Posted on March 06 2020
From clothes to food, fashion accessories and even our household bills or vehicles, becoming aware of how we are shopping and what we are spending our money on is something to be mindful of as we dive into what has been a very un-predictable 2020.
The horrific Australian Bushfires that have affected thousands of lives has made us want to share and hope that we get you thinking about reducing your environmental footprint in this world. The impact of the bushfires has affected hundreds if not thousands of small businesses, some of which we supply to and we are devastated for their losses, especially from the loss of income from summer vacations and a change in consumer spending. We are now facing a the COVID-19 crisis, which we will write about in a separate blog coming up.
With what happened in Australia over the summer, it only makes us want to do more to reduce our waste as an Australian owned and run business, and encourage you to do the same and become a conscious consumer in 2020 and beyond.
Before I opened the doors to My Little Silver, Mum and I travelled overseas in 2017 and 2018 to find manufacturers that fit in with our brand vision and ethics. With my Mum having over 40 years of manufacturing experience in the fashion industry and working harder than any Mum I knew growing up, I knew that bringing her with me to source the right people to make My Little Silver jewellery was the smartest thing to do. I wanted to dig deeper, go to the facilities, see every inch of their work environment, meet the managers, meet the staff and see every aspect of how my designs were made to ensure our company and products represented equality and sustainability.
We personally visited factories to find manufacturers with not only outstanding quality materials but also so that we could see with our own eyes how their employees were being treated and the quality of their working conditions. We wanted every part of our business to show honesty, integrity and for every human being to be treated fairly across every aspect of our brand.
Unfortunately, we had to visit many locations until we were satisfied with the working conditions and staff equality of where we would produce My Little Silver jewellery. We went to some locations where the owners refused to take us to the factory floor. That was a big red flag and massive no from us, and we moved on until we settled on the most amazing locations to create the My Little Silver custom sterling silver collections. This took hard work, a long time and multiple overseas trips.
Continuing from where our resources come from, we want our company to be sustainable and use the absolute bare minimum in packaging so there was no wastage. This was so we could minimise our environmental footprint as much as possible and creating a product that also fit in with a future vision for my own children: doing our part to be a conscious business owner, have environmentally friendly packaging, and avoid unnecessary printing.
Which is why every package you receive from My Little Silver, you will not need to throw anything away. And yes, your packages are all handwritten to avoid extra labels and printing. We are pretty “old school” here, and proud of it! ;)
Our jewellery is placed in a beautiful pink pouch for safekeeping that also doubles as a high-quality sterling silver polishing cloth to keep My Little Silver jewellery sparkling and preserved. Then there’s our jewellery box; a magnetic closure to its gorgeous pastel pink and green design that your girls open to discover their luxury jewellery gifts allowing them to store their jewellery in. Your girls never want to throw away any part of the packaging they receive from us!
While we are trying to do our small part to make a difference in this world, as a business owner, I personally also do my best to be a conscious consumer. I was taught at a young age to buy quality items and to stay away from "fast fashion". It might be the voice my parents said – good quality shoes and good quality clothes will last the test of time. And no, I don’t mean heading off to shop at high-end brands like Gucci and Prada. That stuff is not affordable for the practical Mum like me.
I personally seek out small business brands from Australia and sometimes Europe that make small runs in their collection and finish clothes and shoes really well. I can proudly say I have loads of great winter boots in my wardrobe that are well over 6 years old and I love wearing them today. I try to buy classic silhouettes that won’t date, and without naming any brands, I do not shop at any fast fashion global chains and do the same with my kids. It's not easy, but I really try.
I also love buying recycled designer fashion, which is so much fun and oh so much more sustainable and economical. I especially got into this habit while living in Manhattan and would scour the stores in the East Village finding the most stunning pieces when I was in my 20s. The monthly rent in Manhattan was beyond cray, so I found clever ways to wear the clothes I loved and could afford. I still have some of these pieces today and miraculously they still fit!
So, we ask you to take note of how you are spending your money, where you’re spending your money and what can you do as a consumer to reduce waste and make a small difference for the future of your children.
We’d love to hear back what you do to be a conscious consumer, so please drop us a comment to let us know and it might help someone else find a new way to reduce waste as either a consumer or business owner.
Let’s be sustainable, let’s consume consciously and let’s make a difference on our planet and to our children’s planet!
Ilana and the My Little Silver team xx