April 5th, 2021: Thoughts on Sustainability
Over the last 5 years I've become more conscious of my impact on the earth. This was spurred on by conversations with my dear friend, Lars Lisell, an engineer specializing in renewable energy and climate change. I began with small adjustments to my lifestyle like...
- eating fewer animal by-products to lessen the emission of greenhouse gases produced from the production of meat
- switching to LUSH bar soap for my hair to lessen the amount of plastic in my shower
- composting my food waste to eliminate the amount of waste going into landfills (compost collection which has since been cut from the NYC budget since the pandemic hit)
- switching to Green Mountain Energy to supply my home with 100% renewable energy that is pumped into the NYC power grid on my behalf
- focusing on shopping vintage and resale clothing to reduce the amount of new clothing demanded in the market
I certainly do not stick to these practices religiously, and I slip up often. There is so much more I want to do to reduce my personal carbon footprint, but I've added on a layer of complexity by starting my own brand of jewelry.
There is nothing more exhilarating than creating my art and seeing others appreciate it. The reward of developing new relationships, entering new communities, and seeing how I can make an impact with HKD as my platform is worth it. But what about the earth? Who is being effected negatively by my art?
Lars recommended I read Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart. It took an immediate effect on me. I began questioning my own overconsumption and quickly recognized the need to look deep inside to figure out why I want MORE things when I have plenty already. I want to develop a system for creating my art with re-used materials--recycled metal, discarded stones--so that, as my personal values evolve, my brand follows suit.
I've already lost quite a bit of sleep with thoughts on sustainability, leading to some gloomy mornings. Luckily, Lars asks me more questions to get me focused the positive and energized to come up with solutions.
It'll be a bit before HKD becomes a sustainable brand. Jewelry manufacturing is an old school industry--well the fashion industry is old school in general--and it's already been challenging to find the resources I need to make these changes. But I'm committed to educating myself, and taking baby steps to reach my goals.
It's nerve-racking to put these thoughts out on the web and risk being called out, but I want to be transparent with my audience in hopes of starting a conversation that will lead us all towards our goals in reducing the negative impact humans have on our environment.
I'd love to hear from you! Is your company working towards sustainability? What questions are you asking? What's working, what isn't working? DM me on Instagram @heatherkingdesigns