Image by CRYSTAL MIRALLEGRO

MY SUSTAINABILITY PROMISE

impact

As a dedicated yogi, I am committed to practicing ahimsa, respecting all living beings and doing no harm. As a collector of house plants, I am committed to respecting and taking care of nature's gifts that bring so much joy into my home. As a business owner and a human being living on this planet, I am committed to protecting Mother Earth.

SEN is not just about sharing my love for yoga, nature and all things feel-good. It is also about sharing the responsibility of contributing to the health and prosperity of our one and only home. Sustainability and eco-consciousness is part of the foundation of my business. It is often difficult to balance business with environmentalism, especially as a one-woman owner just starting out. However, I will always strive to make progress in my environmental responsibility as my business grows. I am nowhere near perfect, especially not right now. However this is a record of my promise to never stop exploring ways to do my part in taking care of the planet while earning a living.

PROFITS

As a member of 1% for the Planet, I am committed to donating a portion of all SEN product sales to certified nonprofits who are fighting to protect the world's rainforests.

 

Why rainforests?

  • They are nature's air and water filters, capturing carbon dioxide and other pollutants in the atmosphere and recycling rain in order to help regulate climate.

  • They help combat soil erosion.

  • They are home to indigenous people who have lived in harmony with nature for thousands of years and deserve to have their lands protected.

  • They are also home to 30 million species of animals and plants, including those used for important medicines, as well as the house plants that we enjoy in our own homes.

 

UPDATE 9/25In order to help support immediate local wildfire relief in California's Santa Cruz Mountains and the South Bay area, for the near future I will be making SEN's sale donations to local certified non-profits, such as Sempervirens Fund and Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST).

Learn more about 1% for the Planet's mission here.

PRODUCTS AND MATERIALS

 

Pin Badges

  • Pins: By the very nature of the manufacturing process, it is difficult to deny the environmental impact of metal enamel and die cast lapel pins. I am continuing to actively seek partners with eco-consciousness in mind for these products. Additionally, I have plans to utilize alternative materials such as sustainably-sourced wooden pins for my designs in the future. Keep an eye out for those!​​​​

    • Clear Poly Bags: ​You do not see these in SEN products, but they are still part of my operations, so I am listing them here. It is standard practice in the industry to package lapel pins in individual polypropylene bags to help prevent the products from being scratched or otherwise damaged during transit. It happens at the factory level. The widespread use of PP is unfortunate, because it is a thermoplastic and therefore not eco-friendly. Better alternatives exist - polyactic acid (PLA) is plant-based and compostable, but only at certain industrial facilities, not in your average backyard compost bin (here is a good succinct explanation of the process).
      I am working hard with my pin partners to find better, more eco-friendly solutions. Until then, my lapel pin badges are shipped to me in PP bags from the factory so I can ensure that I am providing you quality, un-damaged products. I remove the PP bags for recycling and hand wrap the pins with care in my own eco-friendly tissue paper (see packaging below) before shipping them to you.

  • Rubber Clutches: Rubber clutches are one of the most common attachments for lapel pins, and I like them because they are more gentle against the skin than metal. Unfortunately it is difficult to tell whether any rubber pin clutches are made of true rubber or flexible PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which is a plastic polymer. Most suppliers do not have or do not divulge this information. Additionally, the (true) rubber industry itself is not free of its own environmental issues, so there are no easy answers (short of foregoing rubber clutches altogether). I will be continuing to research solutions for this.

  • Butterfly Clutches: The other most common pin attachments, these clutches are made of brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc and is said to be environmentally friendly due to the smaller carbon footprint of its recycling process compared to other metals (more info here from the Copper Development Association Inc.).

  • Deluxe Metal Clutches: My deluxe locking pin clutches are made of zinc-plated copper and nickel-plated brass.

