Who are we?
34.4º is a small business with a big social conscience. We donate 3.44% of every single sale to the Natural Beekeeping Trust and have done ever since our very first sale. The NBT promotes bee welfare. We love their current project of re-wilding the environment with wild bees.
Why? We believe that bees are in danger from pesticides, varroa mites and intensive honey farming, We use a little honey and some beeswax in about 30% of our products for their excellent skin-repairing properties. In order to give something back to the bees for this, we donate annually to the Natural Beekeeping Trust. Our beeswax is sourced from the pristine environment of the Azores. Here there is no bee disease, no use of hive pesticides (as there is no varroa mite infestation), and, as the climate is mild, the bees are active all year round without the need for sugar-feeding.
in 2018 our doantion to the Natural Beekeeping Trust funded a Freedom Hive. Freedom Hives are insulated homes for bees to swarm to in the countryside. They are a safe haven for wild bees to be free from human interference and honey harvesting. This is truly the way forward to saving the bees.
We are a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.)
What is a C.I.C.? C.I.Cs use a percentage of their profits for social good. We chose to be a C.I.C. because we believe a company should benefit the community it operates in, as well as the people who work for it (much like the social structure and environmental impact of a bee colony). Currently we are entirely staffed by volunteers as we are not yet in profit. Once we are able to employ contributors, statutory clauses guarantee that members retain control of the company. These clauses are unique to a C.I.C. and prevent demutualisation or profits being paid to directors and members without a system of checks and balances.
Limitations on dividends and interest payments to shareholders and financiers ensure the company can make a profit, but our focus remains on benefiting the community. We bank with the Unity Trust Bank which is a socially responsible and financially sustainable bank. Unity Trust helps organisations to prosper and contribute to economic, community and social change.
Who has financed our start-up? There is one large, altruistic, interest-free loan-giver. Our loan angel is being repaid in installments whenever we are able to pay. If you would like to help us speed up this process, please press the 'donate' button below.
When you buy from us you can be sure that not only are you genuinely helping bees but you're also having a positive economic impact. We see ourselves as part of a new economic revolution. We are spearheading conscious consumerism. We feel great about profits, because our intention is to give 50% of those profits away to social causes which we will chose on an annual basis.
Would you bee-lieve it...?
Honeybees collectively fly 37,500 miles, roughly one-and-a-half times around the earth, to yield one pound or 500 grams of honey. And 10lbs of honey yields just 1lb of wax.
Much of contemporary bee-keeping can be compared to the battery farming of chickens. Honey is harvested by humans and replacement sugar is often fed back to the bees, in order to sustain them through the winter. Little thought is given to their welfare.
If you are interested in bees, plant bee-friendly plants, with different varieties for different seasons, in order to provide year-round food. Start using the word bee-tender rather than bee-keeper. We don’t own bees; we can only try to tend to their needs. Then, if we’re really lucky, there may be a little honey left over for us to savour.
The Natural Beekeeping Trust is trying to change attitudes to bees. This is why 3.44% of our profits go to them. Please be aware of how you view bees. When you think of bees, do you really think about bee welfare, or do you connect them to honey in the first instance?.
We strive to be an enterprise where conscious people work and enjoy their lives. Our aim is to create a business model where everyone earns equal shares of income in line with the number of hours they contribute. This creates a product that is genuinely successful and feels good to use. All our products are cruelty- free and most of them are vegan and organic. We have many volunteers who are helping us on this journey to profit, without them, we wouldn't be where we are today. If you are keen to help, please email us.
Treat skin products as you do food and only buy what you can use within two months. We’ re-use all empty jars. For every six black receptacles that you post back to us, we’ll send you one product of your choice up to the value of £30..
34.4º welcomes contributions towards its work as a C.I.C. (Community Interest Company). Currently donations will help us to repay our start-up loans more quickly and in turn to provide support for social and community projects more quickly. Unfortunately, donations to C.I.C.s are not tax deductible nor eligible for UK Gift Aid, but we like to think of them as altruistic venture capital! We’ll use our skill and enterprise to help others do the same. A multiplier effect!