As a population of almost 8 billion, and with an imbalance caused largely by the developing world, we are consuming more than our planet can provide. In 2019, ‘Overshoot Day’ was July 29. This is the day that ‘humanity exhausted the biological resources our planet could renew that year.’ This means that we are using almost twice as much we have every year, and as a result, we are diminishing the Earth’s natural ability to replenish these resources.
Below we have listed some of the important statistics that urged us to find a new way to eat, shop, think, share and talk.
- If we reduced global meat consumption by 50% and used more calories from plants, we would move Overshoot Day 5 days.*
- The amount of wasted food is equivalent to about 9% of the global Ecological Footprint. If we cut food waste in half worldwide, we would move Overshoot Day by 11 days.*
- The UK recycling rate for Waste from Households was 45.7% in 2017. There is an EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020.**
By partnering with more environmentally conscious suppliers, we can offer healthy, package-free vegan groceries. It is our goal to promote a plant-based diet, a low-impact lifestyle and a deep respect for our planet and the diversity of life that it holds.
The Harm.Less Scale
At Harmless, we have developed our own system for choosing suppliers, based on our ethical priorities.
- VEGAN—Everything we stock is vegan first. We believe that it is unnecessary and cruel to farm animals and animal products in order to sustain ourselves.
- PLASTIC-FREE—The majority of our products come plastic free. This is because we understand that single-use plastic and the irresponsible disposal of it is harming wildlife and wrecking ecosystems around the world. In some cases we stock vegan, plastic-wrapped items; this is with the intention to encourage a more plant-based diet, which is our first priority.
- HOME-GROWN—We choose UK suppliers, closely followed by European. By sourcing food that requires a shorter distance to reach us, we reduce our carbon footprint. We can also be sure about the regulations under which it was produced, according to EU agricultural laws.
- INDEPENDENT—We love independents like us! Especially if they are vegan-owned. We like to support amazing suppliers who are creating change through their own sustainable businesses.
- SUPER LOCAL—Some of our suppliers are based in London, even the same neighbourhood! We are especially interested in the fantastic local businesses situated near us.
- PALM OIL-FREE—It is safer for us to say no to palm oil in order to avoid ingredients grown on deforested land. It is possible to find more sustainable sources but as a general rule, we avoid!
- ANTI-MONOCULTURE—We do not like to support monocropping and intensive agricultural or manufacturing techniques. Monoculture destroys the natural diversity of life, polluting, weakening and even destroying ecosystems. This point takes a lot of work because large suppliers frequently change their suppliers, which therefore requires extra research from us.
- ORGANIC—We choose our suppliers based on (among all the above points) what we know about their production methods and how sustainable they are. It is actually quite expensive for small businesses to obtain ‘organic’ certification. This means that we may choose a supplier who is organic in every sense of the word but who lacks the badges.
We understand that these probably won’t match your own order of values and we ask that you if you plan to shop with us, that you come with mutual respect for our differing opinions! Feel free to read our FAQs for more information. If you disagree very strongly with our values, why not open your own shop! We would be happy to share our learning with you.