Actually giving a shit – The S4 sustainability policy

Posted by Paul Scholey on


As a local business on the border of Scotland, the actions we make day to day may not be noticed on a global scale, but we do not serve a global market; we serve local people and the local economy. Regardless, without care thought our actions can contribute to a global problem, a lack of sustainability and a cold shoulder to responsibility.

As humans on this earth we have each a responsibility to care for ourselves, our environment and those who exist within it, whether we respect them or not is our choice. In an ideal situation, if ever people respected their responsibility we would find our earth in a much more sustainable state than it currently stands. To support those who avoid these responsibilities makes you contempt to their mistreatments and neglect.

At S4 we turn of our lights and recycle our cardboard, but as a business we are tied to a global trade which is far from sustainable, and we plan to change what we can to make it more sustainable. As self-confessed Eco Warriors, we find ourselves in a crisis of conscience and are from this point forth taking steps to rectify this—we have a responsibility to uphold and promote our own sustainability and that of the earth.


In the clothing industry and modern retail, it’s often too easy to turn a blind eye to it’s working practices and the damages they cause; this is ever more poignant when you consider the clothing industry is second only to agriculture as the world’s greatest polluter; something we can no longer pretend not to see.

We are changing our ways to support and distribute a more sustainable way to live within your wardrobe, focusing on providing great products opposed to hype brands. Tired are we of seeing expensive ‘hype’ clothing fall to pieces and essentially waste resources, polluting the planet in the process. Along with becoming more sustainable, we enforce much greater responsibility to the products that we trade—fair trade and organic products will not be commodities but instead essential.

We see our business very much modelled on ourselves, our views and our desires. We haven’t any love for faceless businesses copping anything that can sell; we care what we sell because we care for where we are. We are responsible, we care, we actually give a shit.


As long as our own lines of products have existed they’ve been produced with fair trade cotton in a sustainable manner and we now want all the products available in store to reflect that, not just the ones we oversea the production of.

What is changing are the companies we will deal with and products we source from them, with a meticulous eye we’ll avoid any product that doesn’t meet the level of responsibility our consciences desire. We’ve never been afraid to say not to a hot brand because it didn’t align with how we wanted to operate our business.

For our regular customers, very little will change as they already have the mindset of better quality products over a mass of cheaper ones, with Carhartt jackets and Levi jeans becoming a staple of their wardrobe. We hope to influence the wider market to Buy Less and Choose Wisely over the items they purchase, noting that we cannot change how products are manufactured but we can locally alter a mindset of mass disposable consumerism.


How we change is not only dependant on us; our changes are redundant is we cannot change supply of our stockists and the knowledge of the public. We ask shoppers to Buy Less and Choose Wisely, providing a bastion of information for our customers alike.

The stock we carry and the companies we operate with are principle to how we become more conscience about the impact caused by our trading. In a effort to offset our years past and build a foundation for years to come, we will join the 1% For the Planetmovement; donating 1% of our annual profits to support the protection of our earth, our forests and our beloved oceans.

The smaller changes are easiest for us, such as using low energy lights and keeping a keen eye on our recycling but our biggest impact is our mail order services. We are to discontinue Mail Order as we see no reason why a single item should have to travel any more miles further than our shop floor and create greater waste and pollution. We have always been people who love interacting with our community and discontinuing the Mail Order is changing our impact to serve our local community better, a better impact.


Effective immediately.

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