Collaboration is an essential aspect of any creative process. As a concept, creative collaboration is when a group of people with different skillsets and ideas come together to achieve a mutually beneficial goal. By collaborating on tasks, more innovative ideas and concepts are developed which can enable each business to thrive. As many small businesses will come to realise, a key part of the success of these collaborations is mutual respect and a non-competitive spirit. In an effective collaboration, each person is a valued and appreciated member of the team, who can bring a fresh perspective to the table.
At Printed by Us we understand the value of creative collaborations and we only collaborate with the very BEST at what they do in order to ensure we promote brands who share our ethical principles and want to share their product with likeminded people. We have collaborated with numerous local businesses in Sheffield, including Our Cow Molly’s Farm, the famed Henderson’s Relish, and the local family-owned opticians Eyeye. We support businesses that share our ethical goals and want to give back to the community. Therefore, this month we thought we’d share a little bit about the different businesses we’ve collaborated with and why we chose to work with them.
In 1947, Hector Andrew created the Dairy Farm Our Cow Molly in Dungworth on the top of one of the seven Hills Sheffield is built on. For over seventy years the farm has been providing milk to the people of Sheffield, and they still do many things the traditional way including delivering milk in glass bottles, which is far more environmentally friendly than plastic milk cartons. As a small business, Our Cow Molly’s is also remarkably adaptable. In modern times, the price of milk has dropped so low that three UK dairy farmers a day are giving up producing milk. Our Cow Molly has managed to combat this issue by using their milk to make and sell delicious ice cream as well!
On top of being a proud local business, Our Cow Molly also strives to be as ethical as possible. They take pride in the farm’s solar panels and their milk delivery round pollutes the city far less than a series of mega milk trucks. In addition, they are also part of Free-Range Dairy- a movement that seeks to ensure cows have the freedom to graze whenever possible and all their new-born calves stay in the herd with their mother for life. Therefore, we were thrilled to be able to collaborate with Our Cow Molly to spread our ethical objectives.
Sheffield without Henderson's Relish is like Scotland without haggis. Concocted in 1885 by Henry Henderson, the sharp, sweet brown sauce is a condiment that is treasured by all Sheffield natives. It even has an odd assortment of celebrity fans (Sean Bean, for example, once bought two gallons of the stuff because he'd heard a rumour that Henderson's was going out of business). However, despite its massive success in Yorkshire, Hendo’s is a company that chooses to remain local. Aggressive marketing and advertising campaigns are not really their style, they’d much rather invest their time in more practical ways like ensuring their sauce remains tasty and available to everyone in Sheffield!
It’s common to mistake Hendos for Worcestershire sauce, but unlike Worcestershire sauce, Henderson’s Relish does not include anchovies which makes it completely vegetarian and better for the environment. Plus, in 2018 Henderson’s made the switch to a new, local glass supplier, and are now proud to have a bottle that is made from 30% recycled glass. Often we measure success in terms of growth, but this isn’t the case with Hendo’s. They are a strong, local business that prides themselves on their Yorkshire roots and their ethics. Naturally, we were thrilled to be able to collaborate with another business that shares our ideals.
Eyeye are independent, an ethical optician who is based in Sheffield. They pride themselves on their ethical approach to optometry: Eyeye have an “eco” range of glasses, which include frames made from ocean plastic waste and if these glasses aren’t for you they also have frames that are made from other ethical alternatives, such as bioplastics. In addition, the lab where Eyeye’s frames are glazed and assembled is located very close to their shop, giving the company a completely ethical and local supply chain.
Plus, the great thing about independent businesses is that they are supportive of other local businesses which seek to benefit the local community. Eyeye supports many local Sheffield causes such as: AFC Unity, an ethical football team and social enterprise; Roundabout, a local youth housing charity; and Edale Mountain Rescue, a mountain rescue team that operates in the Peak District. Local, independent businesses who seek to give back to the community are exactly the type of people we want to collaborate with and support because they share our passion for affordable, ethical, and local products.
In the future, we hope to collaborate with the local, independent coffee shop and deli Bragazzis. Bragazzis is something of an institution in Sheffield, they have built up a stellar reputation and loyal customer base over the past decade through their delicious coffee and constantly changing sandwiches. Bragazzis perfectly highlights the key benefit of independent businesses: the unique and personal experience they give to their customers. All of Bragazzis’ ingredients are freshly sourced on a day-to-day basis, and their ever-changing pantry ensures you’ll never have the same sandwich twice. That’s the thing with independent businesses: their uniqueness is organic, not manufactured and we are very excited to work with Bragazzis. As two unique, ethical businesses, we feel we’ll get on just fine!
Collaborating on creative projects has many benefits, it attracts natural connections and visibility while expanding your horizons. It also encourages businesses to see projects in a different light, enabling them to create unique and interesting content. However, our creative collaborations do have one extra benefit in that they genuinely benefit our community. We choose to collaborate with a unique local business who share our ethical ideals and want to make a difference where they can. Collaborating with these businesses enables us to further our mission of helping the homeless community in Sheffield and by helping them we can support their goals. It’s a win-win! 😊
By: Abigail Hattersley