“ Natural Collection / fair Trade, organic and Eco-Friendly Products „
,. [About] Started in 1999, Natural Collection offer fashion that is organic and eco friendly, as well as handmade and locally produced products. Whether its vegan shoes or fair trade cook ware, the products are ethical and beautiful. The idea was to help consumers move towards ethical, sustainable shopping with innovations and great products. [Website] The website is easy enough to navigate with clear photos, prices and description on each product. It does often say if something is out of stock, which helps if you are buying for a specific day like Christmas presents or birthday presents. There is also a code they use on the products to show if they are organic, fairtrade, natural, vegan etc. You can search by department/category, by price range or by a most customised way such as Gifts for Him, Gifts for Her etc which really helps during the Christmas period. [Catalogue] There award-winning catelogue is nice to browse through but I actually prefer the website as due to the way the products are arranged on the catelogue I sometimes miss things. However it is printed on A5, good quality photos and lots of detail. Includes a measuring guide for the clothes and also has the code used on the website to state if things are vegetarian, vegan, organic, fairtrade etc. [Products] There is a decent range of products in Natural Collection, in 2009 they merged with Ethical Superstore and brought in some new products. During this time there were lots of changing going on and at one point the product line seemed to reduce for a while however I am happy to say it appears they have once again built up their product line range to a great selection. The items are good quality and are not mass produced so you are unlikely to find them in supermarkets. This is one reason I like shopping in these more alternative places as there is something a bit more special here. Their range covers fashion, jewellery, toys, household products, home decor, toiletries, gardening products, electronics and even groceries where you can bulk buy. [Pricing] The prices are what you would expect for decent quality and I think that is right. Many products are fairtrade so the price is there to support the farmers and producers of these lovely items. It is nice to know that you can purchase lovely, well made items and are making a difference to those who produce them. In fact several times I have thought the prices were an absolute bargain for what I have purchased. There are often offers or sale/clearance on products which is great. [Shipping] The price for standard orders is £3.95. They also offer an express courier service at £7.95. For orders over £50 standard delivery is FREE and express courier service reduces to £5.95 Goods arrive quickly and are well packaged, I have never had any problems with the items I have received. [Environmentalism] Packaging The packaging is recycled boxes, shredded cardboard, reused bubble wrap, corrugated roles and even recycled packing tape. So they stick well with their green ethics on the packaging. Warehouse Natural Collection made several changes to their company in regards to environmentalism. "In 2011 they installed auto-switch lights in each warehouse aisle." ~Website All boxes unsuitable for delivery are shredded and used as filler to protect your items when ordered. Contact Centre All paper and drinking cups are recycled. Green policies that have been initiated are wokring from home, negating travel and supporting cycle-to-work schemes. [Extras] Reward Points Natural Collections runs a points scheme, everything you buy has a number of points allocated to it. When they reach a certain amount they are turned into currency and can be used as a form of discount. You can have the full or partial amount of your "credit" taken from an order. You receive an email stating how many MAD (Make A Difference) points you have accrued and how much this has turned into. Newsletter There is a newsletter you can sign up for that covers seasonal items, offers and new releases. Ooffoo They also had a website set up called Ooffoo where handmade products could be sold in the Market Place and there was a community where people could write articles on a wide range of subjects. There were recipes, craft ideas, energy/environmental items, interviews and even competitions run. At this moment in time, it is off line for maintenance but is great when it's up and running. Affiliate Program They run an affiliate program, affiliates is a great idea. If a person visits your website or blog and then uses the link to visit Natural Collection (and makes a purchase), Natural Collection pay you a commission. A great way to encourage people to buy ethical and fairtrade products. [Personal Experience] I have purchased many different items from Natural Collection, both for myself and others and find the quality to be excellent. I love their clothing, it always feels so gentle on my skin and unlike some supermarket bought items etc they don't fall apart the first time you wear them. The toiletries are lovely, naturally made and great for sensitive skin. I like to get them as they are not tested on animals. Almost everything I've bought for friends and family, usually for Christmas, have been happily received leading to them also shopping there. I've never had a problem with delivery or quality or even customer service.