Posted on

Our Core Values: Saving the Planet

Core values: Saving the planet

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.

Materials - saving the planet

Sourcing materials

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.

Paper - saving the planet

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.

Packaging - saving the planet


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!

Postage - saving the planet


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.

Shopping local

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 - saving the planet

Supporting charity

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.

Volunteering - saving the planet

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!

Posted on

Doing Good: #iWill

business doing good - #iwill

We really do believe business should make the world a better place. A business should be an integral part of life and society. So we have made a pledge with the #iWill campaign.

What is #iwill?

The campaign aims to encourage organisations to offer opportunities for young people in the UK to help make their communities a better place to live. The campaign is coordinated by the charity Step Up To Serve. HRH The Prince of Wales is the Patron of the #iwill campaign.

Currently, only 4 in 10 young people aged 10-20 get involved in activities that make a positive difference. However, research indicates that almost double this number would take part in things like campaigning, fundraising and volunteering if they had the chance. So #iWill was set up to encourage businesses and organisations to support young people to help their communities. By being more aware of the huge potential these young people can offer these businesses really are doing good in their community.

The benefits

In case you have not already figured it out, there are huge benefits for the organisations, the community, as well as the young people involved. The young people build their skills, employability, character and wellbeing. Communities are healthier, more integrated and socially mobile. Organisations are more a part of the community and ‘doing some good’. When young people take part in social action, everyone benefits. This is why we want more young people to take part in social action.

business doing good - Year of Green Action_Logo


This is a sub-campaign supporting the Government’s 2019 Year of Green Action. Just like the #iwill campaign, the aim is to get young people involved in improving the environment. This social action – or green action – helps develop valuable skills, experience and increased wellbeing, as well as helping the planet.

Examples of green action include taking part in environmental volunteering. For example, litter picking or planting pollinator-friendly flowers, fundraising to maintain or enhance green spaces or campaigning for the zero plastic waste agenda. Even Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has pledged to the campaign!

Selkie Craft’s Pledge

It was particularly the #iWill4nature campaign that really caught my interest. As a trained Ecologist, I really understand how important the environment is. There are so many little things we can all do that would make such a big difference. I really want Selkie Crafts to be a business doing good, you can view my pledge here. It states that I will:

  1. Inspire and empower young people to get involved in social action.
  2. Communicate the benefits of youth social action to our employees and encourage them to volunteer in support of it.
  3. Develop new, youth-friendly social action opportunities.
  4. Promote and celebrate the positive role young people can play through social action.

So how am I going to do all that?

Well, as you already know I am trained as an ecologist, but I am also a Duke of Edinburgh Award supervisor. I support young people through their Award, which includes a volunteering section. This is a great way for young people to get out in their community and take social action (pledge parts 1 & 3- tick). As an ecologist, I can provide them with ideas, inspiration and resources for anything environmentally themed.

Currently, Selkie Crafts is really just me, so I don’t have any employees to encourage. Having said that, I can confidently say that the Selkie Crafts workforce is 100% involved in volunteering to support the environment and young people (pledge part 2 – tick). I am proud to shout about the great things that come from this too (pledge part 4 – tick), what do you think this whole post is doing?!

business doing good - #iwill campaign

My volunteering story?

As you might expect, the focus on nature for the #1will4nature campaign appealed to my ecologist side. However, I also really believe young people gain so much from the opportunity to get involved. When I did my Duke of Edinburgh Award’s I needed to do 6 months volunteering for Silver, and 12 months for Gold. Eventually, I persuaded my parents to let me foster dogs for the local Dogs Trust rescue kennels for Silver. I learned a lot, we had several epileptic dogs, so I learned all about their medication and how to help them. I saw and helped behind the scenes of the kennels and created a good relationship with the local vets. All my foster dogs found wonderful forever homes. My confidence, skills, and employability got a great boost. I even continued to help dogs who struggled with the kennel environment long after the 6 months was up.

For Gold I volunteered for the local Biological Records Centre, digitising moth records and undertaking butterfly transects. Since I wanted to be an ecologist this was a great way to get experience for my CV. This helped me get into University. The Records Centre benefited with the help for Local Biodiversity Action planning, mapping, and even fed into national recording schemes.

I firmly believe that without these experience growing up, I wouldn’t be involved in volunteering as an adult. There are so many wonderful groups and organisations that exist purely out of the dedication of volunteers. For example, Scouts and Girl Guides, many sports clubs and societies/interest groups. Let’s teach young people how great volunteering is while they are young. Then they can keep our communities vibrant with groups and organisations when they are adults.

Moving forward

As Selkie Crafts grows I look forward to incorporating more youth and environmental social action into the business. I can only hope the time spent with Selkie Crafts will leave young people as enthused as I was with my volunteering experiences. Read more about our business values and morals here, to learn how this business is doing good.Shop Now Button

How to get involved

If you want to make your pledge or get your organisation involved please do check out the #iWill campaign here. There are so many easy ways to make a difference. It really does help the young people you support and your community. Please also share this post on social media, you never know who might see it and start taking social action or get their organisation involved!