Yes, the use of resources by the industry is a big issue today. When they are collected or fabricated in order to be manufactured into products, and when those same products are disposed. A lot of attention is being dedicated to the problem of plastics. And by all means let us all dedicate our attention to that! But let’s step back a little, and think for a moment about the amount of goods each one of us uses daily, and about the lifespan of those goods before we replace them with newer ones. Now, imagine that on a planetary scale. You see the point, right? Synthetic or natural, no material is immune to being a threat to environmental stability.
The root of the problem is easy to establish but rather complex to address effectively. A World’s population that keeps on growing and the fact that our lives depend on a number of products that cause an impact is definitely a problematic combination. But hey, let’s keep on having children, and having a life so comfortable that allows us to live happily for many years! So, what should we do then? Of course we can choose to use materials that are lower on (environmental) impact. Let’s all do that! But there is another matter that requires urgent attention – global trends. If we think that any product is used times 7.5 billion people, and that many of those products have a rather short lifespan, to think global seems to be the real root of the problem. To develop a product to be used globally will necessarily put too much pressure on resources. Being that product an avocado, an electric car or a hemp shirt.
It is in fact a complex problem to deal with, and the solution most likely won’t be of the type – one size fits all. Political, sure. Economical, definitely. But certainly the solution will depend on each and everyone of us. Locally, and private or business wise.
Producing in Portugal, Ghome decided to work with natural materials because they can indeed be lower on impact, and opted for Portuguese ones as much as possible to avoid the shipping of resources. But natural materials are lower on impact if and only if, we understand that trees and plants need time to grow, and that minerals and stones are so slowly processed by Nature that they are practically irreplaceable after extracted. Therefore every Ghome product is developed for a maximum amount of units available each year. To work with finite stocks forces us to focus in order to stay profitable as a business. Even if we want the world to know about us, Portugal is Ghome’s commercial priority. We make a portion of our catalogue available for selling overseas, but only 25% of the yearly stock on each of the selected items are available for exportation. With this we hope to reinforce the idea of place of origin for Ghome’s products, and inspire others to build businesses on a similar manner.
The future seems to be more plural and less global.