To us, sustainability speaks to our product, people and the planet. Our unique selling point is beautiful jewelry at an affordable price, and we're digging deep on how we can do this more sustainably. We believe in the power of people—our employees and extended community—and advocate for their wellbeing by paying fair wages and fostering a workplace where people feel taken care of. We care about our planet— we're curious how we can leave a lighter footprint and are motivated to keep learning.
There is beauty in being vulnerable, in the not- knowing. We make it clear to our customers and business partners that we're doing our best to be sustainability-minded—and hope this inspires others to follow suit. We choose paper over plastic and recycled over new, because we understand that big changes start small.
We believe that businesses in general should treat the planet with more grace, so we're planting the seed for a more sustainable Lover's Tempo. Sustainability is a journey, not a destination and we're diving deep into the inner workings of our business to understand where we can do better. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was a fully sustainable Lover's Tempo.
LOVER'S TEMPOOur Story
A LETTER FROM OUR FOUNDER — Once upon a time, I made jewelry in my kitchen and made all of my hang tags by cutting colourful wool felt into little squares. Even when I was just one person, I was very conscious of limiting waste and using sustainable materials.
A sustainable mindset has always been at the heart of what we do at Lover’s Tempo. As a business, we know it’s our responsibility to lead the way to a more sustainable future in how we produce our products, treat our people and to reduce the carbon impact that we have on the planet.
In 2017, when I partnered with Leslie, my business partner, we learned that we shared the same values. We wanted to build a business that prioritized sustainability. Being a fashion jewelry brand, it felt cumbersome to marry our views on sustainability with a brand that wasn't an obviously sustainable brand.
In 2021 we decided to take some big steps to learn more and further prioritize sustainability at Lover’s Tempo. We quickly realized that we needed some guidance so we reached out to Green Sky Sustainability, based in Vancouver, Canada. We dove deep into our business practices through a sustainability audit. Through that process, we learned how and where the jewelry industry creates carbon emissions. Green Sky also measured our carbon footprint so we could understand how we could improve. At the end of the audit we gained an understanding on how to approach sustainability and make decisions within our business that would positively impact people, the planet and our products.
Also, during the research process, we learned about the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"As an urgent call-to-action in a global partnership, the SDGs recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests." - UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
It was eye-opening to see how sustainable development touched on so many facets of life. We immediately felt that aligning our goals from within the SDGs would create a strong foundation for the policies we wanted to create.
We're excited to be sharing our journey with you. We hope it inspires you and other businesses to do the work to learn more and do better - one step at a time.
We believe in the power of people—our employees and extended community—and advocate for their wellbeing by paying fair wages and fostering a workplace where people feel valued and cared for.
When Lover's Tempo was founded, we had a vision to build a team of empowered and engaged people and give them access to new experiences and opportunities. Inclusivity was set as a core value of the company and we fostered a workplace where everyone could be authentic to themselves and celebrate each other's uniqueness.
It was natural that we aligned with 2 specific goals outlined by the SDGs. One that promotes gender equality and another that focuses on the good health and well being of people.
In 2020 we became certified living wage employers, making a commitment to offer fair wages to anyone who works at our company. We also expanded our benefits offering to make sure that our team felt supported in a holistic sense of wellbeing. We submit regular surveys to our employees to receive feedback on how we're doing in our mission to provide a workplace rooted in well being and the response continues to be overwhelmingly positive.
As we grow, we're learning new ways that we can represent our stance on equity, diversity and inclusion. Our goal is to be inclusive in our hiring policies and have diversity represented throughout our brand and within our team.
In 2022 we're launching our Employee Ambassador Give Back Program. All of our employees will be invited to submit their own proposals for this new program rooted in our goals of promoting gender equality and also good health and well being. Lover's Tempo pledges to support 1% of profits over the course of the year along with volunteering our time and resources so we can all learn more about the cause.
Our inaugural Employee Ambassador Give Back Program will launch in 2022.
Another part of our company culture is the importance of giving back to our community. Over the years, we've partnered with numerous organizations to support their causes. Some of the organizations we have supported include:
Vancouver Frontline Workers PTSD Clinic
We care about our planet—we're curious how we can leave a lighter footprint and are motivated to keep learning.
