Imagine a beautiful, wild, inspiring place to escape to. There is no concrete or litter piled up here is there? Our materialistic, fast-paced lifestyles are taking their toll on the earth. The stresses of modern life affect you too, so I want to help you and nature to thrive in the modern jungle. That’s why one of Selkie Crafts core business values is saving the planet. Having beautiful things should not damage our planet.
Our eco credentials
What is Selkie Crafts doing to save the planet?
I’ll admit it straight up, it’s not perfect. I genuinely care about other people and the planet, so I have created Selkie Crafts to work as responsibly as I can. I strive to be an ethical and eco-friendly business. There is room for improvement, and there always will be, but here is an introduction to what I do to work responsibly.
Saving the planet starts with raw materials. I use Swarovski crystals and pearls. Swarovski has excellent credentials for ethics and environmental impacts. You can read all about them here. I also prefer using synthetic pearls from Swarovski instead of real pearls as no living animals are harmed to make them. Basically, the pearls are vegan-friendly.
I use a mixture of aluminium and copper wire. These are metals that are largely recycled these days. Recycling aluminium uses 90% less energy than making primary-production (virgin) aluminium! The silver or gilt plating on wire and components is also likely to be recycled. Being precious metals, silver and gold are high value so recycling them is the norm. Sadly, I cannot absolutely guarantee the recycled content of most of the wires I use. I have started using EcoSilver, which is guaranteed 100% recycled sterling silver. So you can be eco friendly and hypo-allergenic. If you know of any sources of 100% recycled aluminium and copper wires, let me know!
I have a selection of semi-precious gemstone beads. These are mostly chips that are the offcuts and pieces not graded as good enough to be a glinting cut crystal. I would rather turn these lovely chips into treasured jewellery than the pieces just going to waste. Though I am slowly moving away from these in favour of Swarovski crystals.
I also have a vast selection of second-hand beads. These range from glass to plastic to polymer clay. They are often donated to me from old craft sets by friends, so I am happy to give them a use other than landfill.
Design & manufacture
Keeping the processes eco-friendly and ethical is another big part of saving the planet. This part is easy, I am a one-woman business so I know and do it all. There are no outsourced processes or sweatshops, just me my home studio, and my pliers. I sometimes work hours I would never expect of an employee, but that’s all part of working hard for your dreams.
I try to keep my studio eco-friendly too. We only buy recycled paper and card. Every inch of paper gets used before I recycle it. I only print if I have to – striving for a paperless office. My printer ink cartridges are refilled and I send the old cartridges back to be used again. Even my furniture is second hand and re-purposed. My workbench is made of old kitchen units and I reupholstered the stool myself to give it a new lease of life.
Excessive packaging will be familiar to us all. I was not happy with the eco-credentials of most of the jewellery boxes around. So I specially designed the Selkie Crafts boxes to be made from recycled card and to be recyclable at the end of their life too. They are made in-house by my nifty little cutting machine, (my hands couldn’t cope with the scissors anymore). The boxes display the jewellery beautifully, are perfect little gift boxes, and keep your jewellery safe while making their way to you.
Where possible I get my business cards and flyers printed on recycled paper, using vegetable inks. I’ve even had cards made of recycled cotton t-shirts!
I keep and re-use the envelopes my materials arrive in. Family and friends also give me their used padded envelopes. I also have a selection of tissue paper, spongy pellets, etc that have arrived with my materials. Some of these are certainly not great for the environment, but I’d rather keep re-using them than just sending them to landfill. The longer they are useful, the better. These all keep your beautiful jewellery clean and extra safe for the adventure that is the postal system. I print or handwrite the address label on scrap paper too.
I love supporting small local businesses. It is not easy getting products into a shop and many local shops are struggling with the rise of internet shopping. So I do all I can to help local shops, including raising awareness on social media about these lovely local gems and why it’s important to support them with your custom. Read here why you should shop local.
Charities do so much fantastic work in the world. I regularly team up with charities for events and fundraisers. Some of the great causes I have worked with so far include; Butterfly Conservation, Argyll Animal Aid, Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance, TWIC, and Heart of Argyll Wildlife Organisation. At these events, a percentage of the Selkie Crafts sales go directly to the cause and I’m always on the lookout for more ways to help and promote their good work.
Working & living responsibly
This is quite all-encompassing. Being self-employed allows me to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and contribute more to my local community. I have a lower carbon footprint as I don’t commute to work, I am in the lucky position to have adopted a rescue dog and give him the behavioural support he needs (still a work in progress, I’m not sure he and the postman will ever be friends). We are slowly reducing our plastic use, eating greener, etc.
Being self-employed also gives me more freedom to volunteer in my community. I volunteer with young people through the Duke of Edinburgh Award to encourage them to explore and appreciate the outdoors. I am a volunteer SCUBA diving instructor, teaching students to be safe while exploring the fantastic world beneath the waves. Whatsmore, I have also joined the Coastguard. Being able to leave the studio whenever there is a call is invaluable for saving lives as well as saving the planet.
A good start
So these are the key things I do to make Selkie Crafts as ethical and eco-friendly as I can. Saving the planet a little at a time. It’s a good start but I am always on the lookout for ways to improve. Read about the other Selkie Crafts Core Values here.
What’s the best eco practices you’ve heard of businesses doing? Let me know on any of my Social Media channels. I’d love to hear from you!
If you learned something from this article please share it on social media or save it for later! As a small business, I really appreciate your help getting my work in front of more people, so a huge THANK YOU!