A lot of the things have changed for our business during the pandemic. The single biggest change has been in the way we ship our products. In days of old, we shipped our awards to businesses, event venues, hotels and conference centers. With most physical events cancelled this year, we've been drop shipping awards to honorees all around the globe. Instead of loading up a pallet of plaques and shipping them to an event venue, we've been shipping products one at a time, generally to individual homes or offices. There are many advantages to drop shipping, and we're happy to provide the service. It does, however, make us keenly aware of the costs -- economic and environmental -- of shipping. In an effort to reduce these costs, we opted for a simple solution: product source reduction.
Source reduction is generally defined as reducing or lowering the weight, volume or toxicity of a product or package before it becomes municipal solid waste. Our products and components can be composted and/or recycled, so by design we keep materials out of the waste stream. But source reduction has other advantages as well: by "lightening up" through product design -- using less material and creating smaller, lighter products -- we can reduce the weight and volume of our awards, making them less expensive to manufacture and ship.
For customers who are interested in keeping their footprint as small as possible, we now have several smaller, lighter options of traditional products:
We worked with our glass artist Neil Duman to reduce the size of our Bud Vase, an extremely beautiful and functional artisan glass award. We recently introduced our new Mini Bud Vase, which is 2/3 the height and weight of the original.
For those looking for less weight and volume, we've added a category to our website where you can search for awards in multiple sizes.
We'll continue to carry our products in standard sizes but we are happy to reduce or redesign your award artwork from previous years at no charge if you would like to scale down for your budget or for the planet. As we moved forward, we'll be looking more closely at other opportunities for production. Stay tuned!