Staying Local: A Sustainable Switch for Toronto’s Film Industry

This post includes information on The Sustainable Switch and its plans to transform Toronto’s TV and film industry.

In 2022, The Sustainable Switch made a switch of its own. Our firm narrowed its scope to focus exclusively on the TV and film industry within the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area (GTHA). More specifically, we are working with locally-occurring productions to plan, implement, and manage sustainable initiatives and programs.

Our Working Model

As a growing firm, we have decided to operate under a community-based model that leverages our connections and working relationships with local businesses and organizations to successfully tackle problem areas for productions, promote sustainability, and elevate our local businesses. Since the beginning of 2022, our team has been working to solidify these connections and establish our own community of local, conscious contractors from a range of sectors (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 – Our Community

Why are we establishing this geographic limitation? Well, as the owner of The Sustainable Switch, it was ultimately my decision, and I made it for two reasons:

  1. I was born and raised here in Toronto. It is my home and I feel it’s my duty to facilitate real change here, in my own backyard, before I can make a difference elsewhere.
  2. By establishing this geographical limitation, we are able to focus on the facilitation of local product and service options for any locally-occurring productions. This will allow us to significantly reduce both the environmental and physical costs associated with shipping and transportation.

While most of our community members are located within Toronto, we do have connections across the region, from Clarington in the east to Hamilton in the west (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 – Area of Operation (minus Hamilton)

Not only will our team facilitate these working relationships between our clients (productions) and our community members (contractors), but we will be actively managing them as well. Acting as the central point of contact between departments and our contractors, we make sure all processes are seamless and no mistakes are made.

Circularity On Set

Our working relationships and agreements with each of our community members are different, as no two people or businesses are the same. As such, we have three options for our product-based contractors:

  1. Purchase-only: These businesses will only be offering their products for use on set or by a production if they purchase it outright.
  2. Hybrid: These businesses will make certain products available for rent, while others are only available for purchase.
  3. Rentals: These businesses will be offering their products for use by a production via a rental program.

Each option has its own benefits, but when making the case for circularity, rental models are the most ideal. Being able to rent products – whether it be fashion or furniture – is another way productions can minimize their environmental and financial costs. Instead of being stuck with items at the end of a production that will have to be sold or dumped, our team can return the items to our contractors where they can then be sold.

While some of our contractors came to us already having established rental programs, others became interested in the option after discussing it with our team. We are working with these interested members to establish these rental programs in an effort to reduce waste and promote circularity on set.

Interested in working with us as a client or a contractor? Reach out today.

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