Intentionally choosing sustainable and ethical brands is an important part of my personal life as well as what we promote here at Flourish! We believe that we can impact change not only in the industry but also in people’s lives through the brands we support. We hope you enjoy this new monthly Sustainable Brand Feature highlighting brands that are making a difference!
This month we are featuring Lane & Lanae, a sustainable and ethical jewelry brand with the dreamiest designs!
Sustainable Brand Feature: Lane & Lanae
Q: What drove you to build a jewelry brand that was sustainable? Was there something in your life that triggered that passion?
I have been surrounded by the fashion industry my whole life. My father was in fashion retail, as was his father for many years. In high school I had my first job working for our family’s local jeweler. Since then I have worked for many different designers, brands & areas within fashion & the jewelry world. The common theme I continued to see in each area can be simply put into two words, waste & abundance.
After a short career in the fashion public relations world where I specialized in jewelry, I knew things could be done differently and I wanted to try to prove.
In 2015 I sat down with my sister, Melissa and together we agreed that we wanted to create something meaningful. Something that wouldn’t produce more meaningless waste that would so easily be discarded. But rather, something lasting, something that holds connection. Connection to family & community. Connection to our planet.
Q: What’s your biggest lesson learned in building a brand and sustainable business model?
Our world is ever changing—it takes time for people to catch on. Not only the consumers, but the manufactures and everyone in between. It is definitely a challenge and sometimes it seems like we are the only ones who truly care about the little things, like making sure our packaging can be recycled or is compostable. So I’d say the best word to use would be, patience, in all areas. Pushing forward with what we know to be the right way and having faith that everyone else will see it and understand the importance.
Q: Tell us something about building a sustainable and ethical brand that most people don’t know.
Everything costs us more to produce and simply function as a company. Our markups are quite different than most jewelry and fashion brands because of this. We are constantly trying to find ways to remain competitive in the market while not compromising our values as a conscious brand.
Q: What are the biggest barriers to creating a sustainable business model and how can this be reflected in the price?
Not only do our materials and labor cost more to produce and procure but everything down to the tape we seal your package with does too. We spend a lot of time researching and finding the best and most ethical options to bring to our customers. While most brands can easily head to a mega-site for thousands of manufacturers from China all running their factories the same unconscious way, we simply cannot. This kind of business model does not resonate with us and would not bring us the peace of mind we get each day taking the slower and not always easy route.
Q: What products are you most excited about right now? Anything new on the horizon?
We recently launched something new and exciting, a Healing Hand Oil crafted in La Jolla using organic ingredients sourced locally here in California and our neighboring state, Arizona. Part of what has lead us into a more conscious way of creating comes from personal experience with autoimmune issues that has forced me to slow down. Working with jewelry, my hands are always on display. Unfortunately, one of the symptoms of my autoimmune issues affects my skin; sucking out all moisture and creating terrible dry patches. I found myself covering up my hands often and not wanting to show off my jewelry creations because it brought to the spotlight what was going on with my body and my health. For years I searched for a lotion or oil that was not only moisturizing and healing but also clean. Free from those toxic chemicals that make my symptoms so much worse. So I partnered with a wonderful local clean skincare expert to create an organic, locally sourced hand oil that can be used on the whole body. It moisturizes, revitalizes and rejuvenates the skin using natural remedies from our planet. Our earth truly has so much to offer.
Q: How do you incorporate sustainability in your life outside of jewelry?
I think I might take this above and beyond in my house. We recently installed a compost in our backyard so we do not waste one single thing in our household. I also reuse as much as possible and have slowly over the past few years phased out using any single use plastics as well as anything “throw away”. I have also become a huge non-toxic and green living fan. Ever since my health declined and I was pushed to find natural ways to heal, I have found so many wonderful clean household & beauty products whose values seem to reflect ours at Lane & Lanae. By bringing Lane & Lanae’s values into my home, I know I am doing my best in my modern life to respect our planet.
Q: What predictions would you make about the sustainable fashion and jewelry industry for the future? Or sustainability in general?
Things are changing, more and more quickly now. I already see so many major fashion labels making small shifts towards sustainability. My hope is that we can awaken the consumer and each of us as individuals starts to live differently. If we can slow down as a society to allow for quality over quantity, I know we will be set up for success long term.
Q: What excites you to wake up and do the work each day?
Not only am I able to be creative in my designs and ideas for our jewelry but, I am able to mold and shape a company I started from complete scratch into something that can empower and guide like minded people to a more conscious way of life. I truly believe in being fully aware of the ways in which we live and making decisions for each day to better not only our own lives, but our communities and world.
I hope you enjoy connecting with Lane & Lanae!