I've been giving some hard thought to how Maia & Rainwood is going to be going forward, given everything that is happening globally with climate change and the environment. Mining is really hard on the planet but that’s where my metals and gemstones come from. So many of the things that I use - beads, glass, gems - they have a huge cost in terms of carbon footprint and ecological damage.
My aim, going forward, is to reduce my consumption of new things and to focus on incorporating more reclaimed, recycled, and repurposed things into my designs.
Do I think I can hit 100% no consumption of new goods? Not realistically, no, but I'm aiming to get very close. My goal for this year and next is to source around 95% of any new-to-me gemstones, elements, and beads from thrifted items, flea markets, and vintage shows. I will only be acquiring new strands of gemstones from artists who are de-stashing their old stock rather than buying them new from gem merchants in India or China. This should cut our carbon footprint substantially, off the bat.
I will not be sourcing any new glass elements from China, starting immediately. I don't know how this will affect my light-catcher designs once what I have stashed is used up. For now, I have a lot of materials on hand. The light-catchers may phase out or they may just evolve as that gets low. We'll have to see!
I'll be shifting all of my textile sourcing to thrifted and reclaimed fabrics, rather than buying new, starting now. Thread, that's harder, but I'm aiming to try.
My packaging is going to change. I already use Kraft boxes, recycled mailers and business card paper, but I'm looking for alternatives.
This is a work in progress.
I wanted to be transparent about where this business stands in terms of the planet and global climate change. It seems really silly just to mend, reuse, recycle, and compost my trash at home if my business is contributing more to harm the planet. The only way we're going to turn things around is to make hard changes.
We live in a consumer society but how we all consume has to start to change. I think we can still have beautiful things, and be a little more gentle with our Mother at the same time. I'm looking to figure out ways and it starts with making big changes for this business. I believe in a Green New Deal. I want this planet to survive! I don't think my current business model supports that aim, so I'm shifting now, to meet it in the middle. I can't bitch about corporate America's role in climate change if I don't address my own.
I can't expect others to change if I don't make a change.
I honestly don't know how this will affect things in the short term. I have a LOT of back stocked elements, findings, a lot of stashed stones, gems, beads, and metals that I want to use up. I already only buy recycled metal and eco-silver. The rest of it likely won't be an issue for some time, but it will become one eventually and I'll have to decide how to go on. I imagine at that point, all of my designs will start to change substantially.
I'm excited to see where it takes me.
I hope, as it all unfolds, that you continue to love the work and support M&R.