TO OUR PLANET AND TO EACH OTHER
Now more than ever, we all have a duty to fight global climate change. No one small step alone makes a difference, but a multitude of small steps can equal a leap. When we talk about sustainability, the first thing that may come to your mind is eliminating single use plastic, using more renewable energy, and “clean” production of goods. But that cannot be enough. The three main principles of sustainability are; economy, society, and environment. For that reason, we chose to try and tackle all three.
When starting Exact Change, we knew that we had to choose specific materials that are environmentally friendly and would try to lower our carbon footprint. Another aspect we wanted to ensure was that we were only working with fair trade businesses to ensure that we are maximizing sustainability.
Please read a bit about our materials, what makes them sustainable, their benefits, and where they come from. We try to be as transparent as possible to assure our customers that we truly care about bringing them products that we believe in.
While Stainless steel can not and does not break down and is a man-made (not natural) material, it is, however, endlessly, infinitely and 100% recyclable. This means that it can be melted down and reused over and over again without sacrificing its quality. It is an extremely durable, strong, non-reactive, and corrosion-resistant material, which is why it is most popularly used for surgical instruments, kitchen utensils, building infrastructure, etc. But is it sustainable?
Let's talk about the only two ways stainless steel is made. The main material to make steel is iron, which is a chemical we have a copious amount of on earth, the fourth most common element after oxygen, silicon, and aluminum. To originally make “new” (not recycled) stainless steel is to melt together in an electric furnace the raw materials, the main one being iron ore. We don't like this method, It produces a stupid amount of CO2 emissions and requires a lot of mining of these raw materials. If we were going on this alone, no, stainless steel would not be considered a sustainable material. Luckily for us (and for the environment), over 80% of all new stainless steel is made the second way, which is by using scrap/ recycled steel and electricity. Producing SS this way significantly reduces CO2 emissions and is considered very safe for the staff of these factories as this manufacturing technique causes no adverse health effects.
Additionally, SS does not release any toxins or harmful substances when it comes in contact with most other elements, making it environmentally neutral. This is very important to note, for while we would love to have 100% of SS be recycled, realistically only about 85% of it actually gets recycled. Therefore, in the event, it does make its way to the landfill, forest, or ocean, as we know it is not biodegradable, at least this way we know that it will not cause a toxic run-off and affect any nearby wildlife, aside from just being there.
When it comes down to it, when considering the most common materials globally, i.e. plastic, concrete, etc. stainless steel is one of the most sustainable. But don't just take our word for it, click below to do your own research.
As we strive to not only be an eco-friendly brand but also a socially conscious brand, we were sure to get our gemstone beads from a responsible wholesaler whom we believe in.
Intrinsic Trading Co. practices sustainable development, responsible manufacturing, and fair trade. While mining the gemstones in many different counties, they ensure that they are also giving back to the land as much as they take, and protecting nearby wildlife and water sources, leaving it as untouched as possible. They prioritize safe working environments as well as treating and paying their employees fairly.
Click below to learn more about Intrinsic Trading Co. and their contribution to sustainable practices.