NWE Brands, Inc in Portland, Oregon – Our Sustainability Story
If there is anything that the last year – and more – has taught us, it is that the world we know, and love can be a fragile place. The smallest deviation from the usual course of things can have far-reaching consequences, and sometimes what happens in one place can be felt thousands of miles away. The Earth is in a state of flux right now, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t team up, work together, and find a way to come out better on the other side.
Here at NWE Brands, Inc., we are focused on playing a critical role in improving sustainability not just in our processes, but in the world at large. The time to make responsible changes has become critical, and as a global business, we are seeing it as our duty to step in and play our part. In this short article, we are going to walk you through our sustainability story, telling you all about the steps that we have taken, and our current running initiatives designed to lead improvements in consumer packaged goods (CPG), and most notably in electronics.
Who We Are
NWE Brands, formerly known as Northwest Electronics is a consumer products company based in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We call the city of Portland, Oregon our home, and we are proud Oregonians! You could say that much of our sustainability efforts revolve around the fact that we live in one of the most beautiful natural landscapes that the world has to offer. And every day, we are proud to see fellow local companies taking a stand to protect it.
Unfortunately, no one is a stranger to the fact that Oregon, and the West Coast as a whole, has been prone to wildfires in recent years. In 2020 alone, more than 1 million acres were burned during the fire season, to a cost of more than $350 million to fight the fires. In terms of damage, that number extended as far out as $600 million. We watched as 4,000 homes were destroyed throughout our state, and while dealing with unprecedented industry challenges due to the global pandemic, we also had to navigate evacuation notices that displaced employees on our team. For us, the message to help our planet in any way we can became clear.
NWE Brands, Inc. is a Manufacturer and Supplier of five product brands to retailers nationwide, throughout the USA. Our brands include ZGEAR®, ZGEAR® Connect, CellCandy®, Acoustix Audio For All® and Pelago. The first 4 brands include wireless accessories, audio products such as earbuds and speakers, and virtual office goods like webcams and headsets. Then, we developed Pelago in 2019 which is an eco-friendly travel goods line that includes products such as reusable travel containers to curtail the use of single-use plastics in tourism. For our Pelago products, we teamed up with organization 1% For The Planet to whom we donate a portion of our proceeds. 1% For The Planet allocates funds to a number of partners that address issues like climate change, wildlife, environmental conversation, food, land, and so much more.
While each of our brands are designed to act independently from one another, they are all expected to uphold the overall values and initiatives set forth by NWE Brands, Inc., which strongly include our push to become more focused on sustainability. Since 2019, and the inception of our eco-friendly Pelago brand we have been engaged in a transformation specifically designed to make our processes more sustainable and to ensure that our operations are more responsible today, tomorrow, and well into the future. Let’s take a deep dive into some of these initiatives!
Packaging Is Key
Because our brands supply businesses like retailers and distributers with consumer products that reach shoppers on shelves, packaging is certainly part of the equation. Throughout the years, we have been looking at ways to eliminate waste from substantial packaging orders, and to rethink the ways in which we package our goods, so that they can take less of a toll on the environment. In 2019, we began this transition by opting for recyclable packing solutions from our manufacturing partners. Our shipments no longer contain plastic, even down to compostable zip ties.
Most recently, we have entered into a new era for product packaging here at NWE Brands. We have begun a transition to solely recyclable packaging across all brands that we predict will take full effect by 2023. In addition to helping our footprint, we are encouraging our customers to engage in their own transformation by focusing on recycling their packaging waste instead of dumping it into their garbage.
There is more to packaging than cardboard boxes and filler – “trapping mechanisms” – to keep whatever is inside the package safe, secure, and protected. Ink also plays a large role; both illustrating the product and communicating the uses of the item to shoppers.
While looking at necessary steps making our packaging recyclable, we also took a look at the environmental impact that our chosen ink was leaving. With that said, we have now ensured the use of Soy Ink across all brands. Soy Ink is safer to use than traditional inks, and it can also be recycled safely, completing the efficiency of our new packaging standards.
