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Recent enquiries from work mates and family about the possibility of our doing a camping trip and a bit of a shopping trip to the granite belt has got me thinking about ways we can do more to connect and promote small green businesses and producers. Well, that and the fact that I have been seeing some interesting subscription box endeavours online and it has got me thinking.

I kind of like the idea of a subscription box built around a high quality book, eco products and locally produced products. I am also thinking that for a subscription box to work it needs to be about more than a product.

I have been watching with interest the emergence of certified B corporations where companies promote that they meet verifiable social and environmental standards. I really like the idea of supporting companies that care at least as much about the environment, their own workers and society at large as they do about profit. “Globally, B Corps are leading the way in using business as a force for good”. Ethique is a B corp, as are companies like T2 and Patagonia.

Where subscription boxes are concerned I like the idea that some of the cost of the box be a donation to a charity, preferably an environmental one.

I have stumbled across some boxes that have impressed like Uniquely Bookish Box in Canada. I really like their aesthetic and attention to detail, and their commitment to promoting local product. We really don’t need to be ordering products from half way around the world when we have exceptional local artisans and producers here. On our weekend escapes I have stumbled across several eco businesses I just love for the excellent product they produce, so I am wondering if there is room for a subscription box here. The other thing I really liked about Uniquely bookish was the way they incorporate a discussion group, a sort of book club into their experience. I really like the idea of building a community around a book and a box, where people can share their responses to a book and also their ideas and opinions. The world needs more civilised spaces where we can be heard and listen to each other.

The other box that really caught my eye was Robin & Rose in the UK, a quarterly nature subscription box for women. Each season you get a nature themed book and other products, like seeds for your garden but also a curratted zine; ” written by women who love nature, for women who love nature”. I like that idea, or at least maybe a zine that promotes discussion and seeks solutions. A discussion and zine that empowers a community, that is what I would like to see. Maybe on the discussion platform you could ask subscribes to suggest a charity to donate to and each quarter vote on which charity would benefit from a share of the sales.

Anyway just wondering what other people think. Have you ever bought a subscription box? Would you ever buy a subscription box? Would you buy a bookish subscription box with eco/ local identity? Please leave a comment I would love to know what people think.

7 thoughts on “Are subscription boxes a good idea?

  1. Hi Sharon, I don’t think I’ve come across subscription boxes before, so I don’t really know how they work. I don’t know that I would necessarily want to commit to a regular subscription, but if you could purchase a box on an ad hoc basis, I might consider it. But I do like the idea of trying to promote local businesses, especially if they are environmentally conscious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Book boxes are a big thing with the young adult market but I have seen some interesting ones aimed at older readers and the UK has had some innovative bookshops use the box idea to help thrive against Amazon. Yes I think ad hoc is a better idea, and I think uniquely bookish and robin and rose do their boxes as a one-off option. Thank you for the feedback.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I was thinking they sound like a good idea as gifts for bookish friends & family, when you don’t know what to get for the person who already has everything. And if it helps out an environmental organisation…all the better.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely am in favor of supporting local green businesses. But my income is not such that I get involved in subscription type things. (And you are on the other side of the world, after all – ) I use local products as gifts for hosts when I travel; we have excellent cider syrup/cider jelly/maple syrup producer in town.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think what people can afford is a big thing. And yep sending stuff around the world kind of defeats the green aims. Love the sound of the products you use gifts. I started thinking about this after I had a couple of people ask if I was going camping around Stanthorpe soon, last year I sent out an email at work letting everyone know I was doing a trip and would anyone like me to pick up stuff for them. The region had been hit by horrendous drought, followed by a destructive fire and I thought it was one way we could help out by buying local produce, that little in house email resulted in a substantial order for products from the area, famous for its wine and fruit and was just one little thing we could do to help an area devastated by drought and fire. Thank you for the feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have not subscribed to a box before. I see some that are interesting and I look at past offers. There are always things in there that didn’t appeal to me and I wondered what I would have to do with them. Who would I give them to? Most of them are for younger audiences, I think I guess I haven’t found the perfect subscription service yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes they can be a bit of mixed bag and I have thought about who you would give the things you don’t want to. They do seem to be very big with the younger generation. Mostly I think I like the pure book subscriptions but then I did like what I saw on the Uniquely bookish and Robin and Rose. Thank you for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

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