When we reviewed the UN Sustainability Goals it was clear that the call for climate action was the goal we needed to align with. Through our work with Green Sky Sustainability Consulting, we reviewed and calculated our carbon footprint through every facet of our business from production to business travel to what type of lightbulbs we use in our office and how our employees commute to work.
As of 2021 we have and will continue to measure, reduce, and 100% offset our annual carbon emissions in partnership with Carbon Zero. We selected Carbon Zero as our offset partner because they worked in partnership with first nations communities in Canada to protect cultural sites and traditional activities within some of their carbon offset projects. We also felt that it was important that they provide the highest quality carbon offsets, sourced through the most stringent verification practices, based on a principle of transparency and open audit trail. In our Fiscal 2021 period, our carbon footprint totaled 32.89 tonnes of CO2-equivalent, comprised of the following activities.
While we continue to look for ways to lower our carbon footprint, we
have chosen to mitigate the residual carbon footprint of our business by
sourcing third-party verified Canadian-based carbon offsets for the equivalent amount of emissions that our operations release.
As we continue our journey into managing our climate impact, we are paying close attention to how and where our business generates greenhouse gas emissions. We know that offsetting alone is not the solution to carbon emissions, so we have also committed to lower our carbon and materials footprints through these efforts.
Planting Trees for a More Sustainable Future:
Lover’s Tempo has partnered with Ecodrive to go climate positive on every order’s shipping emissions by planting 1 tree with every purchase.
Ecodrive plants mangrove trees on protected land in Madagascar. Mangroves can capture and store more carbon than almost any other tree on the planet. Each tree can sequester about 680 pounds of carbon in its lifetime.
Mangroves also create habitat for hundreds of animal species, including those that are endangered or only exist in Madagascar. They also protect shorelines from erosion and storm surges, keeping ecosystems and the people who live there safe. As mangroves take in water they filter out any pollutants before releasing water vapor back into the air.
In addition to this initiative's ecological benefits, it also alleviates poverty in the nearby community by employing local villagers to plant and manage the trees. For every 100 trees planted, one full work day is created for a villager in need. We are focusing our brand’s goals around the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which “recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests." We believe that employing local villagers to plant trees – with the help of our customers – enables us to tie many of these strategies together to have the greatest impact.
We choose ground shipping as our standard because air shipments have 2-3 times greater carbon footprint than ground shipping currently. Additionally more and more truck freight companies are opting for electrical vehicle fleets. We will continue to prioritize partnership with shipping providers that utilize renewable energy.
Beyond our products, we consider all of the supplies we use to operate our business and the impacts that they have on the planet. Our policies regarding materials used in business operations are:
1. Less is best!
We try to keep our packaging materials as minimal as possible to mitigate unnecessary waste. We're migrating our ecommerce shipping box sizes to a smaller format to require less materials used for each box.
2. Can you reuse that?
We keep everything that comes into our space for possible reuse and ask our team members to utilize reusable options such as water bottles brought from home. The bubble mailer from a delivery we receive can be reused as packing material for a shipment going to one of our showrooms! The void fill that our suppliers send to us gets put aside to be used in packing our larger wholesale orders. We use cloth rags instead of paper towels and use water delivery service with reusable jugs to avoid the need for plastic water bottles.
3. Is it made from recycled contents?
Most of our product packaging and shipping materials are made from recycled materials. This helps improve the demand for recycled contents on a global scale to help keep recycled materials out of landfills. We pick suppliers that prioritize recycled.
Our unique selling point is beautiful jewelry at an affordable price, and we're digging deep on how we can do this more sustainably.
When considering our sustainability policies relating to products, we've aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. The global “material footprint” increased by 70% between 2000 and 2017. While the nature of our products is that the material footprint of each product is small, we wanted to think of how we can perpetuate sustainable consumption practices with our products.
OUR NETWORK OF MAKERS:
Our makers in South Korea are small businesses that have worked closely with Elaine, our founder for over a decade! 70% of our vendors are women-owned and operated businesses. We choose small batch production which means there is little to no waste from excess products being manufactured. We pride ourselves in working with a tight-knit community of makers in South Korea who produce high quality products. Our makers are expert craftspeople who have the finest attention to detail and decades of experience in the jewelry industry.