Global Manufacturing & eWaste
As major players in the wireless technology industry, we are very well aware of the shortcomings of the global manufacturing behemoth – specifically when it comes to eWaste. Consumer electronics are rarely ever able to be recycled, and their lifespan does not exactly speak to longevity. In fact, major wireless device manufacturers have realized that with each new year, the next model device becomes the incentive for consumers to dropwhatever device they were using and opt for the latest model – even if the year’s previous model was still functioning as it should.
Some retailers like Apple offer recycle programs through trade-ins, but many of these devices end up in landfills in the form of eWaste. At any given time, the US dumps roughly 200 million to 300 million devices into landfills each and every year – not only is this a staggering statistic, but it is telling of just how troublesome the situation has become.
At NWE Brands, Inc., we have taken steps to reduce eWaste and to positively impact the global manufacturing process across all of our brands. We’ve grown much more conscious about the fact that global manufacturing leads to eWaste, and that consumer electronics often do not have a destination after their use has expired.
With that in mind, we have begun to work with our long-term factory partners to ensure that their sustainability practices uphold our belief in becoming an eco-friendly player in the market. When we partner with new factories or manufacturers, we don’t simply look for the best prices or the most advanced capabilities – we look at their business as a whole. Our team strives to get to know each of our manufacturing partners on a deeper level, so that we can be sure their values align with our own. We take a deep look at their manufacturing processes, we address any and all waste concerns that we see, and we even engage in long-term planning to determine just where that waste ends up after the manufacturing process is complete.
Through our whole-of-business transformation, we strive to leave no stone unturned. From packaging to manufacturing, we are completely up-ending our processes to make the world a better place.
Products That Deliver on More Levels Than One
Lastly, we took a long and hard look at our products. We knew that in order to truly accomplish our sustainability objectives, we needed to complete the circle, which meant rethinking our products. Our mindfulness extends into the lifecycle of our products, in that we only source high-quality, certified, and safe products that are designed to last more than just one year for consumers. Additionally, all of these products come with warranties to extend the general life cycle of the product. The purpose of this is to help eliminate eWaste and ensure that consumers are able to make the most out of each and every product they purchase from one of our brands.
Our products are designed to provide more tangible, economical, and environmental value over the widely distributed short-term use wireless accessories that eventually lose power, lose functionality, and lose their value shortly after purchasing. From cables and chargers to off-brand appliances and devices, these are the products that can be found on retail shelves all around the world, but often end up in landfills just months after their purchase.
At NWE Brands, we are focused on ushering in a new level of corporate accountability, knowledge, and focus, where sustainability and environmental awareness play a role in everything we do and in every decision we make.
What The Future Holds For NWE Brands
In terms of the future, NWE Brands, Inc., has set ambitious goals for our brands and for the business as a whole. We remain focused on improving our efforts to increase sustainability and to become more environmentally friendly in our processes, operations, and retail efforts, while also setting new goals for ourselves.
By 2023, we plan to move toward an entirely recyclable packaging solution across all of our brands, which we believe will send a strong signal to the industry and the world at large that our brands are poised to be trend setters in the future of retail and manufacturing. Additionally, we are taking a progressive step toward industry leadership on accountability when it comes to the very real threat of eWaste. We believe that as electronics providers, we need to take ownership over a problem in our industry, so that we can acknowledge it and work to solve it.
We see a major shift in the electronics market moving closer to eco-friendly electronics, and we want to pave the way to that shift. Our goal is to remain focused on providing high quality wireless accessories, including the very best chargers and cables that money can buy, all while ensuring that our environmental impact reflects positively on the world that we know and love.
Through our eWaste initiatives, our packaging initiatives, and our contributions to charitable organizations that help to make the world a better, safer, and cleaner place, we believe that NWE Brands is a true leader in the wireless accessories space, and that is something we will strive to preserve for years to come.
Learn More Today
Are you interested in learning more about our efforts to make the world a better place? Interested in our brands? Have a question about the steps that we have taken to reduce our environmental impact? Get in touch with us today and speak with a member from our team. We will be more than happy to provide you with more information on our efforts to become more sustainable and eco-friendly.
Additionally, if you are interested in shopping the best chargers and cables, along with high quality wireless accessories, pay a visit to our online webstore and see everything that we have to offer. We are the largest northwest-based wireless accessories provider in the country, and we always have just what you’re looking for – at the right price, for the right value, and with the right approach.
Shop with us today and become part of the solution!