How to “Be Kind” to ourselves and our planet as there is no planet B
With concern around climate change growing and being such a prevalent subject Kate Wainwright believes this is something that should at the forefront of our minds in day to day life. From little things like the way we do the washing up. To bigger things like the way we do our Christmas shopping
Kate explains this was where one of her good intentions necklace ideas came from ‘Be Kind’ to ourselves, to others and make kinder choices for our planet because the is no planet B.
Recycled jewellery with a purpose
In this blog Kate Wainwright an ethical jeweller from West Sussex chats about:
- her passion for slow fashion
- her view on transparent production
- and offers guidance on how you too can begin to shop more ethically as a consumer.
…as a consumer I seek products with transparent production so I know who makes the products I buy and where the materials come…
As a jewellery designer-maker and a small business owner I am passionate about not wanting to contribute to the fast fashion, throw away culture that has become the norm in todays society. For some time I have been conscious about the way I live and the impact I have on the environment although it took me a while to shift this mindset to my business.
I realise now that as a consumer I seek products with transparent production so I know who makes the products I buy and where the materials come from and it is important that I also provide this for my customers. Previously it was easy for my customers to see that it was me who made my jewellery but not the values behind my production so I had to adjust to make this more visible.
Brands with a conscience – no matter how big or small the business they have a responsibility to lead by example by reducing their own carbon footprint and shouting about it to set an example to their consumers and fellow brands.
Using eco – friendly materials to reduce waste
This is why I made the shift to using recycled materials wherever possible when making jewellery. Sourcing recycled silver and gold to create my jewellery reduces the impact of my production on the environment, reduces waste of perfectly good materials and encourages a circular economy.
Where I have waste metals from making a piece (known in the industry as scrap metal) I recycle this myself, melting it down to reuse in future creations. Pieces like those in my Stars and Stones collection are made almost entirely from silver offcuts from my other pieces. Of course recycled materials still have a carbon footprint but the aim is to reduce not eliminate.
At times reducing our carbon footprint can seem like a massive task but I really believe reducing our impact on the environment is about focusing on what we can do, not what we can’t, making small changes that we can sustain and keep building upon these.
How to ensure your business has a minimal carbon footprint
Production materials extend beyond those that create the actual jewellery, I use business cards, jewellery packaging and postal packaging that are all recycled, recyclable and biodegradable to ensure all areas of production create a minimal carbon footprint and leave a minimal trace on the planet.
Being open to criticism and feedback for a better future
I believe in the transparency of brands rather than trying to appear perfect and hide behind words like ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’, brands need to show the consumer how they achieving are these things. Everyone can do better for the environment but the important thing is that we do what is achievable and so I invite any of my customers to question my production because:
- I want to be challenged – if I can improve an area of my jewellery business to make it more sustainable and environmentally ethical I want to do this.
- Part of striving for an ethical brand is being able to recognise that you don’t know everything and being open to new ways to improve.
As consumers the more we create a demand for ethical and transparent production, the more we say no to the brands that are not producing their product responsibly then the more likely it is that things will change.