James Carter Road in Mildenhall has been Essential Care’s home for the past six years. Two years ago we spilled over into a neighbouring part of the building to get a little more space. Yet, it has always been thought of as a temporary home, with our hearts and minds set on a building that fully matches our ethos of total sustainability.
In the meantime we've done everything we can to reduce, reuse and recycle. We’re fortunate in that Forest Heath, our local council, has one of the best reputations in the country for recycling. And in fact we hardly ever throw waste in our landfill bin; we compost all our food waste and pretty much all our incoming paper and other materials are re-used – we never quite have enough paper to shred to cushion our packing boxes!
But 2012 is the year when Essential Care is going to try and break new ground again, not with a first in organic cosmetics (although we've a few plans along those lines too), but with a new home that will be an exemplary eco-building. We’re aiming high – we want to generate all our own energy from solar panels and other renewable resources. And we want to build along the Passiv principles of solar gain and internal thermal mass to minimise heating and cooling requirements. Wherever possible, we’ll use reclaimed and locally-sourced materials like wood and hemp for insulation.
We’d also like our own herb garden where we can grow and demonstrate the plants we use in our organic skincare. And we’d love to invite you too. Our new building will have the facilities to welcome visitors and hopefully become a centre for learning about organic skincare as well as green architecture and construction.
But this, our Grand Design won’t be possible in an existing building. Retrofitting an ageing shell to the energy efficient standards we’re aiming to achieve isn't going to work. So we’re looking for a suitable and affordable piece of land near Mildenhall on which to build a beautiful new HQ – can anyone help?!
If we’re successful, this time next year, maybe, just maybe, Essential Care will have a new home...