Spend £75.00 or more and get FREE UK delivery

We like to be open and transparent about how and what we do and with this in mind we have created a transparency page where we openly talk about common questions we have been asked and we attempt to be open about our business, we think some of these will come as a surprise but here are the facts.

Please note these are all real questions, we have been asked by telephone, email and social media.



The Shipping bit with a bit about money as well

"Why did you abandon free delivery, is this to push your profits up"

Environmental Reason

The Pure Option™ has been on a mission to minimise or eliminate our carbon footprint, which has included moving production to the UK to reduce shipping carbon, offsetting our server carbon, using low carbon delivery, recycling our waste, reducing excess shipping packaging (sadly this was a battle we lost as courier firms aren't always gentle with items sent) ,  along with creating products designed to reduce carbon, but the real carbon elephant in the room is delivery carbon.

Carbon per delivery
Free Delivery 884 grams per parcel.
Standard Delivery 221 gram per parcel.

Methodology 
Based on 4 times more deliveries than delivery rates.
221 grams is average based on Royal Mail & DX standard parcel deliveries.

Conclusion 

Courier and shipping carbon is our biggest carbon footprints, and free delivery actually increased the volume of products we shipped but the orders were much smaller than usual.

Free delivery created a climate of little and often ordering, rather than our current model, which is most of our UK customers order to meet our free delivery amount (£75.00), to put it simply, Free delivery removed  the cost barrier so people ordered in smaller quantities more often, leading to 400% more shipping carbon per customer.


"Why do you use Royal Mail and Parcelforce, when they have a terrible reputation on Trustpilot"

We have tried them all, and we do mean them all, and we have come to the conclusion that courier firms are the only industry where you can not provide the service and product you advertise, and still feel that you shouldn't refund the customer for lost or damaged deliveries, we have long given up on trying to navigate their time consuming systems to get 4 first class stamps , yes this really happened 4 hours spent chasing up a missing item and filling out a claim form and a missing order worth £32.19 for 4 first class stamps.

So to address the Trustpilot point, Parcelforce and to a lesser degree Royal Mail , do score highly on Trustpilot ( when you take away the complaints about the RM strikes) , so here is the actual late missing and lost stats.

Courier Delayed Lost Trustpilot score
Royal Mail  8% 0.013% 4 out of 5
Parcelforce New service No figures available for six months

Conclusion 

We won't name and shame here, but we previously used the delivery company with the highest score on Trustpilot , and their losses and delays was almost double that of Royal Mail, and they were also unable to send us a bill that was correct (not one correct bill in 18 months)

We will add that Scotland, Northern Ireland and UK Islands, are best served with Royal Mail as they actually don't charge extra for non UK mainland deliveries.

Royal Mail

We use Royal Mail for non time sensitive and orders under 2kg,as this is the most reliable and cost effective way to send these items.

Royal Mail constitute about 95% of all complaints about delivery (thankfully still a rarity) but they are at times a necessary evil as to send items by another carrier under 2kg or to a non UK customer add between £17.00 and £189.00 extra to cost of an order, so it's the best option.

We have also tried the other option (you will know who we are referring too, a company that is so bad it changes its name every now and again to hide how bad they are)  and their loss and damage was Delayed 27% and lost 8%.


The Financial Bit (which is also a bit that includes shipping)

The Pure Option™ was started with a completely altruistic approach to business, we wanted to solve a big problem, and make the world a more sustainable place, we wanted to share our profits with the wider community,  but we can't make a difference if we don't remain in business, it surprises people but The Pure Option™ is not a financially successful business (more on this later).

So is free delivery good for business, the facts speak for themselves.

Shipping option  Price we pay

Royal Mail 48 hour tracking

Up to 2kg

£3.49 up to 5kg 

£9.99 10 kg to 20kg 

Shipping Packaging £0.26p

Total = £3.73 (5kg)

Total = £10.23 (10kg)

(we charge £3.95)

Methodology 
Based on average transaction number divided by shipping costs.

Conclusion 

Here is an an exampIe we look at an actual example.

A nameless customer ordered 100 x N7 Paper bags at £3.49 and our profit on this order was £1.05, the shipping was £3.49 which meant we made 0.89p on that transaction.

This order was actually lost by Royal Mail in transit ( thankfully very rare but it does happen) , so we then sent a replacement by next day delivery, so this order turned into a loss £15.97 on this order.

