What motivated you to join the Partnership Program?
We’ve always been a low-waste business. We’d never throw an instrument away; we believe in giving a guitar new life, and this philosophy is certainly reflected in how we treat “waste” in general. We reuse as much packaging material as possible, and as a result, don’t have to buy any of those materials new. It’s not obvious at first glance, but there’s a lot of waste in our industry; we’re proof that this doesn’t have to be the case. As it turns out, we’ve been accomplishing many of the Partnership’s Zero Waste Actions for years: we compost our lunch scraps, use durable goods whenever possible (like cups and plates), and purchase sustainable products for our business.
What are your goals as a new Partner?
To continue to shrink the size of our trash bag by the end of each week. We put very little in the trash to begin with, but we do handle a lot of unconventional waste – like amp tubes, scrap metal, guitar strings, and magnets. Tubes and batteries, for example, are potentially dangerous waste and shouldn’t be tossed in the trash; they also have inherent value, so we know recycling these is the right thing to do. We’re interested in finding new ways to handle these items responsibly for ourselves and the community. We’re planning to become a used string drop-off location, which will allow our customers to recycle their strings rather than sending them to a landfill.
What are some Zero Waste Actions you’ve implemented or are working towards?
We’ve always been very proud of our community ties and ability to act as hub for guitar donations. We collect a lot of used guitars, and no matter their condition, we’re able to share those with the community when they might have otherwise been set out with the trash. Providing used string collection and recycling for our customers is something we’re working towards; we don’t go through a lot of strings ourselves but collecting strings from the community is sure to generate a real impact. It will also show Philadelphia’s music community what’s possible in terms of Zero Waste in our industry – that we can make lots of small behavior changes that add up over time. Environmental responsibility is deeply ingrained in our everyday operations at this point. While we’ve always been known for the quality of our guitars, now we’re also known as a Zero Waste business.