Switching to a sustainable lifestyle and attempting to launch a near zero-waste project is full of challenges.
You may have heard of "slow" fashion vs "fast" fashion...the former is mindful of the resources it took to create, and is something which you keep almost forever, it's timeless, well made, etc. The latter takes from the planet and looks good for 5 seconds, then ends up in a donation pile or worse, the garbage. We believe in the former: quality, slowness, reusing, repurposing, upcycling, and closing the loop.
Closing the loop simply means that a product's life has no end, but is part of a cycle. It also refers to a more earth-friendly circular economy where use of resources and production of waste are minimized. Designers can achieve this by longer lasting design, reusing, recycling, upcycling, and repurposing. Waste is seen as a potential input to product creation - and can even be used as a source of energy or raw material etc. versus a linear economy which is a 'take, make, dispose' model of production.
So after spending hours if not days trying to source truly sustainable packaging for our jewelry, we realized in the end, the best way was to do it ourselves and ensure our packaging achieved a minimal footprint.
We find old t-shirts from local sources that would otherwise end up in the garbage and we reuse them (after washing them of course), to create our jewelry pouches. Doing everything locally at the Artisan Co-op in the village - cutting, sewing, and screening these old T's into something totally new! By doing so, we're investing in our community, sparing resources, minimizing waste, virtually a 0 footprint, and creating good vibes :). The pouches not only protect & store the jewelry, but they can be used as a polishing cloth; further they can be used as a marble bag or to store anything else precious to you.
You see, truly zero waste packaging relies equally on the consumer. The choice to reuse, repurpose or recycle determines how sustainable something actually ends up being - if it ends up in the trash, it is not sustainable, because the loop was not closed.
For our mailers, we chose something as close to zero waste as possible - made out of recycled paper and designed to be used again. Once again, we rely on you for closing the loop! Here's an example:
Your order comes to you in our recycled mailer. You then use the same mailer to send a birthday gift to your friend. Your friend loves your gift and has their children reuse the mailer as a canvas for an art project. Their child then sends that to Grandma for Mother's Day. She loves it so much, she hangs it up on the wall. Her friend comes over and instagram's it, blessing it with an everlasting life, albeit a virtual one. Grandma passes in some distant time, she had a great run, and the artwork ends up back in your possession. You give it to your now-grown up child and tell them the whole story...maybe they keep it or maybe they create a new project, the skies the limit! BAM! Closing the loop is a lot like reincarnation! 🙏🏻
WOAH! That's AWESOME!
PS. If that's all a little much for you - you can simply reuse & recycle :)