Preserving the environment is a key aim of Still Wild and will always come before profit. We aim to be transparent and honest about what we do. Once we are established we hope that this approach will lead to constructive feedback from experts so that we can strive to be even more sustainable and low impact.
One of the key pillars of our business is that we use foraged wild ingredients rather than farmed.
Foraging is a fantastic way of becoming more intune with our landscape and understanding the flora and fauna better. This greater appreciation for these wild habitats is key. By making people more aware of these wild habitats we can protect and encourage them. Too often in society we look at monoculture as ‘beauty’. Neat fields, perfectly cut lawns and short, strimmed roadside verges.
However it is in these ‘weeds’ that the true beauty lies. By letting plants grow we encourage not just greater plant diversity but all animals and other organisms associated with it. People are increasingly aware of the decrease in pollinators, especially the honey bee. Habitat destruction is a key part of this decrease.
By letting wild plants flower and thrive we can really help pollinators and other species that have seen such large decreases in population. At the distillery we have created a space for wild plants to grow outside, but we have also encouraged the landowner to set a side a large patch of land near the distillery to be a wild flower meadow.
In Autumn 2020 we hope to launch a national campaign which help address some of this.
As much as possible we strive to use better materials that have less legacy issues. The protective packaging we buy is made out of 100% recycled card that has been formed into pulp and moulded into shape. It is 100% recyclable, compostable and biodegradable.
Where possible we ask our suppliers to use sustainable methods of packaging. Fortunately we purchase very little as we aren’t reliant on vast quantities of botanicals being shipped in. Occasionally we will receive things in bubble wrap or styrofoam. Sometimes we will reuse this packaging when shipping items to customers. Whilst this may seem to go against our policy, by reusing this material its decreasing its carbon cost.
Our glass bottles are fully recyclable and we are working on a re-use policy where existing bottles are refilled.
As far as possible we have built the business around having low carbon emissions. However being in a rural location there are a number of challenges we have faced with that.
We have sourced everything as locally as possible in order to cut down on food miles. At the time of writing, everything comes from the UK. Our wine is bought from a small family run vineyard in Oxfordshire. It is supplied in large barrels that are reused each time. Our base spirit is also produced in the UK, as are our bottles, labels and everything else. We are not shipping wine across Europe or flying in exotic botanicals from the others side of the planet.
Unfortunately when we setup, electric vehicles were not at a point where they were feasible for us in such a remote location. However we hope that as the technology evolves; range increases, and charging points in west Wales will make it viable for us.
We are hoping that by 2021 we will be able to make the distillery 100% carbon neutral.
A key part of foraging is making sure we don’t pick too much of an ingredient. We should never have an impact on an area, just picking small amounts from different places.
This year it wasn’t possible to pick enough wild gooseberries without impacting the wild plants. We made the decision to supplement in a quantity of farmed gooseberries so we wouldn’t have an effect on the wild gooseberry population.
We buy most of our seaweed locally from Cafe Mor. They have been experts in all things seaweed for years and its wonderful having such a business on our doorstep. They helped fund thousands of pounds towards a PhD study into sustainable seaweed harvesting in the area which has just recently been completed.