I will admit the thought of tackling the waste problem sounded very intimidating. The more I learn, the more classes I took on this topic, the more I felt overwhelmed. It's easy to feel like any action will be pointless because this problem is HUGE. Yet I know this way of thinking is THE PROBLEM and I am determined to slowly commit myself one step at a time to avoid feeling crushed from reaching my goals. It won't be a perfect journey but I am enthusiastic to keep learning and keep improving. I am proud to finally start somewhere.
My first step is to look into our packaging and shipping supplies. Currently I am working with Noissue to replace many items I use for shipping. I have began developing stickers, water activated tape, stamps, thank you notes and we will start using once we run out of what we currently have for shipping. Currently our tissue papers are made with 100% recycled paper but I would like to update this with one where I am confident the color is not made with harmful dyes/ink. I am excited to work with Noissue on this because all of their products are eco friendly and sustainably made. This means:
-Supplies are made with acid free paper. Paper for their product (stickers, cards, tissues, tapes) are made from cellulose fiber where the active acid pulp is eliminated during processing. The pulp is also lignin- and sulfur-free, meaning that our ink won’t transfer from the stickers and the paper won’t leave behind any of these chemicals when decomposing.
-Noissue are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This means the paper products that make up their custom printed stickers are sourced from a forest and supply chain that is managed responsibly and sustainably. FSC forest management standards are developed at an international level, and are then adapted to individual countries’ legal, social, and geographical settings, through national standards.
-Products use soy-based ink. Soy inks are an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based inks, made from soybeans, a renewable resource. While soy inks are slower to dry than many inks, the process produces more vibrant colors as well as having the added benefit of not leaving behind petroleum based products when decomposing. Finally, soy inks have low levels of VOCs, reducing air pollution during the drying process.
We are so proud to work with noissue to create packaging that are 100% compostable and recyclable and be a part of their eco-alliance team.
Currently we ask our customers how they would like to pack their jewelry purchases as I know not everyone needs a jewelry box for every purchase. The boxes and unbleached muslin pouches are definitely reusable and great for storing your jewelry when you are not wearing it. Boxes are printed on Kraft paper. We sometimes place our jewelry on paper cards if we feel that it may get tangled. I am currently looking for ways to make sure our cards do not use harmful ink for composting/recycling. Overall, I hope to find other packaging that I know for certain are sustainably made, such as replacing muslin pouches with a linen pouch. This is definitely something I've been researching.
If our customers choose to not package in boxes or pouches, we have a 3rd option when they check out which is our certified compostable bags. These are great for those who want less packaging. I would not recommend this if you are thinking of storing your jewelry in it after wearing. The pouch or box would be better. To break these bags down even faster when you compost, we suggest cutting them up into small pieces.
Thank you for taking the time to read through our first steps to less waste. We will be sharing more on how will tackle jewelry sourcing. This is a lot more challenging and admittedly scary to do. It will only be our beginning steps to our long journey as I have mentioned. Stay tuned!