Throughout the campaign we want to share information about our ethical trading criteria and our products but, being a Buddhist business, our ethical values go deeper than our trading relationships. After all, many businesses say they are ethical and have all the accreditations to prove it. Evolution offers more.
The wages for our most of our shop staff are paid at market rates - we still have 4 stores with Buddhist Management teams. However, at head office, many of us accept wages that are below those paid in other businesses. We therefore have a very flat wage structure, where the highest paid individual in the business receives less than four times the lowest paid person. To put that in perspective, the John Lewis Chairman’s salary this year was around 60 times the average non-management salary!
Our conscious policy around wages has two aims: it asks those who could command higher salaries elsewhere to make some financial sacrifice to support the wider goals of the business, and it aims to provide a reasonable level of remuneration for all.
Some Buddhists, and all the Directors, in the business have gone further: they receive a Support package, which relates to their basic needs, rather than a wage or salary related to the level of responsibility they take. The principle underlying support can be summed up by the aphorism: Give what you can, take what you need.
It asks us to separate the usual connection we make between the contribution we make at work, and the payment that we receive. It also means choosing a simple lifestyle, taking just what we need, and freeing ourselves up to contribute to the charitable goals of the business, unhindered by consideration of our personal economic worth.
So, when you buy from Evolution, you are not paying for shareholders, highly paid executives or business perks. You are simply helping a unique and ethical business to survive.