Newly started with five guys identifying what they believed to be a serious problem. Not enough consumer goods are made with recycled content. Simple. If we can create a company that 1) makes beautiful home goods, and 2) makes them from 100% recycled or repurposed materials then we would be doing something special that no one else is doing.
No one thinks everything they own should end up in the trash, whether its a cardboard box or an iron skillet. That process, however, is exactly what the making and selling of goods today depends on - tossing things that are used and pulling new raw materials from the Earth to make more. But it’s not crazy to say the planet has limited resources, is it?
So then what we're doing just makes sense. And we want to say to every company out there, "JOIN US!" Join us in maximizing the resources we already have. Let’s be efficient. Let’s be frugal ... and let’s make something beautiful.
Oh, and it’s more cost effective and better for the environment to do so. To get the facts on that go to Deep in the Mission
Deep in the Mission
You don’t have to be a dyed-in-the-wool environmentalist to grasp what we’re doing. In fact, one of our founders only started recycling a few months before we began work on the company.
An “environmentalist” is no longer an outsider activist. Environmentalism has moved back into the mainstream: we have municipal recycling programs in towns and cities across the country and, people are considering their impacts on waterways, animals and natural resources more than ever. To us "environmentalism” simply means being honest about our effect on the natural world and choosing to value its health over other interests like profit and convenience. Given what we now know about the challenges of climate change and the benefits of resource efficiency, it's incumbent upon all of us, especially in business, to take a more complete view of our actions. For us taking a more complete view means incorporating three key truths:
1) The earth has finite resources
2) Making products from recycled materials is more cost effective when compared to making the same products from virgin materials
3) Making goods from recycled materials is more resource efficient and has a lower environmental costs than making the same goods from virgin materials
What do we mean that environmentalism is moving back into the mainstream?
Until the "modern era" recycling was a common activity in homes and cities around the country. Modern, industrialized manufacturing created a plethora of new consumer goods. While this mass production meant lower costs and a wealth of product choices for people, it also lead to a massive increase in the waste stream. Recognition of the waste problem in the US, and around the world, has caused recycling rates to move upward over the last few decades. The nation's composting and recycling rate rose from 7.7% of the waste stream in 1960, to 17% in 1990, to around 30% today. But that still leaves A LOT of waste to be recovered!
Like to be overwhelmed with data? Saddle in! Here are some interesting facts about the materials we use and the impact recycling has on each:
- According to researchers at Stanford University:
- One ton of recycled glass saves 42 Kwh of energy
- 0.12 barrels of oil (5 gallons)
- 714,000 BTU's of energy,
- 7.5 pounds of air pollutants from being released
- 2 cubic yards of landfill space
- In other words …
- Recycling one glass bottle (vs. creating a new one) can save enough energy to power a T.V. for 1.5 hours.
- More than one ton of natural resources are conserved for every ton of glass recycled, including: 1,300 pounds of sand, 410 pounds of soda ash, 380 pounds of limestone, and 160 pounds of feldspar
- Every 6 tons of glass recycled (vs. creating the equivalent amount of new glass) = 1 ton of CO2 not in the atmosphere.
- One ton of recycled steel saves:
- 642 Kwh of energy
- 1.8 barrels of oil
- 10.9 million Btu's of energy
- 4 cubic yards of landfill space.
- Recycling aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from its virgin source. One ton of recycled aluminum saves:
- 14,000 kilowatt hours (Kwh) of energy
- 40 barrels of oil
- 238 million Btu's of energy
- 10 cubic yards of landfill space
- Reclaimed wood by definition saves trees from being cut down. More than 8000 tree species – that’s 10% of the world’s total – are threatened with extinction.
- Saving just 30 trees by using reclaimed wood, can absorb as much as 946lb of CO2 out of the atmosphere each year.
- 30 trees can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to 120 people, and the net cooling effect for 30 young trees is equivalent to 300 air conditioning units operating at 20 hours a day.
- One ton of recycled plastic saves:
- 5,774 Kwh of energy,
- 16.3 barrels of oil,
- 98 million Btu's of energy
- 30 cubic yards of landfill space.
- The avg. 100% conventional cotton tee shirt is made from .5 lbs of cotton fiber. The water required to farm and dye .5 lbs of cotton fiber is, conservatively estimating, 750 gallons.
- A tee shirt made from the yarn we use at Newly requires 10 gallons of water (and also uses no dye).
- Our blankets save approximately 2250 gallons of water per blanket
- Not even mentioning the benefit of diverting cotton at the end of one lifecycle away from landfills and into something beautiful.
Culture at Newly
We’d all be better-off if businesses took a more complete and responsible view of their actions. With that in mind, here are a couple of things we hold to be true:
Customers are part of the team.
- If we’re going to make a strong contribution to the argument that businesses can, and must, be more sustainable, more efficient, and more honest about their impacts, then this is a partnership. We want to hear from you.
- Have questions, concerns, encouragement or new ideas? Please reach out here.
- Already a customer and have questions about your purchase? Please reach out here.
Being a responsible business requires good customer service.
- We hope you’ll always sing our praises in this regard. Joy is in the giving, we think.
Dream big, remain open.
- We want a culture that encourages openness and creative thinking ... along with creative execution. We also know that this requires flexibility, grace and persistence in the face of difficulty when that openness and creative thinking lead to places we didn’t foresee and don’t yet fully understand.
To put as fine a point as possible on all of this, we are the first registered Public Benefit Corporation in the state of Tennessee, and will soon be adding B Corp Certification to our mantle.
So what is a B Corp?
- B Corp registration offers a legal way of weaving the missional values of your company into its very charter (it’s business DNA). As the good folks at B-labs, the founders of the B Corp movement, put it: “B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.”
- Codifying these values protects everyone involved - from the business managers, to their employees and vendor partners, to their customers. For now we are a registered B Corp and we will soon add B Corp certification to our mantle. This process takes time and money, but it’s one to which we are committed. For more on that please visit: https://www.bcorporation.net/what-are-b-corps