To our most wonderful global community,
Our thoughts and hearts go out to everyone affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, whether physically, financially or emotionally. Our way of life is changing before our eyes, and all of us together are facing challenging times to come. In a world of uncertainly, we wanted to offer some clarity around the changes taking place at Erstwilder HQ, and what this means for you.
Australia has made the decision to follow in the footsteps of other countries and entered a progressive shutdown. We’re not policy experts and implore you to seek information from official sources, but this means stricter social distancing measures and a partial shutdown of all non-essential activity.
Here in our home of Melbourne, Victoria we're now under Stage 4 restrictions (as at August 5th, 2020). We are still operating albeit with all possible staff working from home, and only a small team in the warehouse who are critial to be able to fulfill your online orders. We feel so very lucky to still be able to do this, as it means we are able to keep paying our staff (who can then keep paying their rent and bills, and keep their bellies, along with those of their cats, bunnies, and horses, full). It also means our label and our team can contribute tax to the government and leave the newly introduced government benefits to others who need them more.
And helping keep the economy ticking over isn't the only role we see ourselves taking on. As long as we are able to operate, we also believe that we have a responsibility to our community to provide some light among all the darkness. Our mission to spread joy has never been more important, so we will endeavor to continue creating and releasing beautiful designs and shipping your orders to keep you smiling. And to help ensure your isolation isn’t isolating, we’ll be sharing some positive, uplifting and fun things on socials, so keep in touch with the Erstwilder community and we will see you there. Oh, and take a look at the blog we've put together to get you started with 10 Things to do in Isolation ;)
We also have a social and corporate responsibility to act in a way that reduces the viral spread as far as possible and keeps our team and community safe. We have implemented a comprehensive COVIDSafe plan to ensure this but, understandably, this will impact our operations for the foreseeable future. Here's a little insight into what we have in place.
We are operating with very few people at HQ. Anyone who can work from home will be doing so. New hygiene procedures have been implemented. Cleaning regimes have been increased. Masks and hand sanitiser is supplied onsite. No non-essential visitors are coming into the office, and we are of course taking social distancing very seriously at all times.
We have also been working on ways to best support our community of customers, stockists, and the broader community. From a community perspective, we recently partnered with FOODBANK AUSTRALIA, who are doing some incredibly important work right now. You can read more about that right here.
We are monitoring the situation very closely, as we’re sure you all are, and we’ll keep you posted on any updates taking place here, which might affect you, as we progress. Our team cannot convey strongly enough how much we really (really, REALLY!) appreciate your orders and support during this crisis.
Below are some of the key questions we have been asked already and believe you might want to know about:
IS ERSTWILDER.COM OPERATING AS USUAL?
For the most part, yes. Our website and HQ is still open. We are still accepting orders, and during this difficult time, we really appreciate your orders and your support. For those who are able to do so, supporting small business and employees of small business will go a great way to helping the broader economy. Our Head Designer, Sally, is also continuing to design and produce a whole assortment of exciting pretty things for you, for future releases, from her home office.
WILL IT TAKE LONGER FOR ORDERS TO BE SHIPPED?
For some, yes. As mentioned above, we are putting extra protections in place to look after our team and do our part to slow the spread of this virus. This includes having fewer team members in the office, allowing for more distance between people packing your orders. We know you want your pretty pieces, and a little joy certainly goes a long way right about now, but for these reasons please allow up to 7 working days to receive your shipping confirmation.
WILL DELIVERIES BE DELAYED?
While all our shipping partners (Australia Post and DHL) are operating, travel restrictions in various regions are in place which are causing delays. Information is changing quickly but it would be reasonable to expect additional time for shipments to arrive. For customers in Australia delays are reported to only be minimal, reportedly just 1-2 days beyond the usual delivery time frames. Though this may vary by region. For those internationally we have been advised that there may be delays to both the DHL International Expedited and Australia Post International services. Orders shipped with DHL Express should see only be affected by small delays. For further details please see the ‘Shipping’ link at the bottom our site (located under CUSTOMER CARE if browsing on a mobile device).
***USA-based customers*** Please note that as of 10:00am Thursday 7 th May and until further notice all orders to the USA will be shipped with DHL Express at no extra cost to you. We will absorb the additional expense as long as we can so that we can continue delivering our little parcels to joy to you as quickly as possible. Orders with DHL Express may experience only minor delays and should arrive to USA residents within 4-6 working days.
IS IT SAFE TO RECEIVE PACKAGES?
Information from the World Health Organisation states that the likelihood of virus transmission via postal parcels is extremely low and as such shopping online is safe.
WHAT IF I CAN’T SEND MY RETURN IN TIME?
Our comprehensive 60-day return policy should cover anyone ordering while we are experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic. But, your safety and that of the community is a priority. So, if you’re unable to send your return, just reach out to the team via firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.
All our love,
Adam, Sally, Marc, Kelly, James, Missy and Tess