It’s so trendy to have a sustainability statement now, but KTT has been practicing sustainability practices since 2008, long before it was an internet buzzword. It’s part of our nature and we’re not doing it for likes – this page doesn’t exist to create enthusiasm for the brand, it exists to inspire and motivate others. Everyone says it’s their commitment blah, blah, blah… but at KTT it’s ingrained in our lifestyle whether this business exists or not. It’s all the stuff we already did before starting a watch company and will always do – even when nobody is looking.
Sustainability doesn’t just mean using materials made from recyclable and renewable resources. It’s not just about loving the planet and protecting nature, but about being purpose-driven and not putting more garbage into the world – and when you do, making sure it can be reused or repurposed multiple times. Fortunately, in the early days, it also meant saving money.
That’s why for over 15 years KTT has been going around town collecting boxes and packing materials from other businesses who choose to throw them out. From boxes to bubble wrap – and even the hard plastic cases that Rolex dealers used to throw in the trash up until a couple of years ago – that’s right, Rolex sent thousands of those cases to ADs every year with no recycling or take-back program. The luxury industry hath no shame!
It is a lot easier to place a big orders with Uline for brand new boxes and packing supplies. Used packing material takes extra effort to collect, break down and store, but the goal is to limit our company’s participation in generating unnecessary newly produced materials. If it’s clean and can be reused, we take it and do just that: reuse it. That’s what sustainability means to us, a shop that got its start in used watches and repurposed watch goods also repurposes anything and everything we can get our hands on.
When ordering your luxury watch other goods from our shop, don’t be surprised when it shows up in relabeled Amazon packaging or a reused Seventh Generation soap box. Just know that regardless of what the packaging looks like from the outside, you can trust that it was packed with precision and care on the inside. Almost everything we use has been recovered and repurposed at least once before using it to pack an order: little baggies for extra links, bubble wrap, even the paper the personal notes are written on is from the unused side of shipping labels.
Our process is simple:
- First try to make use of used materials
- If we have to buy new materials, buy stuff that was made from recycled contents even if the cost is higher
- Last resort is using new materials such as boxes from UPS/FedEX
The packing peanuts we use are biodegradeable and pet friendly. Not that your pet (or you) should be eating them, but our peanuts literally disintegrate in water, try it out! They are made from corn starch and although they cost more than forever-foam peanuts, they have been our go-to packing material since day one. If for any reason you receive an order with regular foam packing peanuts, please rest assured that we did not purchase them and the only way we would ever use such material is to reuse the peanuts that were in a package we received from a supplier or vendor that doesn’t practice sustainability.
As a studio, KeepTheTime recycles everything it possibly can. And we understand the importance of recycling correctly, otherwise it’s a waste of time. If something is questionable, we look it up to make sure it will be accepted. If something can’t be put into the weekly pick-up, we figure out where it can be recycled locally – even if it means paying for it, such as fluorescent light bulbs.
Want to know how you can start a system like this? Here are some ideas from KTT’s playbook:
- Scour Craigslist daily for free packing materials – there is always something on there.
- Make a list of local businesses and ask them if they have packing materials to donate to another business – they almost always will be happy to do this because it makes them feel better about their sustainability efforts. Back in the day, KTT used to get biodegradeable peanuts from Whole Foods!
- Ask your current suppliers if they have options for materials made from recycled contents. If not, seek out new suppliers.