First, let's be honest. The electronics industry in general is not really eco-friendly. We know that. Throughout the lifecycle of a pair of wireless earbuds, there are significant environmental impacts. Mining metals, manufacturing abroad (long transport distances), complicated recycling, etc.
So why are we talking about our environmental impact instead of sweeping it under the carpet? The answer is that despite the inherent imperfection of wireless earbuds from an ecological point of view, it is still possible to reduce the negative impacts and this is precisely what we have been working to do since our beginning.
Removing the included charging cables
One of the first significant steps we took was to stop including charging cables in our orders. Charging cables are one of the most abundant and difficult to recycle waste in landfills. If a customer already has the right cable at home, then why add another one that will probably be unused? It might not seem like a big deal, but this decision had a big, positive domino effect..
Box size reduction
Simply by stopping including cables by default in all orders, we were able to redesign our product boxes and downsize them from 27% to 40% (depending on the model of earbuds), thus creating benefits on several levels:
- At manufacturing: Less paper, less ink, smaller instruction booklets, etc.
- In transport to our warehouse: about half the space for the same number of units, therefore better fuel efficiency which also lowers costs. These savings allowed us to reduce our selling price.
- On delivery to the customer: less greenhouse gases and above all, the downsizing of boxes allowed us to ship in mailers twice as small as before. Again, less waste.
- At the customer: most of our customers throw away the boxes. Knowing this, having 40% smaller boxes therefore produces 40% less waste, by weight or volume.
We have also implemented several other social contribution and waste reduction initiatives:
- We invest time and money in quality control to ensure that our ratio of defective products stays low. For the few pairs that slip through the cracks, we responsibly dispose of them in an ElectroBac.
- We have also implemented a replacement policy for broken / lost parts. This prevents customers from throwing away earbuds that are still working, when a single earbud has been eaten by their dog, for example (yes, true story and more than once!).
- We are contributing financially to the Jari Para Amazon rainforest protection project, initiated by Pachama. By helping to fund their preservation efforts of the crucial Amazon rainforest, we offset the carbon emissions produced by our shipping operations. (More informations:: https://pachama.com/explorer/project/jari-para)