari lounge robe, fire-escape shaped shelves and solar powered phone chargers. The handmade jewellery sold on the site is also unique, involving no mass produced manufacturing machinery and instead just the time and heart of its human creator.
“To us, sustainability means more than just being ‘green’,” says Bolotsky. “We believe sustainability starts with integrity in everything we do, treating each individual inside and outside our company with dignity and respect, offering health insurance to all our full-time (and most part-time) employees and providing a living wage.”