Nowadays, nearly everyone talks about sustainability. Topical issues include things such as: Fair trade practices; sweat-shops; plastics, especially those used only once; the release of greenhouse gasses; and overall respect for the environment. But how can you be sure that our company pays more than lip-service to this important aspect?
SOUND AESTHETICS is a relatively small business, but we take the (real) sustainability of our products seriously. We therefore decided to follow a holistic approach, cognisant of our limitations, and to prioritise substance over form.
As such, the following choices were made in terms of sustainability.
As a point of departure —
- We aim to first do no harm, as the saying goes. This naturally requires a direct focus on managing things such as safety and possible hazardous substances in the products, but also a broader view.
- We find that it makes little sense to just promote further consumption — people, in general, already own too many things. Our devices therefore have to address a need (be useful and perhaps replace several other items), and then have to encourage people to rather own fewer — but then better, higher-quality products.
In terms of people —
- We ensure good working conditions not only in our own company, but also at our main suppliers and contractors. Starting with our main business partners, we directly inspect their factories to ensure that they treat their staff fairly, in matters including working-conditions, safety equipment, and remuneration.
- We absolutely do not support sweat-shops.
In terms of our products —
- By completely rethinking what Tech could be, and by actively avoiding its two-year throw-away-and-upgrade trend
- By forging a deeper connection between the product and the user by allowing the product to serve as a means of self-expression for the user — through interchangeable artwork panels that are customizable and ones that 'satisfy intellectually with their superb graphic designs and interesting backstories';
- We manufacture only high-quality products with a longer life-expectancy. We therefore only include top-quality parts and proven technology, and compliment it with alternative connection possibilities where relevant.
- We design our devices with future upgradability in mind. In this way, the technology-parts that are subject to a greater pace of change, such as the music-streaming module, could be updated affordably so as not to undeservedly shorten the lifespan of our high-quality products. This will bring enhanced capabilities for the future, too.
- Our enclosures are manufactured from premium Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF) that is made from wood fibres that come from sustainable forestry. It has favourable characteristics in terms of acoustics, but also energy use and carbon store.
- We chose to manufacture our products within the EU-zone. This naturally makes manufacturing a bit more expensive, but the benefits include not only a much closer link between designer and manufacturer and top-quality workmanship, but the promotion of local businesses and local employment, and much lower travel distances to the customer. In terms of present manufacturing cost, more than 60% of our S-A VOICE product, and more than 70% of the S-A CALM, originate in the EU.
- Our products are meticulously manufactured in small batches using specialist machinery and then hand-finished to order. This ensures greater exclusivity for our customers, but also less waste, and allows us to offer a wider range of products/options.
- Starting with our main suppliers, we directly inspect their factories to ensure that they carefully manage emissions, and strictly limit environmental damage and pollution.
- We test our products under different, real-life circumstances to ensure that they are reliable, safe and easy to use.
- We limit the use of plastics as far as possible, starting with the products.
- We design complete and compact systems, freeing up space and resources in a room.
- We protect the intellectual property of our company by formally registering our designs and other IP, thereby ensuring the protection and sustainability of the business.
- Unlike most luxury-goods companies, which apply massive profit mark-ups, we price our products based on the cost of their manufacturing, adding a reasonable mark-up only. The price you pay is therefore closely associated with the quality of the design, the quality of the components and materials, and the conditions under which it was made.
- We sell directly to you, the end-consumer, meaning there are no unnecessary profit margins added for the middle-man.
In time we may update some of our choices and policies, but we’ll always remain committed to creating sustainable products, and in practicing and promoting fair trade.