Lunch & Learn: What being a sustainable jewellery business actually means
On Thursday 12 March, we hosted an intimate Lunch & Learn with leading Australian media and tastemakers, where we shared what being a sustainable jewellery business actually means - and we passed on some of the lessons we’ve learned when it comes to creating consciously too.
Our aim was to educate and inspire our guests and to ensure they felt more confident to have honest conversations with their audiences.
Hosted by Alison Rice of Offline, our Founder Natalie Fitch and Head Designer Em Watson chatted through our sustainability journey from inception to now - and touched on what the future looks like for Natalie Marie.
Our pledge to our customers is to always be transparent and to do our due diligence. We will do all we can to hold ourselves accountable and continue to help contribute to a cleaner, more eco-friendly and eco-conscious world for this generation and beyond. Being sustainable is a constant journey and one we are committed to, for now and forever.
- We are a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council and are currently working to become accredited. This is an immensely in depth process, but one we are deeply invested in to ensure that we can really stand confidently behind the label of being a responsible jewellery company. We are so aware of how commonplace the words ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ are now, and that these have somewhat lost their weight, what we are really driven by is a desire to stand behind these claims with confidence that we are going beyond language and seeing this through in every facet of our practise as a manufacturing company and retailer.
- Throughout this process, our focus has expanded far beyond our in house practices, which we have had a great grasp on for many years - to tracing material throughout every single step of the supply chain.
- We work with a very tight knit network of suppliers, most of which we have worked with for the best part of a decade, its these relationships and strong foundations which enable us to push our sustainability efforts forwards with great momentum.
- With every piece of our jewellery handmade to order, we function as a minimal waste company. We only supply to demand, and not creating an excess of goods. Handcrafting our jewellery in-house gives us complete control over the process - from sourcing and production to setting, finishing and packaging. We create one sample per season and then every single piece ordered instore or online is made specifically for the customer. These procedures and practises have largely remained the same since the inception of the brand, only expanding as we have scaled our production.
- We support a host of charities throughout the year and most recently, created a limited edition Golden Wattle Necklace to raise funds for Red Cross Australia and WIRES Emergency Bushfire relief funds.
When it comes to stone sourcing, all natural white diamonds are sourced through our trusted Sydney-based suppliers, with stones over 0.50ct in size all GIA certified. All stones are guaranteed as conflict free and assured as being sourced in line with the Kimberly Process. Diamonds are sourced only on the written guarantee from our trusted suppliers that they have been sourced and cut in line with UN regulated guidelines regarding ethical practice. We also offer stones with guaranteed provenence, such as Argyle diamonds, Canada Mark Diamonds and laboratory grown diamonds.
- All of our precious gemstones are sourced through our trusted, tight network of local suppliers who are committed to sustainable environmental practices - the majority of which we have worked with since our inception. We aim to always work with accredited suppliers, and those who have a closed chain of custody. We also prioritse working with Australian gemstones, such as Australian Sapphires where possible.
- All NMJ pieces are handcrafted in our Sydney studio. Using hand tools as opposed to heavy machinery which lessens our carbon footprint, alongside this, selecting non toxic compounds for use in the studio reduces our environmental impact.
We approach sustainability as a journey, rather than a destination, especially in an ever evolving industry such as ours. This is undertaken with a great deal of responsibility, and with great investment - with our clients as our focus. Our sense of moral responsibility drives us. We hope to lead by example and hope that other jewellery companies will undertake similar initiatives to drive long term change, shifting to a point where this type of practise and level of consciousness becomes the normal not the exception.
The above points really just at touch on what is an extensive initiative at NMJ. If you have any questions regarding our sustainability practices, or have suggestions for ways we can improve, please contact our team on firstname.lastname@example.org
A special thanks to Trish (@tealily) for capturing the event so perfectly, Opel Khan and his team at Metisse Restaurant for creating a fresh, farm to table experience for our guests, Alison for hosting the event and the 25 women who took the time out of their day to join us and share in this conversation.