Our Ethos

Flexihex packaging

I thought, at the beginning of this journey with Wild Eve, that it might be useful to set out our ethos, to make clear what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, it’s something I’ve thought about a great deal. It’s relatively easy to set up a company but it’s far harder to work out the minutiae of how it will work ethically and sustainably.

 Our approach to business is very different to the usual model – as I write this, the words of Bob Dylan warbling ‘you’ve got to serve somebody’ are ringing in my ears. Who you serve and how you serve them are pivotal. Wild Eve has been established without external investors. This is critical. It allows us to determine our direction without recourse to shareholders or consideration of dividends.

 Whilst investment allows for rapid growth and effectively a financial boost to get your company set up and through the challenging first few years of trading, it also sets a clear trajectory for the company. Growth and profit have to be key, because even the most benign investor will want a return on their investment. It is the investors whom you serve and meeting their needs means they have significant influence over the direction of the company.

 There is another route however, it is green growth. In this model, the aim is to create a thriving local circular economy, offer secure employment and training and most importantly to ensure specifically, that growth for growth’s sake is not at the core of the business model. As the realities of climate change are becoming ever more clear, we believe it is essential to assess our environmental impact and ensure that we do everything we can to minimise it - to us, green growth is the only way forward.

 Adopting this approach means that self-sufficiency and sound environmental policies are what drives our business. This is why you won’t find Wild Eve in the supermarkets and we won’t be anywhere that requires volume production. We are truly small batch and everything is done with care, by hand. We will be making a maximum of 10,000 bottles available in the next 12 months which is tiny compared to most producers. We have worked out that this level of production is environmentally sustainable and achievable on this little ecologically fragile island.

 For our packaging we chose Flexi-Hex because we didn’t want plastics in the packaging and we found their innovative solution to transporting glass safely, both beautifully realised and ethically sound. As they say, ‘The Flexi-Hex  product embodies our commitment to the environment. Our adaptable packaging solution is plastic-free, made from 100% recycled material and has a minimal amount of printed surface. The PVA adhesive is non-toxic and under the right conditions will biodegrade in 6 weeks. The product itself can be reused up to 5 times.’

 This year we have organically grown and gathered 5 of our key ingredients here in Harris. Next year it will be more. We have invested in a large ‘Hebridean appropriate’ greenhouse which arrives soon so that we can extend our growing season and begin to test plants that would certainly not survive here outside. Pursuing this option will hugely reduce our ingredient carbon footprint and make effective use of the croft land. Additionally we are working with other local crofters to help us grow what we need. The fewer ingredients we need to ship in, the better. Equally using an organic approach to growing here with lashings of seaweed fertiliser from the seashore at the end of our road further protects our environment.

 For our new business base, Temple 2 in Leverburgh, we are planning to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by installing PV cells and we’re intending to buy an electric vehicle for local deliveries and collections. These are in our plan for 2022.

 All these steps are small but incrementally they make a difference. If we are to have any impact on the climate crisis, businesses need to reassess what drives them and move towards a sufficiency model rather than maximum profit through unfettered growth. We think it’s the only responsible way forward and it’s certainly the only path we’re prepared to tread.



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