Building a Social Economy
Ethstat was built to be different. Our staff, customers, and the people we seek to help, all live in the same communities we seek to benefit. Our income-generating work as a business, and our giving, work hand-in-glove to form a single whole. We were born from the environmental movement of the early 2000s so, for us, there is no separation between people and planet, working and giving. Instead, we see them as intertwined strands which make up the whole.
Our business systems are designed to benefit our communities as much as our social programs – that’s why we are a Community Interest Company and a co-operative. Our colleagues come from diverse backgrounds; most have experiences of long-term unemployment; some have been homeless, or in prison; others come from areas of high unemployment and addiction. All have something in their background that makes it difficult to find a job elsewhere.
I feel like here if you have the imagination to do something and you can figure out a way to make it happen – then you can do it!
As the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns came to be, we had to pivot our ordinary business operations and change how we help people in a time of crisis. As mainstream suppliers were overwhelmed, trying to import Personal Protective Equipment, we stepped in where they failed. We used our expertise, gained over decades sourcing environmentally conscious products, to find manufacturers in the UK who could supply rarer-than-gold-dust PPE and sanitising products.
If ever there was a time to lean on our manufacturing and supply base, it was now. We are immensely proud that we helped and protected people, while reducing carbon miles and safeguarding the small manufacturers and supplies companies that are our communities’ lifeblood. We found small female-run businesses and social enterprises ignored by the mainstream and built our supply base around them. We found a way to recycle the disposable PPE we supplied, read the trends to keep pricing low while retaining continuity of supply, and we gave.
We helped our communities wherever we could – however we could. In a turbulent marketplace, we did our best to do right by all our communities, and right we did.
In 2020 we worked with 234 suppliers, 47 social enterprises and helped more than 200 communities. Our supply chain supports food banks, gives work to refugees, trains and supports people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities and ex-offenders. In short, our supply chain is fantastic and multiplies our impact at every stage. It’s what happens when you are committed to building a social economy.