"Sustainability" is a term thrown around so much these days, especially within fashion. So let's break it down, and explain exactly what sustainability means for Dear Survivor.
Sustainability: the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.
There's no doubt about it: the fashion industry is bad for our environment, and has notoriously exploited minority communities around the world. Fast fashion has created a demand for cheap, disposable products - which take up excessive amounts of cotton, water, and cheap labor to produce. For an in depth analysis of fashion's affect on the environment, check out this article by the BBC.
So I, as a designer, aspire to create products with as little environmental impact as possible. Some fashion designers do this by working with natural and deadstock fabrics. For me, I chose to work with recycled and scrap materials, which creates no new demand for materials and gives a second chance at life for an item that already exists.
For example, our most popular Leather earrings are all made using scrap leather from a purse factory in LA. After they do a big production run, the factory owner gives me a call and let's me know they have a fresh pile of imperfect leather and irregularly shaped offcuts for me to go through. This helps the factory minimize their waste, and helps me get premium leathers that are sustainably sourced. You can read more about the sustainability of our leather earrings here.
Furthermore, our newest Classics collection is made from recycled cast metal. When I started doing cast jewelry at the beginning of 2020, I made sure I partnered with an LA based factory that was committed to using recycled metals. Rather than designing with virgin metals, I can get the same amazing look from recycled brass, gold, and silver. Curious what the casting process is like? Watch my YouTube video on it here.
And last but not least - packaging! Don't you just hate it when you order something online and it's delivered in a plastic bubble mailer, and the item itself is wrapped in like three plastics bags for no apparent reason? Me to. We ship all your orders in our fully recyclable packing made from cardboard and craft paper.
So while Dear Survivor is only a very small part of the global fashion community, I believe it's so important to do my part in incorporating sustainable business practices - and offer you something cute and original while doing so!
XOXO - Christine