For the first time in 18 years, Sustainable.co.za has been forced to stop all deliveries. While we know this is absolutely necessary in the current climate, it has been a sad day for us as we have always endeavored to get our orders out as soon as possible.
Now that we have some extra time to focus on the webstore and improve it where we can, we have decided to tell you more about ourselves and our purpose as a small business in South Africa.
Sustainable.co.za was founded in 2002, under the name Sustainable Living Centre, and had a vision to providing information and eco-friendly products to South Africans for a more sustainable lifestyle using the internet as the marketing channel. There was no other company of the sort at the time and green living was a niche industry. It began with a small range of around 50 products and 6 articles(this was before we had blogs) covering sustainable living in the home and office. It started off as a custom built online mail order system.
In 2004, our current director Zeke took over and moved it to the first version of e-commerce management software. The range had then grown to around 75 products.
In 2006, version 2 of the e-commerce management software was installed and the product range had increased to over 100.
In 2009, the company renamed to Sustainable.co.za to be more inline with the ethos behind the business of bringing eco products to as many as possible through our online platforms. It also saw its first additional team member being added.
2010 saw our very first complete solar water heating system shipped to Pofadder. It was the first time that the process was followed through purely online means. The second team member was added, bringing the team to 3 members. We saw a need to offer complete Solar Power Kits to our clients and we were one of the first companies to do so. Those kits can still be found on our website but the range has extended greatly.
In 2011, we hit a record of 1000 orders on our platform and were very pleased with how many people we had helped.
2013 saw our very first export into Africa. With this, we realised that we could cover a bigger footprint and set our sights to offering green products and energy solutions to the rest of Africa
In 2014, we became founding sponsors of the Eco film Festival. We saw this as something that was definitely needed in South Africa and we enjoyed attending these events which were both eye-opening and awe-inspiring, fueling our passion for what we do.
We reached a record of 3000 products available online in 2015 and determined new ways of packaging our offerings to allow for seamless ordering.
In 2018 we moved out of our office to our new premises which boasts a warehousing, a storefront and offices in the back. This allowed us to expand our team even more thus bringing green solutions to even more Southern Africans.
We have spent many years building up our team. Our criteria when finding a suitable team member is someone who is a team player, can work well under pressure, who has a great attitude (particularly when it comes to customer service), someone who can wear many hats and who has a thirst and passion for green living. We are proud to say that we have built up a strong, enthusiastic team who loves what they do and want to share it with you.
Zeke - Director and Senior Technical Sales Consultant
As per our brief history above, Zeke took over the Sustainable Living Centre in 2004 and developed it to become what it is today. Zeke has had a passion for green living since he can remember and spent many years helping his dad with green building as a teenager. He is very experienced in both technical design and installation but has opted to focus on design in more recent years and assist our preferred installers when needed. Zeke loves the great outdoors including sailing and 4x4ing. He will be adding more vlogs focusing on solutions for 4x4ers. Watch this space.
Angela - General Manager and Marketing & Sales Consultant
Angela started with Sustainable.co.za in 2010 when we were seeing an increased interest in the webstore. Through sheer hard work and determination, Angela has gone from half day receptionist to one of our senior team members. Angela is very involved in Scouting in her free time and loves all things green. She also has a passion for solar energy and making a difference in the world. She enjoys art and loves working on marketing our fabulous range of solutions online. She was one of the first female technical consultants in CT and fondly remembers customers being fairly wary about taking her advice. Luckily this has changed in recent years!
Sian - Logistics Manager
Sian has been a part of the Sustainable Team since 2011. She started as our Orders Assistant and has dispatched thousands of orders over the years, ensuring that our fantastic solutions arrive on your doorstep safely and intact. When we started exporting goods, it was only natural that Sian take over this department which she has done with aplomb while managing the Logistics side of the company. Sian is family-oriented and loves spending time with her husband and children. She also has a great passion for our products and will be happy to tell anyone nearby all about it.
Rieyaat - Products Co-Ordinator and Tech Support
It has not been easy finding the right person for this position as they have to be both technically minded with an eye for detail, a flair for the English language as well as being skilled with image creation. Luckily in 2015, we found the perfect fit with Rieyaat, fondly known as Rie Rie, joining the team. Rieyaat is technically skilled and will often be found assisting customers on the phone with queries in between uploading and updating our wide range of products. He also spends his time hunting down the perfect goods to allow South Africans to enjoy an improved green lifestyle. Rieyaat is a family man and recently welcomed a new son to his family.
We have an additional 5 team members, namely Logistics Co-Ordinator, Customer Services, Orders Assistant, Products Assistant and Driver who spend their days making sure that your orders are processed, packaged and arrive on your doorstep as soon as possible. Many of them are working from home remotely during the lockdown period so please feel free to drop a mail to say hi to our dedicated team. We love helping Southern Africa to live an eco-friendly lifestyle and look forward to assisting you.
The motivation for establishing Sustainable.co.za was to make it easy for the average person or household to improve their environmental ‘footprint’. While many people are aware that serious local and global environmental problems exist, and that they are likely to be contributing to them in their daily lives, they have to do substantial research to find out which activities of theirs are the most environmentally damaging, as well as to find suppliers of goods or services which would help them reduce their ‘footprint’.
Few people have the time or inclination for such research, yet with access to the right products and information it is surprisingly easy to live a much more environmentally sustainable life. Sustainable.co.za hopes to help people achieve this by providing the necessary information and eco-friendly products all in one location.
We endeavour to always go the extra mile. We don't try to take shortcuts. Our price and value are congruent. Our behaviour doesn't change when we are not in the spotlight.
In all aspects of the business. We cultivate relationships with our staff, our customers and suppliers. We go the extra mile to find out what they want and deliver it to them.
Always on track with the latest and best quality offerings in the industry. We know our products well and sate our customer's thirst for knowledge by offering comprehensive solutions, information and guides to our clients.
We remain transparent in all our dealings with clients, suppliers, installers and staff and do our best to deliver on our promises.
Always focused on what our end goal is i.e. to provide services and solutions to save the planet. Researching and reading about all asepcts of Sustainability to provide a value added service of quality advice in forms of blogs, life hacks, newsletters etc. Promoting this outlook to staff and customers, always reminding them of this ultimate goal. Spending time networking with like-minded people. Commuted to "giving back" i.e. involvement in environmental initiatives.
In short, we endeavor to walk-the-talk of a passionate, homegrown, small South African Business dedicated to providing green solutions for the country and the rest of Africa.
Our Promise to you
We solemnly promise to offer the following to you, our loyal customer:
- Free Professional Advice
- High Quality Products
- Excellent Customer Service
Where to from here?
There is currently no certainty that the world as we knew it will ever be the same again. We, at Sustainable.co.za, will continue to offer excellent service, great products and free advice. We are currently using this downtime to upgrade the webstore, with a particular focus on easy navigation and more info available to make online shopping that much easier. We will also be brainstorming new innovative ways to provide a great offering and continue our plight to change the world.