I've always liked to pride myself on building an ethical business. I give 10% of profits to The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. I researched recycled acrylic and became one of, if not the, first people on the planet to make jewellery using 100% recycled acrylic. I made sure everything used is vegan. I sourced recycled packaging, reached out to suppliers to have them stock recycled options for me.
I'll be honest, at that point I got a little bit too self-congratulatory. I was so pleased with how things had gone that I stopped striving for more. I would look at other companies and think "at least I'm doing more than them" instead of asking if there was anything more I could be doing.
Then recently came a turning point. The amazing model, and friend of the brand, MilkRebelle put out an Instagram post asking what people are doing to be more environmentally friendly. My initial reaction was once again to pat myself on the back about how great I am...then I paused. I had had that same stock answer for a long time...when was the last time I tried to improve on this? What more could I be doing?
I felt ashamed as I realised I had become lazy, and I was determined to do more. I remembered that a few years back I had a plan to offset my carbon emissions, but had gotten distracted with other things and never revisited that plan.
I prepared myself for a hefty amount of work, and got going. I thought I would have done well if I managed to get it done by 2021. In truth, I was done within a few hours! Turns out it's actually a very simple process, there are trusted carbon emission calculators you can use, and you can offset your carbon by paying to help fund conservation projects in the Amazon rainforest. It really was so simple. Yet I had put it off for so long. Embarrassing.
What I have learnt from this is that doing the right thing isn't necessarily difficult, and that putting it off won't help. It's also important to not rest on your laurels - yes, congratulate yourself on your wins, but always strive to do better. I'm going to keep trying to improve myself and my business. I'll make mistakes along the way, but I'm not going to stop trying to do better.
Anna Bat x