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How to Run a Sustainable Business in 2022

When running a freelance business there are so many things to consider from hiring assistants to sourcing materials and attending meetings. For many small and large businesses alike, running a sustainable business is no longer a pipe dream but a necessary pillar in standing as a future facing business. There are many sectors of your business to consider when it comes to checking its overall sustainability. Measuring your over carbon footprint and keeping it in check is a great place to start. 

Here is a list of sectors to keep in mind when it comes to prioritising how to run your business as sustainability. The following apply to all types of freelancers and small businesses from stylists and makeup artists to creative directors and UX designers (we also nod to those of you in the NFT game). 

Reduce travel to meetings

With the introduction of long term hybrid working, we have the power to drastically reduce the amount of CO2 we omit on our way to work. If possible, host zoom meetings and work from home 3 days a week. Save in person meetings for when you’re really developing a connection with a client or you really need to present a product or project in person. 

Where and which materials you source

For stylists in particular, sourcing sustainable materials for the clothes you use and brands you represent really indicate how seriously your business takes sustainability. It also applies to other business types from the amount and type of paper illustrators use to the brands makeup artists represent (Hourglass is namely a great sustainable and vegan option).

Materials also seep into elements that are less directly linked to your work. For example, the materials used in your home office or studio. Do you source sustainable acoustic desks or wood panels for your floor? Check out the filters on John Lewis’ website or NBS platform when it comes to sourcing sustainable and acoustic materials for home and office decor. 

NFTs – CO2

There is much climate controversy surrounding NFTs. The good news is that it is possible to generate NFTs in a sustainable way.  As the CryptoArt NFT market is exploding in a gold-rush style free-for-all, there is a lack of clear information on the ecological impact of different approaches to NFTs. The purpose of this guide is to help CryptoArtists who are interested in exploring more sustainable alternatives.

Currently, the more sustainable platforms do not have the volume of their unsustainable counterparts, the Ethereum-based platforms. For this reason, collectors and sales are likely to be significantly lower on the more sustainable alternatives. However, hopefully as more artists navigate this topic, this can encourage platforms, developers, investors and collectors to develop more ecologically friendly and transparent platforms.

Sustainable Shipping of Resources

Switch to eco-friendly delivery methods. Don’t put a small product in a box five times larger. Use compact packaging to minimise costs and the space it occupies in the carrier vehicle. Don’t use the Russian Doll technique when you ship products because it encourages waste production. Encourage clients to purchase in bulk and reduce the number of multiple orders to prevent wasting packaging materials and triggering unwanted costs. Becoming a green business is a rigorous process and involves switching your operations and embracing new methods and strategies.

Selective with your Clients

A few months ago we interviewed Ana Grigorovici, a graphic designer in London who set up a studio called Uncommon Goods which focuses on taking on clients who prioritise sustainability and demonstrate shared values, creative relationships and taking big jumps. If you are at the stage where you can be selective about who you choose to take on in line with sustainable considerations, working in that direction can be extremely rewarding. 

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