FINALIST “ETHICAL PRODUCT OF THE DECADE” IN OBSERVER ETHICAL AWARDS 2015
Sat in the office one Friday afternoon in April, I was told there was someone on the phone from the Guardian newspaper. Confused, I took the call to discover that Well-Lit, out of thousands of companies, had reached the final 5 in the ‘Ethical Product of the Decade‘ category of the Observer Ethical Awards. To say this came as a complete shock would be an understatement – we hadn’t nominated ourselves and were in fact unaware of the competition in the first place.
As it transpired, one of our lovely customers had nominated us. An expert panel of 28 inspirational people, including the likes of Liz Earle MBE, Dragons Den‘s very own Deborah Meaden and Ecotricity founder Dale Vince, had whittled down the entrants to a shortlist of just 5; a winner would be decided by vote on the Observer’s website.
WHY OUR LED BUSINESS WAS NOMINATED
Our 7w and 11w LED Bulb had been nominated for ‘Ethical Product of the Decade,‘ and had impressed the panel. Not only do these bulbs enable energy savings of up to 85% over traditional incandescent lamps, they are also the first to achieve such savings with no loss in the quality of light and colour temperature that occurs with other LED Bulbs on the market.
Well-Lit’s dedication to sustainability through our supply chain procedures, and commitment to only working with manufacturers who guarantee a fair wage for their employees, also gained our company recognition.
On a personal level, this was undoubtedly one of the biggest honours in my career. Anyone who has started their own business will tell you that it’s not always plain sailing; the journey can be incredibly tough, involving huge highs and lows. I felt immensely proud of simply being nominated, let alone reaching the final 5.
WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT
When Well-Lit was founded back in 2003, the LED industry was a niche sector – most people hadn’t even heard of LED Lights, let alone considered using them in their homes. Fast-forward 12 years and there are countless online LED Retailers, with growing competition from Asian manufacturers making the market ever more crowded.
For many of these online retailers, the focus is achieving the lowest possible price, whilst claiming that their products are not only ‘the cheapest‘, but perform the best too. From day one, I‘ve wanted to do things differently.
Well-Lit strives to put an end to the culture of cheap and disposable products. How? By aspiring towards higher values for our company and our customers, investing a little extra to get a product that delivers everything it says it will and more. There should be no compromise between profit and people, or between manufacturers and environmental responsibilities.
For too long, cheap disposable LED products have dominated the marketplace, by conning customers with misleading statements. Claims that these bulbs will last anything from 20 to 30 years, and ‘perfectly‘ replace halogen and incandescent lamps, are often completely untrue.
What is the point of LED Lighting being lauded as a new technology, when in fact the vast majority of products will fail well before the claimed lifespan? At the same time, most offer around 20% lower light quality when compared to the ‘older‘ lamps, such as halogens and incandescents.
Our LED Lamps are built to fulfil their claimed lifespan. Experiencing virtually no loss in the quality of light or warm ambient colour temperature, they are true replacements for halogens and incandescent lamps.
DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY CAN BE TOUGH.
We are buying and manufacturing products that are cost more to produce than mass-produced lamps. We educate our audience, and we demonstrate they represent the best value for money.
Selling a higher quality, more expensive product, when your competitors claim their cheap versions have the same qualities, takes time and patience. That’s why being nominated for the Observer Ethical Awards is so important to us.
It‘s a massive confidence boost, affirming that our values and products have a real place in the market, and encouraging us to continue in our quest.