What does sustainability mean for Maddy Sprout?
Sustainability has recently become a buzz word that businesses use to describe an array of practices that, in google's words, "avoid the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance."
As you can probably tell, the definition is pretty ambiguous. Sustainability in practice can mean almost anything...
In an attempt to shed light on that ambiguity, and help you understand exactly what I mean when I say sustainability, I have outlined Maddy Sprout's sustainability practices below!
Natural Items: Most of the jewelry and home goods I make feature real plants, fruit, or other natural items. I either hand press or dry these natural items myself, or purchase them from other small businesses. Most of the plants in my pieces come from either my houseplant collection, or the gardens of my mom, grandma, or in-laws! ✿
Vintage and Second Hand Materials: When it comes to making home goods, I use almost entirely vintage, 2nd hand, or upcycled materials. I source the items I upcycle locally from thrift stores or antique shops, and even NYC stoops!
Ecopoxy: I know Epoxy Resin is not the most sustainable material to work with (it's plastic), but I make sure to source my Epoxy from the most eco-friendly brand out there, Ecopoxy!
EcoPoxy is committed to creating, manufacturing, and distributing bio-based epoxies made from annually renewable resources and offer the world an alternative to traditional epoxy resins made from fossil fuels. Not only do they work to lower their carbon footprint, but it is their goal to use bio-based ingredients that are currently considered waste. This allows them to create an epoxy that is environmentally friendly and does not take resources out of the global food supply. You can read more about Ecopoxy's objectives here!
Branding Materials: I try my best to get all my branding materials, (things like business cards, earring cards, thank you notes, stickers, etc) printed in the most eco-friendly way possible! My current thank you note cards are printed on 100% Recycled paper with eco-friendly ink. My earring cards/business cards are printed on cotton paper made from recycled cotton t-shirts! I'm working on finding the best eco-friendly option for some stickers, so more on that soon!
Boxes and Mailers: I use compostable and/or recyclable mailers that if properly disposed of, will not make it to the landfill. If I ship a bigger item to you that requires a box, it will most likely come in a box I saved and reused from my own mail! Member the old slogan, 'reduce, reuse, and recycle'? Reusing is way better than recycling! So if the box is still in good shape when it gets to you, maybe you can find a way to reuse it too! If I for some reason don't have a box to reuse I have recycled cardboard boxes as backups.
Tape: I recently switched over to all eco-friendly tape! I use either biodegradable sealing tape that is made from plant-derived and renewable resources, or recyclable kraft tape that is made in the US with natural rubber adhesive.
Other Packaging Materials: I use small recyclable cardboard boxes to keep your jewelry safe inside of the mailer. Besides that, all other shipping materials I use are recycled! It's insane to me how much packaging larger companies put in their packages! If you start collecting it all, you can save enough materials to run a Maddy Sprout sized business! ;-) I save bubble wrap, packing peanuts, packing paper, tissue paper, etc. and reuse it to keep your goodies safe in transit. Sometimes I even shred junk mail and use that as a padded packaging material!
These might not be the prettiest packaging solutions, but I'm confident that I'm doing my best to reduce waste, and to me that's more important! After all, it's what's inside the packaging that matters the most, right? ツ
As Maddy Sprout grows, I will always be trying to think of new ways to be more sustainable. Do you have a suggestion for me? Do you think I could be doing something better? Leave a comment below! I appreciate any feedback!