Sustainable? Ethical? What These and Other Buzzwords Trending Online Mean
This is Kyla, Founder of Terra Moderne, writing to you today on a very important subject. There seems to be a lot of businesses coining popular phrases/buzzwords like "sustainable," "ethical" and "non-toxic" these days, without really defining what they mean and how they apply them to their company. Don't get me wrong, I use these terms too 😅 but I'd like to take a step back and define what they mean not only by the book, but for my company.
Lets get started with the most popular of buzzwords on the net-sustainable. According to the dictionary, sustainable means:
able to be maintained at a certain rate or level."sustainable fusion reactions"
conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources."our fundamental commitment to sustainable development"
able to be upheld or defended."sustainable definitions of good educational practice"
As you can see, there are a couple of definitions of the word sustainable so it’s important to know what a brand means by it when they use it. For Terra Moderne, we practice sustainability by “conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.” We do this by using recycled metals as well as packaging materials for our products.
Now, realistically, it’s pretty tough for a company to be 100% sustainable or any one person for that matter. But trust me when I say that I’m making it a true part of the brand’s mission, and I’m always thinking of ways to give back to the planet (like planting trees 🌲) and avoid using more of its fresh resources whenever possible.
Next up is ethical. This one means:
1. relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these."ethical issues in nursing"
morally good or correct.
avoiding activities or organizations that do harm to people or the environment.2. (of a medicine) legally available only on a doctor's prescription and usually not advertised to the general public."all types of drugs, including ethical drugs and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals"
Good ethics in business is super important and it means everything to me to treat people and workers with kindness and fairness; especially since the fashion industry has a bad reputation for employing overseas workers who operate in horrifying conditions. So naturally, whenever you see the word ethical on our site, we mean we operate with morally good principals and we avoid activities and suppliers that harm others and their workers or the environment.
In fact, I ensure each artisan that creates our jewelry has fair wages and working conditions; like the family-owned small business in Spain we collaborate with for our designs 😊. Never will I put people over profit, and I promise to you that I will do everything in my power to ensure every employee and partner of Terra Moderne has a safe work environment and is paid fairly ✋.
The next buzzword is pretty synonymous to sustainable, but I’d like to talk about it anyway. The next word is eco-friendly. By definition eco-friendly means:
not harmful to the environment."I use only eco-friendly products"
Now this can pertain to a slew of things- like packaging, products, household items, cars, etc. For us, we incorporate eco-friendly materials and packaging into our business wherever we can. We also offset carbon emissions and plant a tree with every order we ship! Like sustainability though, it’s tough to be 100% eco-friendly because as humans we naturally produce waste 🤷🏾♀️ and not all of it can be curbed or offset.
But I care for the environment as much as you do, so don’t worry; I’m always thinking of the planet with every move I make in my business, and promise to do everything I can to produce less waste and use as many eco-friendly materials as possible ✋.
In fact, when it comes to the work environment I use pens made out of recycled bottles, recycled sketch paper and pencils, I monitor my own carbon footprint, etc. I truly feel we each have a responsibility for the planet, so we should do what we can to keep it healthy and clean.
Next up we have non-toxic. This one sounds pretty self explanatory but for good measure, here’s what it means:1. not poisonous or toxic."nontoxic waste"After having thyroid cancer due to toxin exposure (alongside other health challenges), I vowed to live a non-toxic lifestyle; meaning I avoid anything from home products to skincare that may contain harmful chemicals #checktheingredients. But fortunately my ailments weren’t in vain, for it was because of my illnesses that I started Terra Moderne. The jewelry (and fashion) industry exposes men and women to all kinds of harmful substances; sure, some may come with warnings but most don’t, like the kind you’ll see in Nordstrom and Macy’s.
After doing some extensive research, I discovered most adult jewelry contains an allowable amount (per government regulations) of lead, cadmium, plastic, chromium and nickel. Thankfully, you’ll never find any of these in our jewelry. We’re committed to giving you 100% lead, cadmium, and nickel free jewelry with none of the other chemicals I mentioned above and then some.
Next we have hypoallergenic. This means:especially of cosmetics and textiles) relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.And we mean this one by its literal definition. Some of our earrings are made with hypoallergenic posts (which is comprised of surgical steel) that are unlikely to cause discomfort for those with metal allergies. I know metal sensitivity is a growing concern for women, so don’t fret; I’m researching ways to incorporate more hypoallergenic metals that can be used for the base of our designs. Hopefully, within the next few years, we’ll be able to offer more styles for those of you with a metal allergy 😊.Last but not least, our final buzzword is fair trade. Okay, admittedly, it’s not the most popular coined phrase 😅 but we still use it so we’ll explain it. Fair trade means:
trade between companies in developed countries and producers in developing countries in which fair prices are paid to the producers."supporters believe that fair trade is making a significant positive impact in the world"
This phrase is pretty synonymous to ethical and even conflict-free, so not only do companies and producers pay fair prices for goods and services, they ensure workers are not harmed or in danger when it comes to their working environment. For example, gold is mined in Africa and unfortunately there are some risks that come with the job if the companies involved don’t ensure their safety.
We partner with suppliers who source gold and silver through vetted entities as much as possible to avoid any unnecessary risk to the miners and those who live by the mines. We’re also in the process of finding vendors who offer a generous supply of recycled gold and silver, to save the planet and workers.Well my dears, that about sums up this blog post. I hope I was able to shed some much needed light on not only the words/phrases going around the net, but for Terra Moderne as well. If you still have questions or need me to clarify anything, just send an email 📧 or connect via the chat box 💬. I’m really excited for this journey of ours and I hope you are, too. Until next time 😊Love,Kyla ❤️