 

Macrame Pieces

  • Macrame Rope: I only use rope made of 100% cotton and am always on the lookout for suppliers with sustainable sourcing and fair trade practices, especially with 100% recycled products. I have not yet found my holy grail, so while my current materials are not ideal, I am choosing to continue using it rather than throwing it away in order to reduce waste. (Here is a great article about about cotton sustainability from HomeGrown Cotton.)

    • Rope Trimmings: I save as much of my trimmings​ and unused rope as I can. Not only do I re-purpose them for other projects, but I suspect that they will eventually make wonderful filling for pillows! (And who doesn't love big fluffy pillows?)

  • Wood Beads, Dowels, Small Hanging Rings: These wood accessories are all made from sustainably-sourced, fast-growing wood, usually birch or beech, or occasionally maple.

  • Large Wood Hoops: My circular mandala hangings have a wooden hoop base made of bamboo, which is one of the fastest-growing plant resources (it's actually a grass) in the world. While bamboo is considered an ideal eco-friendly material, there are some concerns over whether this is actually true, especially considering most of the world's commercial bamboo production is in China. China has very little environmental standards and regulations, and shipping anything globally has a higher carbon footprint cost than a local source. Eco&Beyond has a great article outlining the points of concern about the eco-friendliness of bamboo here. I will continue to research and compare the viability of using these hoops.

  • Wood Slices: These loblolly pine wood pieces are recycled from tree companies or sourced from developmental areas where the trees were going to be cut anyway. Additionally, a new tree is planted for each one that is cut down. The slices are hand-sanded by me and finished with 100% pure hemp oil for extra durability.

  • Metal Hoops: Because metal is almost infinitely recyclable, it is difficult to tell the difference between products made from recycled or virgin metals. It is also extremely uncommon for suppliers to detail the history of their products, so I can never be sure of their origins. As I work through my supplies, I will continue to research the best eco-friendly solutions for my future projects. For now, the silver hoops I use are made of galvanized steel, and my gold hoops are a mixture of iron, copper, zinc and stainless steel plated with anti-rust gold.

  • Feathers: My feathers are 100% natural and cruelty-free, sourced from humanely-raised, domestic birds (no endangered, protected or wild species) from a single loving farm. The feathers are not plucked, but rather collected after the birds shed their feathers naturally (molting). The feathers are cleaned and sterilized before being hand-packaged and sold.

  • Wood Hang Tags: The branding tags for my macrame pieces are laser-engraved basswood, commonly found throughout the US.

PAPER AND CARDSTOCK

  • Backing Cards: The backing cards for my pin badges are made from 100% post-consumer recycled acid-free paper certified by the FSC (Forest Steward Council). They are printed with vegetable-based inks, so they are 100% compostable if recycling is not an option.

  • Thank You Note Cards: My printed note cards have the same materials and quality as my backing cards. However, I write on them with markers containing unknown ink content (I just know that they are water-based). Therefore I'm not entirely sure whether or not they are safe for composting (recycling is preferred). To reduce waste I'm using what I already have, rather than throwing them away, but as I run out, I will be looking for other alternatives.

  • Paper Notes: My handwritten notes are from unbranded notepads that have been generously gifted to me. Therefore I do not necessarily know their content, but I use them because I have them and so that they do not go to waste. Once I need to re-supply, I plan to use paper that is 100% recycled or from sustainable resources.

PACKAGING​

  • Tissue Paper, Sticker Labels, Packing Tape: All of these products are made from 100% recycled or sustainably-sourced acid-free paper certified by the FSC (Forest Steward Council) and 100% compostable. They are printed with soy-based ink (soy being a renewable resource), which has low levels of VOCs during the drying process and leaves no harmful chemicals during decomposition.​ The tape is also water-activated, so it does not contain gloss or wax that do not break down in regular compost conditions.