In 2021 partnered with a manufacturer in Thailand who is passionate about conscious production, giving back to their community and empowering women. They encourage volunteer work, donate profits, food and daily essentials to local charities. During Covid-19 they set up a community pantry to help locals who had lost their jobs to be able to provide food for their families. 73% of our makers are women. They are proud to support International Women's Day (March 8th) and October Breast Cancer Awareness month through special initiatives in the workplace. Their factory aims to be 75% solar-powered by 2025.
In 2021 we created a collection in our hometown, Vancouver, Canada. With over 40 years of experience in the jewelry industry, we're proud to be working alongside some of the most experienced makers here in Vancouver, Canada. Producing part of this collection in our hometown not only improves transparency, but it greatly reduces our carbon footprint required for shipping pieces from overseas.
As we grow our network of makers, we will continue to prioritize high ethical standards as well as transparency into materials and practices used. We will continue to align with other businesses that value sustainability.
Brass has an inherent low carbon footprint to produce compared to other metals. Being composed of copper and zinc, brass produces approx 2-4 tonnes of CO2e/tonne metal to produce (compared to mined silver which is 520 tonnes of CO2e/tonne metal).
Recycled silver produces approx 14.5 tonnes of CO2e/tonne metal. Using recycled silver cuts down CO2 emissions by ⅔ versus mined silver.
The metal supplier we work with purchases silver from previously owned jewelry, industrial metals, and electronics components globally, but mostly located in Thailand. The unwanted precious metal is then refined through a process of scrap refining technique to purify the metal, and then transformed into new silver in the form of casting grains. This regenerated silver can then be re-casted and made into new silver jewelry again. All the metal scrap created from the factory are recycled back into the system, creating no waste. A filtering system collects dust particles of precious metals, so they can be reused again.
Responsibly Sourced Silver
When recycled silver is not an option, our demi-fine collection utilizes responsibly sourced silver instead. Our silver refiner supplier is listed on the LBMA's (London Bullion Market Association) Good Delivery List - the global authority on precious metals. They are also certified members of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).
END OF LIFE:
As part of our goal to create a more sustainable business, we’re exploring ways to design a full lifecycle for our products. On Earth Day 2022 we launched the Full Circle Artist Program; an all-encompassing collaboration that recycles old jewelry by turning it into something new. Through this program, our goal is to keep our jewelry out of the landfill and to inspire art, creativity and dialogue around sustainability.
To do this, we are collaborating with a Canadian artist who will incorporate our jewels into a unique piece of art. This work of art will be auctioned online this Fall with full proceeds being donated to our tree planting partner EcoDrive.
Learn more about Full Circle (and participate by recycling your well-loved pieces) here.
Along with creating an end of life plan for plated brass jewelry that is no longer wearable, we are continuing to explore the development of products that are made of sustainably sourced precious metals that would be everlasting pieces of jewelry.
Cellulose is a material that we select to use over plastic in many of our jewelry styles and hair accessories. Cellulose is made from wood pulp and is biodegradable. The David Suzuki foundation highlights it as a great alternative to plastics. As we expand our product offering we will continue to carefully consider the environmental impacts of materials used and always prioritize biodegradable, recycled and low CO2 options. We'll continue to seek partnerships with makers and manufacturers who share the same values and offer transparency into their practices to ensure that what we produce is rooted in sustainability throughout its life cycle.
How it started:
•A partnership in 2017 that prioritized creating opportunities for empowering women.
• A close knit community of small batch makers in South Korea making all of our jewelry.
• An approach to business operations and practices that prioritizes minimizing waste.
How it's going:
• A team of 9 engaged employees paid, at minimum, a fair living wage.
• Over $12K donated to different organizations focused on improving health and well being or gender equality.
• Completely Carbon Neutral as of 2021
• A new product collection that uses recycled materials.
Where we're headed in 2022:
• Launching our Employee Ambassador Give Back Program to pledge 1% of profits.
• Migrating to a smaller ecommerce shipping box to reduce materials waste for online orders.
• The debut of our Lover's Tempo Full Circle Artist program
• Use only shipping supplies made from recycled materials.
We're planting the seed for a more sustainable Lover's Tempo and will continue to care for and cultivate those seeds as they grow. Sustainability is a journey, not a destination and as we accomplish our goals, we will continue to seek knowledge to discover the next step on this path. We've got ideas, but we bet you do too.
If you have anything to contribute to our approach to sustainability, we'd love to hear from you!
Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.