We appreciate this is an extreme example but it wasn't an isolated example (more on this below).

I know get the fiddles out but we know that profits seem to be a dirty word in the UK but to be realistic if we want to stay in business and use our profits to help national and local organisations and to enrich the lives of our employees, we had to find a better model.

So we think we have come up with the perfect model that works for everyone, we decided we would create a subsidised delivery model that encouraged people to make the change to a more sustainable option, but also encouraged responsible ordering,  so we now part absorb the cost, if you use next day,

Delivery Service

Actual Cost

What we charge

The difference

Percentage

absorbed

Royal Mail 48 hour under 5kg

£3.83

£3.95

£0.20p

zero
Royal Mail 5kg to 10kg £6.94  £3.95

-£2.99

75%
Orders over £74.99 £13.08 Zero -£13.08 100%

We still lose money on all deliveries over 5kg,  but not as much as when we had free delivery, if you think about it, there is no such thing as free delivery, it always costs, its more about who pays the cost.

Our customers win, we slightly lose and the environment wins.


Profits

"Why do you charge so much for compostable products, is this because you want to fleece your own customers, your business is a licence to print money.

(yes this is a real question we were asked).

Our turnover by year

2018 to 2019 - £150,115,37
2019 to 2020 £6828,04
2020 to 2021 - £53,838,81
2022 to 2023 - £27395,34
2023 to 2024 (predicted) - £318,76*

*Losses reduced due to increased international trade with greatly reduced UK sales due to current and upcoming UK legislation.

Previously international orders were 2% , expected to be 48% in 2024 and 71% in 2025.

Conclusion

There is a reason that Deb ( the Operations Director) calls this "our expensive hobby" , as it's taken all the money made from the sale of Big Apple Drink Company, along with the money that Charlie made as a Business Advisor to keep it afloat, we feel that we have an obligation that goes well beyond our own financial enrichment, to make the world a more sustainable place.

I appreciate that people will be sceptical as we have won numerous awards, and our business is seen as an example business, but that comes from perception, and not born from facts, as every year new competitors enter the market as they wrongly believe that sustainable packaging is a licence to print money ( as we've shown it isn't unless your outside the UK) and this drives the price down to unsustainable levels which then and drives them out of business (this happens every year).

It is also a factor in why the two biggest firms in the world (both British) have sold to overseas competitors and why we are the last UK man standing in the plant based packaging market (this may change as new companies come and go in the UK).

If your interested in why this is the case , look at the media attention for straws and disposable cups, it's all barrier approach "You must not use a straw and most take a reusable cup with you" , see if you can find a single media outlet telling you about the plant based options, it's all barriers and no solutions.

The other issue is the Plastic Tax , a great idea implemented badly , do you know we pay the tax and companies that insert 30% recycled plastics in their products don't.

It's also worth pointing out the UK Government is actually thinking of banning or restricting a number of our products, it's a "we have a problem, let's throw the baby out with the bath water approach"

Essentially we solve the problem and we get taxed or banned out of existence, so no we don't do this for money we do this for a desire to change the world.

Charlie and Deb would also like to add that they haven't had a holiday longer than a weekend in 6 years and haven't paid themselves for 2 years, so profiteering isn't going on.


Profit Margins (the bit everyone is scared about talking about).

When we started this business, we started with a mission and the mission was to replace single use plastics with a plant based alternative, but we also started with another mission that we don't tend to talk about and that is about socially empowering our work force and using our business as a driver for socially responsible corporate practices, this included sharing our profits with the wider community and our employees, well this hasn't gone as well as we were expecting as we sadly have only had one year in profit since we started ( we just weren't expecting the UK Government and the devolved Governments to be so hostile to what we do), so profits haven't really shown their head but in the interest of corporate transparency, here is the profits part.

"Can I invest in The Pure Option, as your profit margins must be amazing"

Firstly I should say this is also a real question and we have been asked this quite a few times, in fact if I open my emails I will have a few emails about investing in The Pure Option™.

Profit margins vary , we monitor our prices twice monthly to stay competitive, so our profit margin can sometimes be slightly more, but this is our usual profit margin.

Profit Margin Tax Shipping contribution Average discount  Maximum profit
50% 20% 8% 10% 12%

Not exactly the licence to print money that people think it is, when you break it down.

If you have any question you would like us to answer, we want to be transparent, so send your questions here.

Send a transparency question here