    • Additionally, every time I order more of these supplies, a tree gets planted! Hooray for more trees and more passionately eco-minded partners!​

  • Bubble Mailers: I use 100% recyclable poly bubble mailers made with at least 32.6% recycled content (the highest amount in the industry). The manufacturing process is complex, which is why it is difficult to find padded poly mailers with a high ratio of recycled vs virgin materials. Other padded mailers exist, such as those made from 100% recycled and/or compostable paper. However, the manufacturing process of paper mailers actually has a higher carbon footprint than that of poly mailers. (Here is a great comparison guide from EcoEnclose.)
    Due to my use of tissue paper for packaging my pin badges rather than PP bags, I use poly bubble mailers to ensure they are not damaged by handling and (more importantly) weather during transit to you. (Read more about EcoEnclose's ongoing work on Project Bubble here.)

  • Shipping Boxes: My shipping boxes are made from 100% recycled content, 95% of which is post-consumer material, and manufactured here in the United States.​​

Image by Matthias Koch

WHAT YOU CAN DO

your part

As an advocate for environmentalism I encourage everyone to join me in making an active effort to live more eco-consciously. It often seems like a fruitless or impossible task, but I truly believe that every little change, every little step helps protect our one and only home.

  • Reuse what you already have as much as you can.

    • Re-gift or thrift any products that no longer have a place in your life.

    • Use the products in your own craft projects! Lapel pins can be turned into charms, ornaments and magnets, and there are infinite uses for cotton rope and craft accessories from macrame pieces to be explored!

    • Save the tissue paper for when you give others gifts (I intentionally do not put my logo on it for this reason!)

    • Re-purpose mailers and boxes for other shipments like exchanges and returns. The mailers have a second strip of adhesive for this purpose, and boxes can always be flattened to save space when storing for later use. Of course boxes are also handy to store unused items in your home or for packing up your belongings when you move!
       

  • Recycle items to give them new life and reduce the need for virgin materials (such as cutting down more trees).

    • The backing cards for my pins, the note cards and all of my paper packaging should be recycled. Inks are removed ​by a process called "de-inking" at recycling facilities.

    • My bubble mailers can be recycled in the same facilities that recycle plastic shopping bags. Guidelines vary by location, so call your local recycling facilities to find out if you can put the bubble mailers in your blue curbside pick-up bin at home (if you live in the US). Otherwise, most grocery stores have a drop-off area for plastic shopping bags, to which you can add the bubble mailers.

    • If you're like me and often run out of room in your recycling bin for your cardboard, save them up and drive the bulk to your local recycling drop-off yourself, who will usually take them for free (some will even pay you!)
       

  • Compost when possible if something has completely reached the end of its life and is not fit for recycling. Most my paper products can be safely composted (even the stickers, tape and cardboard boxes when torn into small pieces), because I actively search for printers who use non-toxic vegetable-based inks. The only paper products I use (for now) that may not be safe for compost are those with unknown inks (from the markers I use on my note cards and the printed detail on my paper note pads - all detailed above).

  • Give Back if you can. There are many ways to further help the protection of the planet, not just by donating but also volunteering your time and special skills to environmentally-focused nonprofits and using your platform to spread awareness. 1% for the Planet vets all of their nonprofit partners to ensure that their actions align with their mission. They have partners all over the world, with focuses on both local and global scales in 6 main issue areas: climate, food, land, pollution, water and wildlife. They have membership opportunities for both individuals and organizations/businesses. If you are interested in joining 1% for the Planet, learn more at their official website.

Image by JD  Mason

WITH ME

connect

I am always open to chatting about environmentalism and sustainability. I welcome ideas and suggestions on how to run my business more eco-consciously and would love to help anyone else on their journey to be kinder to the planet, not just in business but also in every day life!

Feel free to contact me with any comments, questions or suggestions at hello@senshoppe.com.

  • Instagram
  • Facebook

Designed and Handmade in San Jose, California, USA

hello@senshoppe.com

©2020 by SEN. All Rights Reserved.

Payments Secured by