Do Co-operatives offer a Way towards Sustainable Business?

At Designer Cushions and Throws we make all our products on site and our business is run according to ethical principles.  We also use organic, natural, recycled, upcycled, pre-loved and vintage fabrics for our collections. We have recently been reading about co-operative business models and are excited to share some titbits with you.

Flip book preview

You can read all about this topic in “People Over Capital: The co-operative alternative to capitalism”.  A highly recommended read, particularly for small artisan businesses.  Ethical Consumer offer free postage and packaging.

Did you know:

  • The co-operative movement consists of approximately 1billion members in over 100 countries and it is estimated that co-operatives account for approximately 100million jobs world-wide.
  • The first modern UK co-operative was established in 1844 by the Rochdale Pioneers against the backdrop of industrial hardship and economic depression.
  • Workers’ cooperatives hold the potential to promote the economic, social and ecological pillars of sustainable development through supporting and co-operating at the local, regional and global level with individuals, communities and other co-operative and social-economy organisations.
  • The co-operative movement helps to promote economic, social and ecological ethics where national policies have been eroded through the unaccountable power of modern corporations.
  • Within a worker’s co-operative, any situation that arises affecting the community is represented internally by the co-operative members representing the wider concerns of the local or regional community

Co-operatives the world over adopt and cultivate democratic equality and participation as an internal organising principle. The values of the global co-operative movement are defined through the International Co-operative Alliance as follows:

‘Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.  In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.’

Sounds great to us.  What do you think?