Ethics & Sustainability
Are your products vegan-friendly?Being a vegan myself, offering vegan-friendly products is, obviously, very important to me. Guaranteeing that all your materials are vegan-friendly can be tricky sometimes, though, as animal-derived components can hide in places where you wouldn’t expect them. Veganism is a journey, and I am still learning more every day. So, here is an overview of my products and their levels of vegan-friendliness, to the best of my knowledge. Where the answer is not the resounding “YES” I’d like it to be yet, please rest assured that I am constantly working on finding alternatives to make all my products as Earth-conscious as possible. If you have any suggestions, I welcome considerate feedback any time – please get in touch.
Watercolour ArtInk: Yes.
Brushes used: Yes.
“Golden Magic” Pet Portraits
Brushes used: Yes.
Schmincke Aqua Bronze: Yes.
Ink: Very, very likely.
Paper: Very, very likely.
My printers are currently working on finding out whether their papers and inks are 100% vegan-friendly. They strongly believe that they are but don’t want to give a cast-iron guarantee unless they have the confirmation in black and white from their manufacturers.
Thread: Yes (instead of silk, I use nylon cord).
Metal: The metal itself, yes, as far as I know. However, animal-derived products may have been used during the mining, casting and plating processes. Also, with the lack of regulations in the industry (see further below), it is currently, frustratingly, impossible to guarantee how all the humans in the supply chain have been treated – which should also be an important consideration since we are animals, too. I am educating myself more on this every day and am working on improving this.
Crystal beads: The beads themselves, yes, as far as I know. However, animal-derived products may have been used during the mining, cutting and polishing processes. The situation is similar to that of metal mining, and I am working hard on finding solutions.
Are your crystal beads ethically and sustainably sourced?
As mentioned above, the gemstone mining industry is very complex and far from perfect, and transparency in supply chains is not always given. I am learning more about the various issues linked to mining every day. Using ethically and sustainably sourced crystals is extremely important to me, so, to start with, I only work with a handful of selected suppliers who share my values. I want to make sure that we treat our beautiful planet and any workers that play a part in getting these amazing gifts from nature to me – and, eventually, you – with respect and gratitude. I believe there is a lot more that we all can do to improve the working conditions of the involved workers as well as the impact mining inevitably has on the planet. As a consumer, you have the power to make a stance by showing your demand for ethically and sustainably sourced and produced jewellery. As a business, there is always more that can be done, and I will continuously educate myself on what I can do to be a contribution to positive change in the industry and always strive for improvement. Like with sustainability in general, or veganism, it is a journey and a process: first, you recognise and acknowledge the issue; then, you set your intention for creating change; and then, you embark on your journey of making a positive difference. It is my vision to produce Earth-conscious and, at the same time, beautiful products for you to enjoy.
What can you tell me about the silver and gold you use for your jewellery?
Similar to my crystal beads, it is of the utmost importance to me to only use metals stemming from reputable sources. Due to the lack of regulations in the industry, however, it is currently not always easy to guarantee that everything is a 100% ethically and sustainably sourced. Every day, I am learning more about the complexity of the mining industry and its impacts on the lives of humans and animals as well as the environment. Precious-metal mining brings with it many problems that are also, but not only, very problematic from a vegan perspective. It is linked to the destruction of habitats, mercury pollution and the exploitation of humans. Yet, many communities around the world also rely on mining as the only way of providing for their families. So, simply boycotting mined products might inadvertently cause those humans more suffering and force them to partake in illegal activities. It is a very complex issue, and, of course, we’d all prefer easy answers. Unfortunately, I don’t have those at the moment. My first step is to only source my metal pieces (charms, spacer beads etc.) from a couple of suppliers I trust and who share my values. But there is always more that can be done, and I will continuously educate myself on what I can do to be a contribution to positive change in the industry and keep striving for improvement. A part of my proceeds from each sold piece of jewellery also goes to a selection of responsible-jewellery initiatives, such as the Chicago Responsible Jewellery Conference, Amazon Aid Foundation or Better Without Mercury. In terms of the materials themselves, I only use sterling or argentium silver and gold vermeil or gold-filled pieces. Those are of a higher quality and longer lasting than silver- or gold-plated pieces.
Is your jewellery handmade?
Using carefully selected materials from all over the world, I put together all my jewellery pieces in my little studio in London, UK. For more information on the nature of the materials that I use, please see the points above.
Do you use recycled paper for your art?
Art prints: For some, yes. All my newer art prints are printed on eco-friendly recycled, FSC-certified paper, whereas my older art prints are “only” printed on FSC-certified paper. Going forward, all my newer prints will be printed on recycled, FSC-certified paper.
Greeting Cards: Yes.
Custom art: Not yet. The paper I currently use is FSC-certified and made from 100% cellulose. However, I am looking into alternatives.
Is your product packaging eco-friendly?
Making my packaging as eco-friendly as possible is very important to me. Wherever possible, I reduce plastic. Most of my packaging is recyclable and often made from recycled materials. Wherever my packaging still contains plastic, I am constantly looking into more eco-friendly alternatives. If you have any suggestions, I welcome kind feedback any time – please get in touch.