In 2019 I was in Bali on vacation and while visiting the Gili Islands we went on a snorkelling tour. We dove down only to find a bleached coral graveyard. I was devastated, upset, and so shocked. I realised I had experienced my first ‘first-hand’ experience of global warming.
Fast forward a couple of months later, I binge watched the second season of Blue Planet, narrated by David Attenborough. At the end he said that 800 million tons of plastic gets dumped into our beautiful oceans every single year. I realised this is not the way forward and it will only get worse. And so, I was left with a burning question: what can I do to make a lasting difference and impact?
And so, my low waste journey began. I started to become very aware of my waste and I started taking recycling, reusing, and repurposing things to a whole new level. However, I realised that even though I was practicing low waste at home, I was not practicing it at work where I was spending most of my time and energy. I had the power to change the direction of the business to move towards being a sustainable company.
At first, we started small, I introduced my team to the basics of recycling. We found a company in the area that recycles, and they come to our shop on a weekly or fortnightly basis and collect our recycling. I can see that my passion for low waste has rubbed off on them a little and they often ask key questions and are curious about how to improve.
Responsible sourcing and production
Delving in a bit deeper…during our hard lockdown I was also inspired by Simon Sinek’s talk about ‘What is your why?’. It dawned on me that I am passionate about responsibly sourcing all our gemstones, metals, and materials. Our metal suppliers only make use of recycled metals, the supplier we use is just as passionate about their green footprint as we are. So, this part was easy. Subconsciously, I have been aligning the business with like minded companies.
Gemfields is the first sustainable company we have aligned with,who supply ethically sourced rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.
So, what does ethically sourced mean with regards to mining gemstones?
It means the company is passionate about the environment and leaving a smaller carbon footprint, but also instead of aiding exploited artisanal miners, they employ people out of the community. Moreover, they focus on empowering women to start their own businesses and give back to the community they mine in. In addition, they also give conservational property back because of the areas they do mine in, creating more work and giving back to mother nature.
The second company we align ourselves with are: De Beers Forevermark Diamonds. With 130 years of expertise in the diamond industry, they are the forerunners of the industry. Like Gemfields they also give back to the communities where they do the mining, in terms of job creation, supporting women in the area to start their own businesses and for every hectare they mine, they give 5 hectares back to conservation. Now that’s serious goodness!
It also goes without saying that these companies (as well as ourselves!) are passionate about conflict free (blood diamonds or gemstones) gemstones and Diamond Trading. You can have peace of mind that your sparkly rock from Penchant Design hasn’t affected any person negatively, caused anyone harm or was the result of any human conflict or war.
Our new local and sustainable product range
Apart from our jewellery, we will also be launching a lifestyle section that consists of local products that are completely natural and biodegradable. More info on our new sustainable range will be coming soon!
In conclusion, we are serious about leaving a kinder footprint on this earth and to source our materials in an ethical and responsible manner. This makes us happy…and proud!
We will continue to find new ways to be more mindful towards mother nature. Afterall, there is only one of her.
Author: Jackie Hahn, view Facebook page here: @CopyEditingSmit
Also follow Zero Waste Ninja’s Instagram page here for helpful tips and alternative low waste products to use: @helo_waste_ninja
Lauren Singer’s instagram page you can follow here: @trashisfortossers