We’re currently sending out up to 10,000 orders a week to customers in over 100 countries worldwide.
It hasn’t always been that way, but sustainability has remained a central concern for us at jewellerybox, as we continue to embrace new technologies and fine-tune our operational efficiency. As an assay assured jeweller, we understand that our customer’s trust in our products extends to their trust in our ethics as a retailer.
At jewellerybox we feel super passionately about our planet, and we’ve been making lots of changes (little and large) to do our bit. Given the environmental challenges we face, we consider this a top priority.
So, we thought we’d update you on what we’ve been doing to minimize our impact on the planet.
One of our biggest priorities for the next month is ‘operation zero’.
In September 2020 we aim to move the jewellerybox warehouse (where we pick and package all your favourite jewellery) to a totally paperless picking solution.
We currently produce two pieces of paper per order: one is used in the warehouse to locate the products and to pack the order, and the second is used as an invoice for the customer. So this September we’re jumping straight to paperless picking in the warehouse and customers will not by default receive a paper invoice.
This transition to paperless picking will save an estimated 58 trees (this is a calculation based on an approximate average of 8500 pieces of paper per tree). We know, that is shocking! So this is one of the most exciting steps we’re taking to make our process more planet-friendly.
The gift boxes and little brown envelopes that we package our products in are recyclable, so if you don’t fancy keeping them, you know what to do.
But there are a few elements to our packaging which need improving and given the quantity of orders we receive, the next step is 100% recyclable packaging for all our products. Another project for September 2020 – we’re trialing replacements for our padded envelopes.
The envelopes we currently use are made from a combination of paper and bubble wrap, and while they are technically recyclable it isn’t the easiest process in the world – so we’re looking forward to trialing 100% recyclable paper-based padded envelopes this month!
The little plastic bags we use to seal your jewellery before shipment have proved quite a big hurdle in our mission to go 100% recyclable. While we’ve spent the last 12 months looking to replace these with a biodegradable option, it seems that sadly manufacturers only tend to produce biodegradable bags in sizes far, far too large for our jewellery. But watch this space –we won’t stop looking until we’ve found a solution.
Gas, energy and electrical efficiency
In early 2020, we moved our Gas supply to Bulb, who have the highest percentage of renewable gases of any UK supplier – their gas is 100% carbon neutral and they also support carbon reduction projects around the world!
We’re in the process of replacing our old traditional, inefficient phosphorescent tube lighting with energy-efficient LED versions. This conversion considerably lowers the energy usage and, according to energysavingtrust.org, we will be using up to 90% less energy than traditional and halogen light bulbs.
Yet, in becoming more conscious about energy-efficiency, from lockdown to today the lights in the office and warehouse have been turned on only a handful of times. This makes such a big difference at absolutely no expense! as the natural light brought in through the windows is sufficient to do our work without artificial lighting.
This might be good for light-efficiency, but the skylights in the warehouse let in a lot of heat during the summer months (and in previous years the racket of the power fans we used to keep our staff cool would tell you this!). But this year we’ve covered our skylights with large cream canopies to diffuse the light and block a lot of the heat – meaning we’ve been able to keep our staff cool while ditching 12 x 100W fans for temperature regulation.
We also hope to negotiate a move to 100% renewable energy with our landlord (who supplies our electricity) in the near future.
Recycling, reusing & reducing
100% recycled toilet roll, reducing plastic & waste management
In the jewellerybox head office, we only buy Who Gives a Crap toilet roll, which is made from 100% recycled materials, and comes with no plastic packaging. Not to mention, the brand donates 50% of profits to help build toilets for those in need – so the more trips to the toilet we do, the more people we are helping!
For cleaning products such as handwash, we’ve moved away from smaller packages and we’re now refilling our handwash from larger, 5Litre containers.
We use Bywaters, London’s leading sustainable waste management company. All of the waste that Bywaters collect is reused, recycled, or recovered – meaning that zero waste goes direct to landfill. And all of their collection vehicles are low-emissions, hybrid, or fully electric!
Also…as of 2020 we have started to make the transition towards using more recycled metal in our jewellery. Although we haven’t yet set any targets for the future in this regard, we have already managed to persuade some of the more significant manufacturers for jewellerybox to move towards 100% recycled silver and gold in our items and, in some cases, in all items they produce!
jewellerybox are proud to be a partner of reGAIN, an app where you can arrange to donate unwanted clothes, and turn that into a discount for an online retailer. We offer a 20% discount code to people who donate their unwanted clothes, and we hope that we can encourage our customers to think twice before throwing their clothes in the bin to go to landfill.
Encouraging responsible travel
jewellerybox are part of the government Cycle2work scheme, which allows employees to make savings on a new bike and any safety equipment that they need. This scheme is a great incentive for members of the jewellerybox team to opt to take a more “green” mode of transport to work (although the majority of us do use public transport anyway!). Not only does it mean we can be fit when running around packing all your orders, but we are also commuting in an environmentally-friendly way.
As of June 2020, we also offered a loan to any employee looking to avoid public transport and start cycling to work as a result of COVID-19.
We’ll be the first to raise our hands and admit we’re not perfect eco-warriors, but we’ve been striving to make positive change – when and wherever we can. We believe that, in setting an example, consumers and producers alike can follow in our footsteps and begin to change behaviours, and save our planet!