Living out the lesson of the Wendigo.
We spent three months reading through the dictionary (in three different languages) to find the right name for our company.
It was important that the name embody the spirit of our mission and our message.
No name could do that better than Wendigo.
What's a Wendigo?
It's a fierce monster, and a warning against excess and greed. The Wendigo is a clear message that the way you consume can destroy you.
The name comes from the rich folklore of the First Nations Algonquin tribes. In the cold northern forests of Nova Scotia, wintertime famine was a very real danger. Eager to discourage cannibalism, locals passed down the legend of the Wendigo.
Caving to Temptation
According to the legends, when a human caved to the temptation of cannibalism, their body would be taken over by a Wendigo. From that fateful moment, the person's appetite would never again be satisfied. The more they ate, the larger their appetite would grow, and the more it would take to satisfy them. They would be forever hungry.
A Connection to Reality
For many First Nations people, the Wendigo was (and is) the embodiment of greed. It's more than a creature from a horror movie. Wendigo is a term of warning highlighting the real dangers of excessive living. It has been used to describe overindulgent colonial settlers as well as those who mistreat their environment.
We would do well to abide by its lessons.
The world still faces the same core issue that led to the spread of Wendigo folklore - greed. Tempted by easy satisfaction, our society has developed insatiable appetites that push us into habits of more and more consumption.
The Wendigo spirit can be seen in the continued use of single-use plastics, the overuse of oil and petrochemicals, and the overconsumption of animal products. It's also ever-present in irresponsible manufacturing practices that put profits over the needs of employees and the planet.
Our Name: A Timely Warning
When we got started, we didn't want to be just another company characterized by the same greed as those that came before us. In fact, just the opposite. Rather than being a Wendigo, our name represents our endeavor to remind people of this vivid folklore.
Unlike most retail companies, rather than promoting mindless consumption, we seek to warn people against excessive greed.
Creating a Circular Retail Economy
What if we could take all the trash in the ocean and weave it into something useful?
What if the products for the next generations were created from the waste of the generations that came before?
What if it was just as easy to live sustainably as it is to do anything else?
We're making all of that possible, one step at a time.
Step 1: Stop the Creation of New Waste
We want to "turn off the tap" on the waste that is currently leaking into our environment.
We only sell responsibly produced products, and we work hard to keep our packaging as waste-free as possible. That makes it easy for you to purchase what you need without creating additional waste.
When you focus on making sustainable purchases, you help to eliminate waste by ensuring that it's never created in the first place.
Step 2: Repurpose Existing Waste
Right now, there are millions of tonnes of existing plastic waste that will find their way into our oceans if they are not put to good use.
By creating and promoting products made from recycled materials, we can grab existing waste and put it to use before it makes its way into our oceans.
When you purchase one of our many products made from recycled materials, you're helping us eliminate trash before it has a chance to pollute.
Step 3: Begin the Process of Restoration
By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than there are fish (pound for pound). We dream of the day when companies will begin to harvest plastic from the ocean with the same vigor that is used to harvest its fish.
Our long-term goal is to create a consumer market for recycled plastic products that is large enough to support the removal of plastic from our oceans on a commercial scale.
By supporting this vision and sharing it with others, you can do your part to help us create this reality.
It's About Doing Things the Right Way
Sustainable products. Sustainable people. A business that exists to make the world a better place.
We only sell products that are good for the planet.
For us to source an item, it must meet strict sustainability criteria. All products must be made from materials that are renewable, recycled, or recyclable to the greatest degree possible, or the product itself must promote a sustainable lifestyle.
The world is still learning a lot about what makes products truly sustainable. We conduct regular studies to ensure that everything we sell lives up to the latest research.
Fair Labor and Fair Trade
We believe in paying people fair wages - no matter what level of the supply chain they land on. While most companies aim to pay employees and suppliers the minimum required, we seek to pay the maximum possible.
Our promise to you is that we will do our due diligence, ending our relationship with any supplier who exploits others for their own financial gain.
Ethical Treatment of Animals
We believe in the ethical treatment of animals. The vast majority of the items we sell contain no animal byproducts. We do not carry products that have been tested on animals.
We believe that profitable businesses play a key role in making the world a better place.
We are committed to devoting a significant portion of our profits to pursue big sustainability goals. We hope to identify, announce, and begin working towards a strategic sustainability project by 2021.