One of the few good things about the whole covid thing has been that there has been a little time for reflection outside the hurly-burly pressure of the everyday routine.
Once we here had adapted to the interregnum of being confined to homes (basically everyone stayed home except me and I went back to the early days and did everything!) I did have time to think about some aspects of how we do things. Stay with me and (I hope) follow my thinking.
It’s very clear that decimating flying has had a positive effect on the environment. At the same time it is our proud boast that I select every single pearl we offer for sale. That’s me, in person, with my own eyes and hands, going through a wholesaler’s stock and selecting, in person, every single pearl. It is one of the things which I am most proud. No remote buying, no relying on others and certainly no remote drop-shipping while pretending to stock and ship everything.
But that core business-model means I have to sometimes move my eyes and hands, and the rest of me to where the pearl wholesalers are. That’s in the Far East. Mostly in Hong Kong, but also Thailand. (plus I have been trips-of-a-lifetime fortunate to visit actual pearl farms in Indonesia and Vietnam)
The whole flying-is-evil thing had me feeling kinda guilty, even though I could not see a way around having to…fly.
However I can act to reduce the total Pearlescence air miles/aviation fuel impact by reducing the weight of our packaging. Which I have now done. We have switched from recyclable cardboard boxes – very, very nice boxes. But substantial and with a certain weightiness. To light card pillow boxes. We still add our unique printed ribbon so there is a certain something to untying the bow and opening the box but the total weight of every shipment of finished jewellery will be reduced by two thirds. Over a year I reckon that is more than enough to allow me to travel to buy new pearls and metal.
Especially when you consider that even much of our domestic shipping is now moved by air. Pillow boxes also save on shipping from where they are manufactured to the wholesaler, which in our case is in Ireland (so there’s another aviation saving when they are shipped to us) warehouse and our premises space is also massively saved.
Also, because every one of our packages of finished pieces will be smaller and lighter we will save overall on shipping costs for every single item we ship to you, where ever you are in the world. If that is indeed overseas, well, that’s doing a joint little bit to save the planet.
An added bonus for the majority of our customers is that this new packaging removes residual guilt about throwing away a box. It’s fully cardboard so pull off the ribbon (which can find a new use I’m sure) and throw it into the recycle bin with a clear conscience. We’ll be including a chiffon sleeper bag so you can still have something – in fact a better thing – to keep your pearls in.
Since I am being totally transparent here, switching to pillows will also save us money, money which we can swing back to you all by not having to increase prices due to the collapse in value of the £ sterling over the last couple of years and the increases in shipping costs
Sustainability is something we all have to strive for. With this move to sustainable packaging if you feel that you absolutely must have an older style presentation box they will be available for a small extra charge to cover the extra cost of the box, the larger wrapping and the increased shipping cost.