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Cheers to change

Celebrate change in the sustainable drinks sector at the Positive Spirits Show
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Shot of a group of young friends hanging out and having drinks together outdoors

This article first appeared in our World Environment Day Day 2023 issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published on 05 June 2023. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

The demand for sustainable spirits is on the rise in the UK – and for good reason.

As more individuals seek ways to reduce their environmental impact and make conscious choices regarding their consumption habits, sustainable spirit options have never been more important.

The UK market share of eco-friendly spirits has grown by 20% in recent years, primarily due to consumer demand for ethically sourced products that don’t harm the environment or exploit workers.

Many distilleries have taken steps towards sustainability themselves, from using renewable energy sources like solar power in production processes to reducing waste output and reinventing their packaging materials.

Independent spirit and non-alcoholic spirit brands continue to press ahead with innovation and sustainable business practices, but to drive change they need to work in collaboration with the hospitality, events and food and beverage markets. 

Sharing expertise

On Saturday 17 June, an exciting, one-day event will showcase the world’s best sustainable spirits at White Rabbit Studios in Shoreditch, London.

Positive Spirits, created by sustainable events agency Legacy Events, is open to all drinks enthusiasts – from bartenders and buyers to members of the public.

There is huge networking potential, with a goal to encourage the collaboration and knowledge-sharing that will lead to further transparency and sustainability across the entire sector.

At the show people can learn where their sustainability journey can go next, and meet the customers and industry leaders who can become their champions.

Speakers and trends

The programme is packed with exciting speakers, including journalist and writer Aleesha Hansel and influencer and conscious drinking expert Laura Willoughby from Club Soda.

Expect to hear lively discussions on market trends and how the public are turning to ‘nolo’ (no- and low-alcohol) drinks in a bid to change their drinking habits.

The event will host demonstrations and workshops from brands such as Boatyard and Avallen, and attendees can look forward to meeting a huge range of brands in the Sustainable Marketplace, including Sapling Spirits, Match Tonic, Caru Spirits and The Oxford Artisan Distillery.

Sustainable spirits

Here are some of the brands to watch out for on the day.

BOATYARD

Irish spirits maker The Boatyard Distillery was the first legal distillery to be built in County Fermanagh, Ireland in 130 years. The passionate, family-run business showcases a range of premium, quality spirits, including Double Gin, Vodka, Old Tom Gin and Sloe Gin.

The brand is also ethical, sustainable and environmentally conscious; it recently launched a range of initiatives such as efforts to eliminate single-use glass bottles in its visitor centre, a bottle refill programme allowing customers to bring bottles back to the distillery for refilling and Eco Refill pouches for some of its spirits.

All these initiatives resulted in the distillery being awarded B-Corp certification in early 2023, making it the first on the island of Ireland to receive the recognition.

MATCH TONIC

Match Tonic Water offers a range of contemporary mixers (Indian, Mediterranean, Floral and Spicy) created with superfoods.

The attractive and stackable square bottles are made from 100% post-recycled glass, in glassmaker Estal’s Wild Glass, which embraces imperfections in the material.

The bottles have been designed for e-commerce, with optimal protection for shipping.

The brand’s goal is to create a true paradigm shift that makes us rethink everything – even those of us who are well and truly set in our ways.

SAPLING SPIRITS

Sapling Spirits – known for ‘spirits that leave a good taste in your mouth’ – exists for three reasons: to lead the way within the sustainable drinks industry; to tackle climate change by planting a tree for every bottle bought and to produce world-class British vodka and gin. 

The company uses British winter and regenerative wheat in all its products to localise supply chains and promote biodiversity.

Sapling’s care for nature is underscored by its reforestation programmes; tree planting days are organised for trade partners during the British tree planting season, while other methods are used to plant trees around other world in other seasons.

To reduce waste and improve its customers’ carbon footprint, Sapling sells 5l bags in boxes to trade and bottle refill pouches to retail stores, which has saved 125,000 bottles.

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