In a world of fast fashion, throw away clothing, horrible working environments and an earth that is running out of resources, there are ways we can fix this, there are individuals trying to change all this.
Small changes in our everyday lives can make such a difference. Now I understand a lot of people think that their small change won’t make a difference, but if everyone made a small change, then this would equal a big change. And I’m telling you folks a big change is what is needed.
These small changes can include things like, making ourselves aware of our everyday waste, changing from plastic to glass, using a reusable coffee cup instead of a throw away one, and buying less and buying better, what ever it may be, clothing, jewellery, etc It’s about making conscientious decisions.
Today I want to introduce you to Louise Kane, a jewellery designer specializing in upcycling jewellery pieces. Louise is one of these individuals trying to make a change.
I first met Louise at a coffee morning years ago organized by the lovely Laura Rutherford, social influencer aka that mummy smile. We chatted about sustainability, what it means to us and how we can make a difference, etc, etc, etc. Since our first meeting we have been following and supporting each others businesses.
After working in the Luxury Jewellery Industry for many years, Louise saw the unpleasantries of this industry and decided it was time to make a change. She went out on her own to start Readorn London, beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces made from entirely from other jewellery pieces. Her work is truly stunning.
I had the chance to have a lovely chat to her about her business, what sustainability means to her and how we can all make a difference.
Read on to found out more.
1. TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
I’m a self taught designer maker based in East London. My background is in luxury jewellery. I started my career as an assistant buyer on the jewellery desk for a TV shopping channel before moving onto a gold and diamond importers in London’s jewellery quarter, Hatton Garden.
2. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START READORN LONDON?
This is 2 fold. Working with luxury jewellery exposed me to the dark side of this lucrative industry, I have a strong moral compass so learning about the realities of mining precious metals and diamonds left me feeling extremely uncomfortable and changing the industry from within someone else’s business was impossible for me. I also battled with anxiety and depression in my early 20’s which prompted me to start making my own jewellery as an escape from my mind. The repetitive nature of making is quite meditative, I found it therapeutic and it really helped me focus. These things combined found me leaving my job in luxury jewellery and eventually starting out on my own with ethics and sustainability at the forefront of my business.
3. WHEN UPCYCLING AND DESIGNING NEW PIECES WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FROM?
Everywhere! I’m inspired by everything. Around 90% of my materials are sourced via my jewellery upcycling service so the materials I receive often dictate how a design is finished. I have a sketch book which I release ideas from my head into and I collect inspiring photos from catwalks to nature which I refer back to if I need to get the creative juices flowing.
4. TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW COLLECTION.
I’ve just started a fun collaborative mini collection with @tatty_moo who is a zero waste textile designer. She has designed and made a selection of hats using deadstock and upcycled fabric, it’s my job to embellish the hats using charms and chains that I’ve received into my jewellery upcycling service. They really are the epitome of zero waste design. Generally speaking I don’t work on collections, it’s quite a challenge to get a distinct look from the eclectic range of materials I receive into my jewellery upcycling service so I tend to design piece by piece, which works well for the slow fashion movement because it goes against the status quo of seasonal trends.
5. TELL US ABOUT YOUR UPCYCLING SERVICE. HOW DOES THIS WORK?
I launched my jewellery upcycling service to deal with the waste produced by broken fast fashion jewellery, this area of the fashion industry is so easily over looked.
To upcycle your jewellery with me simply -
1. Fill out my short online form
2. Send me your jewellery
3. You receive a discount voucher for your good deed
4. You treat yourself to a new piece of upcycled Jewellery using your voucher
5. I refurbish or upcycle your old pieces putting the materials back into circulation
I recently upscaled the jewellery upcycling service by launching the @ReJewelCollective and collaborting with designer makers over seas to offer this service internationally. It‘s currently deployed in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Scotland and of course, England. You can visit www.rejewelcollective.comto find out more.
6. WHO ARE YOU FAVOURITE DESIGNERS?
I’m such a huge fan of independent designers, so much heart goes into their work. There are so many I admire but at the moment I’m really enjoying the work by @Julia_thompson_jewellery @mahlaclothing @dropclothclothing and @eatingthegoober
7. WHAT DOES SUSTAINABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
To me sustainability is about living in a way that not only preserves our resources but replenishes them. In order to do this we need to ask ourselves what it is that we are looking to sustain and then work on managing our desires to achieve this. We live in a planet of finite resources that we need to preserve for future generations.
8. FOR SOMEONE THAT IS TRYING TO BECOME A MORE CONSCIOUS BUYER, WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR THEM?
Look for brands who are really transparent about their supply chains and ethics. There are a lot of buzzwords flying around the sustainable fashion industry and they aren’t all encompassing. Organic doesn’t mean a product is sustainable and eco-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean ethical – know your terminology! Following educating accounts on instagram like @slowfashionchallenge and @fash_rev is really helpful.
9. IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANYONE WHO WOULD THIS BE? WHY?
Pippa Small, I adore her jewellery. Her designs are stunningly beautiful and her ethical practices are admirable. I love how she works with artisans from around the world truly appreciating cultures rather than appropriating.
10. LONDON IS AN AMAZING CITY AND FULL OF COOL CAFES, GALLERIES, ETC. WHERE DO YOU GO FOR INSPIRATION AND WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES IN LONDON.
Gosh! So much to choose from! I love the Curve Gardens which is a green oasis right in the heart of Dalston. It’s a great place to chill in the city with the kids, they sell great homemade plant based food, craft beer and wine. The Barbican center never disappoints – there’s always something innovative and creative going on there!
11. FOR SOMEONE THAT IS WANTING TO START UP THEIR OWN BUSINESS, WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THEM?
Do you research and know your market. If sustainability isn’t at the core of your business you’re unlikely to survive. Being resourceful is the future.
12. ANY NEWS? OR SOMETHING INTERESTING YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE US WITH?
I recently designed a necklace from the scoops found in baby formula – yes really! What started out as a bit of laugh actually turned into a pretty fun wearable piece and sparked great discussion around the waste produced in the industry.
Minimal Vagina Earrings gifted. I’m totally in love with these earrings and I love everything they stand for.