At the core of our business philosophy is the focus for our actions to support the sustainability of our business, staff, community and environment.

The word “sustainability” is derived from the Latin “sustinere”, meaning, “to hold up”. We use that concept and apply it to the “three pillars” of sustainability: economy, society and environment. We believe the choices we make now must meet the needs of the present, while allowing future generations to meet their own needs.

In a practical sense, we work towards this goal in a number of ways:
We choose to partner with companies that are small and independently owned, with their own focus on ethical conduct and sustainability. You can learn more about the companies we work with on our products page.

We support, and are involved with, Sustainable Atwood, a group focused on the long-term sustainable development of the Atwood neighborhood, where THORPS is based.

We have partnered with Bicycle Benefits to support and encourage alternative transportation. THORPS offers a 10% service discount to members.

We supported Matter of Trust, who took hair donations and used them in efforts to clean up oil spills, including the recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. We sent them all of our hair clippings, rather than throw them into landfills.

We involve ourselves in local events, most notably sponsoring MACSAC‘s annual Bike the Barns ride.

Our T-Shirts are screen-printed by Orchard Street Press, an eco-friendly printing company based in Milwaukee, run by some of the nicest people ever.

We choose to serve our customers fair-trade coffee from Just Coffee, a locally based cooperative.

We use biodegradable and compostable paper products for serving water, coffee and tea.

We work to reduce our energy use by using more efficient light bulbs, when possible, as well as washing our linens in cold water, which reduces Co2 emissions.