Hi all! Welcome back to our S-kin Studio Diary, where we document and talk about all things that inspire us here at S-kin Studio. This blog post talks about our recent changes to our packaging following our commitment to sustainability and zero waste goal. This is something we have been working on for a while, and we hope this inspires you to start looking for sustainable practices in brands you love, and asking questions when there is no option available.
Where it started
As a consumer, I began my sustainability journey from reducing and eliminating waste in my household. Reading and researching about sustainability fuelled my desire to veer S-kin towards a lighter path. We began with assessing how we can better our processes to become more sustainable.
When we first started, our jewellery collections were sourced all over the world. Now, we have consciously made the transition towards ethical jewellery, that are not only unique in styles but are kinder to its makers. We educate others about buying less, but buy better quality, through our gold fill jewels, which are ethically made.
Eliminating single-use in packaging
While our jewellery pieces are the biggest area of 'physical' matter, our packaging was the biggest area of 'physical waste' that we recognized. Our raw materials arrive in individual cellulose bags, padded bubble wrap, and lots of tape. These, we recycle, by reusing within the business to store jewellery, or send back to our factory to use elsewhere in their business as well. Upon our request for greener packaging, our ethical factory now packs our jewellery in tissue paper, and newspaper instead of bubble wrap.
Single-use mentality is a dangerous mentality, and we wanted to eliminate this entirely within our packaging system. Previously, our orders were packed in plastic poly bags, with our jewellery stored in our signature velvet pouch and protected by two layers of tissue paper & padded with bubble wrap for safe passage. We also add a mini Skittles fun size bag which serve as a delightful surprise to our customers. Nonetheless, we recognized how much single-use plastic was present, seeing that most, if not all customers, throw their packaging away once they open the package.
We went out to look for an alternative system, which is when we stumbled upon Better Packaging Co., who make compostable postage 'satchels', so we were delighted, and started using these satchels to replace our poly bags.
Our second step was replacing our padded bubble wrap. Because we need to physically protect our jewellery in transit, we couldn't eliminate it entirely. Using extra tissue was one option, but we wanted to minimize, rather than add.
We made the switch when we came across Greenwrap, which is a paper-based 'bubble' wrap, that is much kinder to the environment, as you can compost and recycle. We now package all of our jewellery in Greenwrap, and a soft layer of acid free tissue paper.
Our Skittles are loved by so many of our customers, so we didn't want to eliminate this aspect entirely. But instead of buying fun-sized skittles that are individually wrapped in plastic, we now pack skittles in corn-based cellulose bags which are biodegradable in household compost. Our customers still get the delightful treat, and the bag act as a treat as well to your compost worms. Win-win!
Any tape present in our packaging previously is now replaced with cardboard tape, or cellulose tape (made from plant based materials). Previously used glitter tape have been eliminated, once we learnt about the microplastics it emits at the end of its life cycle.
Our velvet pouch are still used in our packaging, however we decided to keep this aspect as it is part of our signature branding; and when asked, our customers prefer a pouch to a box for storing jewellery. It can also be reused to house small gifts!
The next step to our zero waste journey at S-kin is focused on a holistic view to reduce, reuse, and recycle. That can include anything, from buying second-hand props to potentially producing all our jewellery in recycled materials.
Some of our future goals include:
- Being carbon-neutral, including off-setting carbon emissions for every order & delivery we make
- Moving towards 100% ethical jewellery and 100% recycled materials - more on this soon!
- Sourcing and using ethical and sustainable gemstones
What can you do as a consumer?
Our journey to sustainability is a choice that I made as a consumer, as well as a business owner. I practice the 3 R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - as much as I can in my own household and lifestyle. I encourage you to do the same - there are so many resources out there to educate yourself, and help you to make the first change. I've listed some of my go-to's.
Beside changing your habits, consumers have a voice towards businesses. Start asking your favourite maker, local store, retail shops, brands you love, etc. on how they are making a change. Not only does it shine light on the current practices, it may inspire and invoke change towards a lighter earth. Not only that, do support those businesses that are making a change! It's the best way to put the resources where it could be making the best progress.
Until next time,