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Summerdog Farm and Mercantile promotes and practices sustainability. By restoring and selling vintage items, we avoid the environmental costs of new manufacturing. When we do sell new items, we seek out craftspeople and manufacturing methods that create long-lasting products using environmentally responsible approaches. We avoid plastic because of the damage plastic causes to marine and other life. We look for ways to minimize our carbon footprint because of the contribution of carbon dioxide to climate change.

The specific practices we have committed to in our retail operations include:

  • using and selling pre-owned items where possible
  • using sustainably sourced new materials
  • avoiding plastic and petroleum products
  • using organic ingredients and methods where possible
  • using recyclable and biodegradable packaging
  • using local vendors as much as possible

We are grateful to businesses and initiatives that have made it easier to fulfil these commitments, such as EcoEnclose, a fantastic local business. We use their plastic-free labels (they have made the label backing, which usually has a plastic coating, plastic-free and recyclable), plastic-free cushioning wrap, and fill. Another excellent vendor is the Real Milk Paint company, which offers non-toxic, non-petroleum-product based paint for interior and exterior use.

Eliminating plastic entirely is hard! It’s everywhere in the office and workshop: there are plastic polymers in many paints, in pens, in computers, in scissors. Our farm operation has even bigger challenges with respect to plastic waste. Our 10-year old greenhouse is covered in clear plastic, and there are tool and machine parts, handles, old feeders, and so on that are made of the stuff. We choose alternatives and recycle where we can, but there is a lot of room for improvement.

We are still learning the best ways to reduce our carbon footprint and plastic waste. If you have ideas, we would love to hear from you on instagram @summerdogfarm or email us at!