We might be living in a very consumer-driven society, but green issues have arguably never been more important as they are now.
Decades of research and reports on what human beings are doing to the planet have made many people really conscious about their impact on their surroundings, so we all want to do our bit to save the planet whenever we can.
Even companies once renowned for being multinational behemoths are stepping up to the mark and outlining what they are doing (partly thanks to pressure from outlets like social media), whether it's sourcing wood responsibly or releasing data about how much plastic they've recycled this quarter.
At Heyland & Whittle, we're certainly well aware of the importance of being sustainable and we actually make more commitments than many other businesses our size to ensuring we don't waste and plunder the world's natural resources.
In case you've never come across us before or just wanted to get some more information about our policies before making a purchase, here's a quick outline on our philosophies.
Absolutely no animal testing
The testing of cosmetics and toiletries tested on animals is banned in the UK, while the European Union also introduced measures in 2013 to outlaw the sale of any cosmetics whose ingredients have been tested on animals.
While many large companies try to hide their policies on this with jargon-filled wording on their labels, H&W don't need to. We can simply tell all our customers that all of our products are tested on people before they make their way to our shelves and are never applied to rabbits, mice or creatures of any sort.
In addition, we use natural plant oils for our soaps and not animal fats, while the wax in our candles is 100 per cent sustainable soy.
We like to cite the encouragements made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which states on its website: "It's so important that caring consumers use their purchasing power to support companies that have strong, progressive policies which ban animal testing now and which will continue to prevent it in the future."
Fair and green
We've talked before on these pages about how we're proud to be a British company, but this also extends to the way in which we source our ingredients. As much as possible, we look to include products that are sourced locally in order to give another boost to the economy.
Where it's not possible to get what we need from this country, we continue the same philosophy elsewhere. For example, while we use palm oil on a regular basis, this is never the oil produced in nations like Malaysia, where plantations are having a severe and detrimental impact on the tropical forests.
Instead, ours comes from specially planted crops in South America and our growers do everything they can to keep the environment in equilibrium during the growing and harvesting process.
Another key point to make is about packaging. You might have noticed that many beauty and home fragrancing firms put their products in lavish packaging that takes an age to get into and results in a lot of plastic waste going straight into the bin.
That's not the way we like to do things and H&W soaps and candles are packaged simply yet elegantly in card and tissue paper. Once the product has been opened up and enjoyed, you can drop everything else into the recycling.
Similarly, we sell refills for our reed diffusers so you don't just have to keep buying more glass containers - and again, once they're past their best, they can also be recycled.
No hidden nasties
A final key point to make is that, unlike many home fragrancing and beauty companies, we don't use any potentially harmful chemicals such as sulphates or parabens in our body lotions, washes or soaps. You can read more about why here. We also avoid the really nasty Cocamide DEA, which is a foaming agent linked to cancer, like the plague. We're as natural as can be, both for our sake and that of the environment we live in. After all, fewer chemicals in our water system means fewer chemicals leaching out into the earth, as well as a healthier life for us.
We only have one planetary home and it's important to take care of it as custodians for future generations, so rest assured that's what we aspire to do each day here at H&W.