MPB are the photography and videography equipment company championing recirculation
We discover how MPB began, how it flourished into the company it is today and the ethos that underpins its environmentally conscious, accessible approach.
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- 7 December 2022
By now, you’re probably aware that radical change is needed to transform our throwaway economy into one where resources are recirculated. MPB is one conscious company paving the way for a more sustainable creative industry by marrying two important facets: photography and recirculating kit. It is ultimately aiming to become 100 per cent circular, so that everything it uses from its packaging to furniture and equipment is re-used or made from renewable material.
When Matt Barker founded the company in 2011, it was under the belief that photography and videography kit should be accessible and affordable to more people. Moreover, he recognised the long-term value of such equipment, which is often of great quality, and built to last. Now, more than 350,000 items of used kit are recirculated through MPB every year. A team of highly trained camera experts and seasoned photographers and videographers – who love your kit just as much as you do – endeavour to see equipment given a new lease on life. After all, “The world of photography and videography is a mosaic of cultures, skills, obsessions and art,” MPB notes. “For some, it’s a job, for others a hobby, for many, it’s a craft, and for all, it’s a passion, and that passion needs to be fed.”
Wherever you are on that creative journey, experienced photographers, budding shutterbugs, and just about anyone that’s had the pleasure of holding a little light-tight box will understand the heartbreak when it inevitably gives in. Fortunately, there are plenty of camera repair tutorials on YouTube, as well as professional services. But there’s also the MPB way: sell, trade-in and buy a used camera before yours wears out. Breaking the cycle is no easy task, but MPB’s approach is comprehensive, spanning the inspection and reselling of quality used items to knowledge sharing and providing opportunities for talent. “We want to nurture creativity by making sure that tomorrow’s storytellers have access to kit to build their skills,” MPB detail. “Photography should be inclusive and accessible for everyone who wants in.”
One of the core principles anchoring MPB’s mission is its impact initiative. Rather than add to the tonnes of annual waste haunting the planet, MPB sends zero in-bound or operational waste to landfill. Its vision of an equitable creative landscape where “tomorrow’s storytellers have access to kit to build their skills”, requires that there be a future. That’s why MPB has made sure to align its operational function with its ethos. For example, “As of 2022, more than 50 per cent of the electricity we use is renewable – and we aim to reach 100 per cent by 2025,” the company states. Its online tech platform is entirely cloud-based and its chief supplier uses 100 per cent renewable electricity.
On recycled paper, all of this looks great. But having received a solid ‘A-’ rating from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s circularity evaluation tool, and having recently won the Electronics, Household Appliances & Tech category at the inaugural Campaign Ad Net Zero Awards, MPB is also doing the work. From “planting trees to support reforestation to working with interconnected industries with events like ReFashion Week NYC,” the company is evidently committed to the fight for net zero carbon – including only using couriers and airlines that are “investing in electric ground fleets, sustainable aviation fuels and hybrid propulsion, as well as offsetting and carbon removal”.
While MPB is firing on all cylinders on this issue, it’s making sure not to miss other aspects that ensure a company is wholly conscious. People are, at the end of the day, still the reason that it adopted this position. So it’s also taken a “proactive approach to inclusive recruitment” and supporting employees to “fulfil their potential with training and development”.
Admittedly, MPB is an industry catalyst embracing a model of circularity that’s yet to be as widely adopted as it should be. But it’s shown that a greener future is possible by centring its operation around the belief that “everyone should have the chance to be a visual storyteller”. If companies across the globe follow suit, everyone might just get that chance.
MPB is the world’s largest online platform for visual storytellers to buy, sell and trade in used photo and video kit. MPB makes kit more accessible and affordable, helping to visualise a more sustainable future.