Junk from overalls pockets has turned into an unlikely revenue stream for one sustainably switched on Taranaki business.
And La Nuova Apparelmaster, an environmental award winning business, is hoping to help teach other businesses to get sustainable.
Sales team leader Brad Craig said becoming a sustainable and environmentally-friendly business had paid big dividends for La Nuova.
“We feel we have done the basics and learned a lot and we can pass a lot of that knowledge on.”
Mr Craig said La Nuova wanted to quash the misconception that green products didn’t work.
“We wouldn’t just go and throw out all the old chemicals that are harsh and go to a green alternative that isn’t going to do the job,” he said. “We’ve always been about quality and we are quite mindful of that.”
Mr Craig said simple initiatives like putting in skylights had reduced the company’s lighting bill by 25 per cent.
Emptying the pockets of about 2000 pairs of overalls a day has also proved profitable. The rags they find are washed and sold, and the various nuts, bolts and pieces of metal sold for scrap.
“There’s not many things that you can take out of your skip and then create into a revenue stream,” Mr Craig said. “We’ve thrown all that stuff in the skip for years and years and all of sudden we don’t need to.”
Mr Craig said more businesses should look at what they were throwing away and think about how they could reuse or recycle more. “In environmental circles there’s a concept that there is no such thing as waste.”
La Nuova has teamed up with New Plymouth’s Hive Environment Centre to help re-invigorate the “sustainable business movement” in Taranaki.
Social enterprise co-ordinator Dion Cowley said it was important businesses were aware of the options available to them. “We want to pull all the resources into one place and act as a facilitator and be able to point local businesses in the right direction.”
Hive aims to get like-minded people together to build a network of environmentally aware businesses.
It has partnered with environmental award winners La Nuova Apparelmaster to help share the drycleaners’ knowledge and experience.
Today, at 5.30 pm La Nuova, 65 Eliot St, New Plymouth, will host the first “Green Drinks” event, an informal gathering for people interested in sustainable business. Hive hopes to make it a regular event that will change location.
This article was published in the Taranaki Daily News on September 26, 2013.