Our Core Values
1.) Secondhand & vintage items are usually better than new, and have the lowest impact.
There're a lot of great businesses selling new low-waste, plastic-free supplies. The problem is, that's still a bunch of NEW STUFF piling up on Planet Earth!
Making new things still uses resources to create & transport. Even when stuff is made with recycled or sustainable materials, it still has to go somewhere in the end. A lot of package-free shops don't acknowledge this.
We believe vintage & secondhand zero waste supplies (items in good condition made of recyclable glass, metal, or wood that already exist) are better than buying new and creating a vacuum for more stuff to be ordered & produced. We aim to offer as many vintage kitchenware & home goods as we can keep in stock!
2.) But not all vintage things are great though...
Hello toothbrushes or laundry soap! We recognize that some things are better, and need to be, new. As long as they're sustainably produced. To that end, we meticulously research the lowest impact products we can find. We have chosen to open the first zero waste supply and bulk refill shop in New Orleans because we want to offer low-waste options locally! We have found so many people trying to do zero waste on their own, shipping things, who are so excited to have a local solution. We have the ability to order in larger quantities that are shipped together to help reduce the emissions produced from everyone ordering items on their own. We also are building partnerships with local makers whenever possible to supply bulk and sustainable goods entirely locally and package-free.
We also offer handmade/new items that are made from upcycled from remnants and natural materials, such as our 100% cotton facial rounds and NOTpaper towels, so that no new fabric is made.
3.) There isn't a great reason to ship products abroad, other than profit.
We ship to the U.S. and Canada. There are so many great package-free, zero waste & vintage shops in the UK, Australia, Europe, and other parts of the world that we don't feel the need to offer international shipping outside of North America. Doing so would increase carbon emissions when there are likely closer options in other parts of the world. We invite all folks everywhere to be a part of our community on Instagram @vintagegreenreview, but feel that when it comes to carbon emissions, principles & transparency are more important than profit.
To that end, we're also working to identify a way to offset carbon emissions from the orders we do ship -- stay tuned!
4.) Zero waste shipping includes recycled and upcycled materials.
Zero waste shipping isn't just about using recycled cardboard & paper wrapping. Our padded mailers are made from recycled materials and are recyclable, but we also try to reuse any existing cardboard boxes that come our way--especially for odd-shaped or larger items.
This may mean reusing boxes from family or friends but it does NOT mean we necessarily endorse that particular company (i.e. if we occasionally reuse a cardboard box with paper tape from Amazon because our neighbor had extras, our goal is to save resources and doesn't mean we're affiliated with or promoting them).
Of course, we'd love to have pretty recycled boxes with our own brand name on them, and may do so in the future when we run out of existing ones, but we still try to reduce our impact by reusing things as they already exist first.
5.) Vintage style, not vintage values.
Our goal is to provide vintage-inspired solutions for low waste living that are based on how folks lived their daily lives without plastic in the past; disposable single-use plastic isn't that old and we can likely get along fine without most of it! In fact, most of the world's plastic pollution comes from single-use plastics, wrappers and containers that are discarded after mere seconds of use! (Obviously, medical and health-related type plastics are different). There are many beautiful vintage & secondhand items that have quite a bit of life left in them and need not be forsaken to landfills in favor of the latest trends.
Yet, while there are tons of great examples from history's thriftiest grandmas everywhere (i.e. rag rugs and cotton bread bags) we also know there are many terrible examples from history; and that history is full of systemic inequality, racism, scarcity, shorter life spans, and on the whole, not something we want to repeat.
Thus, what we value is vintage design, color, decor, clothes, and home goods from the perspective of appreciating items that were handcrafted, unique, beautiful, made of high quality, durable, and reusable. But we do not mistake this for--nor do we support--historic values, mentalities, or modes of operation that supported or promoted oppression, injustice, environmental degradation, or pollution.