Your great bargain comes at a hidden cost

Many people, myself included, enjoy chasing the better deal. I like discounts. I love free deliveries. And I’m always looking for a better price.

Or I was.

In the past couple of years, I’ve realized something. Better deals come at a hidden cost. If I’m not paying, someone else is. Sometimes the bargain item is manufactured by people who earn too little and work too hard.

Sometimes nature pays the environmental cost. Low prices just aren’t sustainable. What we need moving forward are fair prices. And so, in the spirit of transparency, I’d like to walk you through A Good Company’s production process and show you every step of how we get our products to you.

PREPARATION AND R&D

SOURCING

PRE-PRODUCTION

PRODUCTION

HOW WE MAKE STONE PAPER PRODUCTS

RAW MATERIALS

PRODUCTION PROCESS

PRINTING AND FOLDING

Throughout the printing and the folding, it’s crucial to monitor the humidity levels closely. Another matter that complicates the printing process is that stone paper doesn’t have fibres. It doesn’t “breathe.” The fact that stone paper doesn’t breathe means we have to lay out the stone paper sheets individually (they can’t touch each other) for a minimum of ten days.

On rainy days and during the rainy season, they have to be laid up for 20 days. Finally, the perforation takes a lot of time. While it’s easy to feed ten reams at a time of pulp paper into the perforating machine (5,000 sheets at a time), stone paper requires a ream-by-ream feeding (500 sheets), with a maximum of two reams (1,000 sheets max) at a time. After that, we print the covers and send the notebooks to a binding facility, where the notebooks are put together with the covers. If we use rubber bands, they’re sent to a different bookbinder who has special machinery to stamp holes and gussets for the rubber band. If we need double-sided tape (we need it for the sketchbook), it’s applied by hand. This also takes a lot of time. The girdles are attached by hand. A wooden apparatus holds each notebook one by one, to make sure the girdle fits snugly around the notebook.

Finally, the finished notebooks are sent to the central conversion facility and inspected. We scrutinize each notebook, using the naked eye to look for flaws and imperfections to make sure the end user gets a good product. Afterwards, the notebooks are packed into larger stone paper cartons.

FINAL INSPECTION

SHIPPING

WAREHOUSE

HOW WE PAY OUR WORKERS

  • Estonia: All workers at our warehouse staff receive fair wages and vacation compensation set by the union. They don’t work overtime and get at least one hour’s break.
  • Sweden: All our staff receives a competitive salary, paid vacation, and supported parental leave.

SALES COSTS

  • We also pay local taxes, import customs and VAT on all our products.
  • Marginal: We have a margin on all our products to pay for marketing costs, salaries, climate compensated shipping, customer service, software costs for our platform and product development.

To sum it up.

A lot of steps are involved in getting the product to you. It takes time. But I’m convinced it makes for a good product. A product where you can enjoy the craft and effort that went into making it.

A product where you can enjoy the fact that the price is fair and doesn’t come at a hidden cost to the environment or to the people who made it.

Anders Ankarlid

agood.com

CEO of A Good Company. A serial e-commerce entrepreneur, and a father of three. Have worked in e-commerce for more than a decade. Mindless consumption-activist.