#NoondayStyle: Where Eco-Friendly Meets Fashion-Friendly
Sarah Crawford is a mom to two young girls, two old dogs, and one adventurous rabbit, and wife to an Australian who was crazy enough to move to Virginia with her. She is an animal welfare advocate and a self-proclaimed tree-hugger with a passion for clean water. Although she has spent most of her life helping animals and protecting the environment, she has come to realize that the key is empowering people. It was this awareness that motivated her to join Noonday in 2016. She loves telling a different type of story with Noonday and making an impact beyond her little corner of the world.
I’ve been a nature-loving tree-hugger for as long as I can remember. Maybe it was the memorable family vacations in the mountains, maybe it was growing up on a street where we kids didn’t have to come inside until the street lights were on, or maybe I was just born with a love for the great outdoors. It’s probably all of the above, but at any rate, I started out wanting to save the world, or at least my little corner of the world, and that still rings true today.
Sometimes making green choices is easy, but sometimes it gets a little hairy. I once attempted to create the ultimate eco-friendly nursery. Definitely hairy. I was on a budget and after lots of research I had to make quite a few compromises. I mean, I’m one of those crunchy cloth-diapering types, and the struggle was real.
One of the things I love about Noonday Collection is we make it easy to make good decisions. Noonday is a purpose driven B-corp and a member of the Fair Trade Federation, which means someone else did all the research for you. These certifications mean we are doing our part to protect people and the planet. And let’s be honest, nobody out there is thinking, “I would love a new necklace, let me find one that is as environmentally destructive as possible.” No. We are all human, and knowing the environmental impact of every product out there is just not realistic. We are all trying to do good things, so here are a few reasons why you should feel good about your purchases from Noonday.
1. Our materials are ethically sourced. Generally speaking, “ethically sourced” means it was obtained in a responsible and sustainable way. But I’m going to be a little more specific. When Noonday says one of our products is “ethically sourced” it means no living things, furry and cute or otherwise, were harmed for the sake of fashion. You will see this term used to describe our items made from animal products and that’s because we don’t kill animals just so you can have beautiful earrings. That would be unethical. My favorite ethically sourced pieces are carved from water buffalo horn in Vietnam. Water buffalo are very important in Vietnamese culture and pieces are crafted only after a family’s highly-valued water buffalo has lived a long life and gone to see his maker. RIP Buffy, and thanks for making us look so good.
2. Our partners use eco-friendly methods. Enter the “goat totes.” Two of Noonday’s best sellers are leather bags made from ethically sourced goatskin in India. But the real reason our Rustic Leather Totes and Modern Leather Totes are so beautiful and unique is the eco-friendly vegetable tanning process used by our Artisan Partners, as opposed to the chemical tanning method commonly used in the leather industry. The hides need to soak and both methods create wastewater, but by eliminating the use of chemicals like chromium and artificial dyes, craftsmen are protected and pollutants are kept out of the environment and out of water sources. Our Artisan Partners in Guatemala also reduce chemical use by boiling local leaves, berries, flowers, and bark to create natural dyes for many of our scarves.
3. Our materials are sustainably gathered. OK vegans, this one is plant-based. Our jewelry from Ecuador is made from sustainably gathered local seeds and is a much greener option than adorning yourself with a nonrenewable source like plastic. Tagua seeds, one of the types collected, resemble elephant ivory (they are actually known as “vegetable ivory” and their scientific name means “plant elephant”), but provide a readily available local alternative that saves the elephants and doesn’t contribute to deforestation. There really is no reason why you shouldn’t buy yourself a piece from Ecuador right now.
4. Our pieces are upcycled. No, they were not formerly pallets. This is even better, but I wouldn’t try to DIY. There are pieces that lived a former life as artillery shells, metal drums, and glass bottles. I really can’t pick a favorite. All of our Ethiopian jewelry is made from bullet casings that were collected from fields, melted down to create beads, and then strung into beautiful accessories. The glass beads from India are made from recycled glass. Several pieces from Haiti, like these Fringed Crescent Earrings, are made from metal oil drums (OK I lied, these are actually my favorite). It’s almost harder to find something our partners create that is not upcycled.
And it’s not just the accessories that are eco-friendly. We try to make our packaging something that customers will want to keep and reuse. Since 2011, we’ve partnered with a group of women in Rwanda to create one of a kind fabric bags that are often used to package our jewelry. It’s seriously like getting a bonus gift in the mail. Keep it for yourself or re-gift it as a gift bag.
See. Being green CAN be easy. And you don’t even have to be a self-proclaimed tree-hugger. Everyone has the power to vote with his or her dollars. It’s how you tell companies what you want and don’t want. So check out all of our handmade goodies (some of them are BRAND NEW) and throw your faves in the cart. Then give yourself a fist bump for being such a good little environmental steward!