Making a sustainable impact together

In 2024, D.P. Factory will continue making products that make people happy. But how can this be done more sustainably? Owner Thijs Wilders and creative director Elsje Meijler share their view on this important topic. “It’s exciting when a more sustainable product succeeds. It all starts with awareness.”

“A hobby that got out of hand,” that’s how Thijs describes the company he joined eight years ago. The company now employs more than 50 people. “Supermarkets and discounters account for 80% of our business. They are thinking more and more about sustainability,” says Thijs. “And our awareness is also growing. After all, this industry is not known as the most sustainable. That’s why D.P. Factory can make a big impact.”

Because of our growth we can make a sustainable impact

Cookie cutters from D.P. Factory used to be packaged in a plastic box. The packaging is now made of paper and is very easy for the consumer to separate. Elsje: “I think this product has become even more fun.”

Offering sustainable options

Elsje has noticed that her colleagues are paying more and more attention to sustainability, including in the creation process. “When it comes to product development, it’s all about making the right choices. For example, can we work with recyclable materials such as cardboard? We also think about how to disassemble packaging, so the materials are easier to separate and be reused as optimally as possible. Sometimes the sustainable option is slightly more expensive. Fortunately, customers seem increasingly willing to choose this option. It’s up to us to provide the options.” Thijs has noticed that customers are appreciating this more and more. “And that gives us a boost for new ideas. In our creative department, 20 people work together on this development. This gives us the opportunity to challenge each other and come up with new sustainability standards, in addition to our regular work. Together we are setting an irreversible trend in motion.”

“Customers are willing to make a more sustainable choice”

Small steps, big impact

Suppliers and customers are also increasingly setting sustainability requirements. “And we support that 100%,” says Thijs. “All our manufacturers are ISO 14001 certified. The production process, the working conditions: everything has to be in order, otherwise we won’t do business.” Thijs hopes the market will also unconsciously think and act more sustainably. “Apart from certification and regulations: how do we get our partners to consciously consider how sustainability is becoming more important? I see that as a great challenge.” Elsje expects more and more sustainable alternatives will become available due to customer wishes. “That’s why we do it. Sustainable steps may feel small at times, but they can have a big impact.”

Committed colleagues

D.P. Factory also looks internally to further fan the flame of sustainability. In order to achieve this, we established an internal sustainability committee at the beginning of 2023. The goal: to get our colleagues more involved in our green ambitions. “This year we will communicate more actively about the choices we make in our building,” Elsje explains. “We already use recycled toilet paper, buy sustainable soap, and separate our waste. Our use of soap is a good example: we buy large bags of concentrated soap to put in our reusable bottles, which we then fill up with water. It seems wasteful to transport water when it’s not necessary. And our soap bottles are designed in such a way that the soap comes out as foam. This means you need less water to wash your hands. Our choice has therefore had an impact on both transport and our water consumption. We will use information boards to inform our colleagues about the positive impact of these types of sustainable actions. Hopefully this will create even more awareness, which they will then incorporate into their work. We have already made great progress together, and we are happy to show that.”

“Together we create an irreversible trend”

We have also said goodbye to plastic packaging for washi tape.

Attention to reuse

D.P. Factory’s sustainability ambition will get a special follow up in February. That’s when the construction of our new building will start, on the outskirt of Tiel. Thijs: “We are switching to solar energy and collecting rainwater for reuse. The desks and office chairs have already been ordered. Secondhand! D.P. Factory is now so big that we feel the obligation to make more sustainable choices. And we really have to do that together.”

Gift wrap is often wrapped in plastic. D.P. Factory now uses an easy-to-remove paper cover. And the design of the paper still fits together perfectly.


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