Words by Yvette Bishop, our Managing Director.
Having worked in logistics for over 35 years, countless times I’ve seen and experienced stock being lifelessly stored in warehouses because it’s slightly faulty, has incorrect branding, has been somewhat damaged during transit, is surplus to requirement, or has an out-of-date design.
But now, having moved into the e-commerce fulfilment space, we’re now regularly dealing with customer returns which can’t be returned to stock, and this is where I had an idea to make a change. So, I contacted our customer, Remy Sleep, who specialises in weighted blankets, as we’ve accumulated a large amount of stock over the years. Not only was the stock usable, but it also sat in our warehouse, costing the customer storage charges!
Making a Change
Working with Remy, we wanted to avoid the leftover stock being put into landfill. I went on a mission to find a solution as this seemed to be a waste, and unfortunately, it could not be recycled. Together, we contacted several organisations within the UK and even animal shelters (where we donated a few of the covers after being dry cleaned). However, we still had a lot of blankets left over.
When the pandemic arrived, Remy agreed to donate slightly defective blankets to anyone struggling with lockdown anxiety — something many appreciated during the stressful period. Due to the online sales process, there’s a continuous flow of orders out and, therefore, always a small percentage of returns. So, our pile of surplus blankets continued to grow.
Helping in Ukraine
When the war broke out in the Ukraine, my heart went out to all the poor victims of the war and conflict, and I wished I could do something to help. After listening to a radio interview with a man called Lee Watson from Fierce-Calm (who was luckily local to me!) and all of the fantastic and brave work he and his team were doing in Ukraine, I decided to reach out.
I met up with Lee and offered him the collection of Remy weighted blankets. Lee works with many aid organisations and the one that jumped straight on it was Rapid Aid UK — an organisation dedicated to providing urgent supplies. Thanks to the generosity of Remy Sleep and assistanqce from Lee at Fierce-Calm and Sally and Nick from Rapid Aid UK, the blankets were quickly collected and distributed in Ukraine.
The blanket distribution process is still ongoing today. When we get a quantity of blankets, they’re instantly collected and delivered anywhere in the world that needs them.
I’ve also worked with another customer who had several pallets of towels; we also delivered these abroad as they were unneeded.
There is no better feeling than knowing, firstly, you have prevented a lot of landfills, but also, you’ve done your bit to help others with a little thought and effort. So much redundant stock is gathering dust in various warehouses that, with a few phone calls, could be donated to a good cause and make a difference in someone else’s life.
We will continue helping others in the future.
A Little About Fierce-Calm, Rapid Aid UK, & Remy Sleep
Fierce-Calm, Rapid Aid UK and Remy Sleep have been heroes throughout the process. Get to know them a little better here.
Fierce-Calm delivers free yoga classes in community spaces and shelters to refugees, domestic violence survivors, conflict survivors, and people facing systemic bias due to sexual orientation, age, income, gender, racial or cultural identity. This team also provides trauma-informed yoga training scholarships for marginalised and minority ethnicity students.
Rapid Aid UK is a UK organisation dedicated to providing urgently needed supplies in areas suffering from war or natural disasters. Right now, the organisation is supporting their friends in Ukraine. So far, working with other charities, they’ve delivered 11 ambulances filled with medical aid from battlefield trauma fits, female hygiene products, pet food, and lots more.
Remy Sleep is here to make your life comfortable. With a selection of beanbags, weighted blankets, sleep aids, and more, this UK store is here to help you relax.
Final Thoughts & Looking To The Future
We hope Yvette’s experience working with Remy Sleep, Fierce-Calm, and Rapid Aid UK has inspired you to take action. Giving back to the global community is crucial, especially when items are sitting unused and facing a landfill fate.