I want to address the pink elephant in the room. Time and time again, I get asked if we're drop shipping. The answer to that question is, NO. While drop shipping is easier, requires little outlay, and has barely any risk associated with it, it is not intentionally sustainable, and is therefore contradictory to our intentions.
What is Drop Shipping?
Drop Shipping is the term used for online stores that don't keep stock or an inventory on hand. Instead, they wait for a customer to buy something online before they purchase the goods from a wholesaler and then have that item shipped directly to the customer. It's almost like a middle marketing man creating an online store that lists and markets products, but only purchases an item when you do.
Small Parcel Service
Drop shipping is made possible because China has a 'small parcel' service that provides free shipping around the world for small parcels. This allows drop shippers to purchase single items as they need them from anywhere in the world and have them delivered directly to the consumer. Keep in mind, this service is ONLY for small parcels. Any larger packages or bulk items don't qualify for this service and are incredibly expensive to ship.
The Allure of Free Shipping
A while ago, I posted the video below. It's so disheartening to see that the plastic packaging weighed more than a standard plastic toothbrush. Take a second to think about the carbon footprint that getting it here left behind. It's unbelievably sad to see. There is a steep price attached to those rock-bottom prices, and you're not doing the environment any favours by purchasing that way.
One supplier that I contacted after I ordered a bamboo toothbrush and weighed the packaging, informed me that they had shipped over 4,000 of them in three months alone. That's a lot of unnecessary packaging heading to our landfills.
Sustainable Supply Chains
For us, finding the right suppliers is essential. The companies we work with manufacture to the highest possible standards, have validated certification, and work with us to reduce the packaging and waste that occurs both in manufacturing and in shipping.
So the answer to your question is no, we do not drop ship. No single supplier has the quality that we require or stocks all of the items we sell. In fact, each of our suppliers specializes in their own specific field, like stainless steel, bamboo, etc. For example, if you ordered one of our starter packs, you would receive five separate parcels from five different suppliers. This would produce a lot of excess packaging and waste, and that just isn't sustainable.
Shipping is a lot more expensive for bulk items than it is for single items. You'll find that shipping for bulk items is usually around the same price as the item itself, if not more, and it's in US dollars. Take for instance a parcel worth $300 USD. The shipping would cost around $330 USD on top of that, bringing to a grand total of $630 USD, or $950 NZ.
Whatever price you see for a single unit, costs us at least triple that amount to buy it and stock it with ethics. That's why we buy all of the items listed in bulk, with minimal packaging. Once you order them, we package them up as eco-friendly as we possibly can before we ship them off to you.
The straight up guts of this topic are:
NO - We do not drop ship
YES - Our intentions are genuine - easy sustainability and accessibility to everyone
YES - We use the very best suppliers and carry premium stock
YES - We thoroughly check to make sure all of our suppliers have valid certification
YES - We make some profit
YES - We keep our fingers and toes crossed, hoping we can keep doing this for a little while longer
Disclaimer - All of the above mentioned is merely a reflection of my knowledge at this current point in time. I am no expert. I am also not saying that you have to listen to me. In fact, I encourage you to do your own research and think outside the box to make sure that your actions line up with your intentions.