I hate waste and believe strongly that environmentally friendly can also be well designed and beautiful. I design, make and sell beautiful handbags and other items from recycled fabrics. I am also the instigator of the hashtag doesanyonewant, designed to help people pass on or swop unwanted materials, packaging etc.
I began using my mother's hand operated sewing machine when I was three. I made clothes for my toys with her scraps. A few years back, my husband and I were lucky enough to move to the Isle of Wight. Whilst renovating our house here, we met an upholsterer and I was horrified to discover he threw away his offcuts. Not any more! I rarely receive large pieces and have had to design patterns for bags that work with odds shapes and sizes and I use charity shops finds of curtains etc., alongside the offcuts. The result is that each bag is unique; customers know they will never see anyone with quite the same bag. I also make other eco-friendly fabric products to use up bits too small for bags. My packaging is recycled and recyclable and I source as much as I can locally to keep the carbon footprint of the business down.
Communicate with your customers - at point of purchase let them know you have their order and when it is likely to be dispatched. At point of dispatch let them know when it is likely to be with them. Put a personal touch of communication in with their order. Shopping online can be a faceless experience, make it personal and important.