I realised recently that although I have always been trying to build a business that is good for everyone I am actually pretty terrible at telling anyone about it. Today I thought I’d share a bit about the measures I take. I want a business that can create art without creating waste. I want a business that makes a profit for me to live on without profiting off the mistreatment of anyone else. My goal is for my art to be affordable but not on the basis that it is exploitative of anyone along the production chain. The good news is that I think I’ve been off to a good start. Here’s a few ways how.
I commit to using responsible suppliers as much as I can. My wooden earrings are made from responsibly sourced wood. My acrylic earrings are made from recycled materials. The sleeves I used to protect my prints are biodegradable. They are derived from potato/corn starch and can be composted. It’s often more expensive to source environmentally friendly packaging but it is worth it.
It can be tough to find environmental options that do a suitable job. Especially to protect items in shipping. As much as I can I reuse materials to package items. In 2020 all bubble wrap I have used to wrap pins, earrings and ceramics has been reused.
Using UK Suppliers
This is a plus both environmentally and ethically. It reduces the air miles used for my business. It also ensures that suppliers are bound by UK production laws. Importantly it avoids the exploitation of workers in factories overseas.
Charity Is Important
This is obviously a no-brainier for me as I spent 13 years working in the charity sector before becoming an artist. Supporting charities when you can is important. There are so many out there doing so many valuable jobs. I also know though that people can’t always afford to give what they would like to.
I will always recommend though to consider your local charities if you are thinking about fundraising. They often do important work on your back doorstep, but rarely have the marketing budget to spread the word as far as national charities too. Your money can make a bigger difference there. But I’ll get off my high horse and get to the point. I have used my business to donate in a variety of ways. I have donated money from print and tshirt sales previously. It’s important to always be up front with how much from each sale will go to which exact charity. You can take the girl out of fundraising but you really cant take the fundraiser out of the girl. I have also gotten involved in charity projects pro bono and at reduced rates. We give what we can.
The beauty of being my own boss is that I can do whatever I want with my business. I can shape it with my goals and morals. I can try and use it for a force for good. There’s always more steps I can take though. I hope that my business continues to grow to be sustainable in every way it can be.
If you have suggestions for how I can improve, or any questions on how to make your business more sustainable. Get in touch and we can help eachother 🙂