The Transition from Jewelry to Sustainability: Our Story

The Transition from Jewelry to Sustainability: Our Story

Sustainability & Style: The Evolution of an Indian Jewelry Company

In the intricate world of Indian culture, few things hold as much sentimental value as our jewelry and traditional garments. From an early age, I (like many other little girls) became entranced by the world of shimmering jhumkas, colorful bangles, and delicate haars. My fondest memories are tinted with hues of gold and silver, playing dress-up with my mother's cherished pieces, each a narrative of a different occasion—a wedding, a sangeet, or a festive celebration. This prompted a venture of my own: Naina and Noor as an Indian jewelry company, sourcing handcrafted jhumkas, bangles, maang tikkas, you name it.

But as the years progressed, I noticed a rather disheartening trend. The back of my closet started filling up with once-worn garments—beautiful saris, lehengas, and shararas that I no longer knew what to do with, but couldn’t bring myself to throw out. These were pieces that had seen grand occasions, celebrations, and were a part of deep memories. Yet, their limited wearability meant they ended up lying forgotten.

 A photograph of 6 gold bangles sitting together in a brown wooden bowl.

 

The Birth of a Sustainable Vision

It wasn't just about the space in my closet (and trust me, I desperately needed it), but as I went deeper, I realized there was a pressing issue at hand. The growing trend of buying new outfits for every occasion contributing significantly to the mounting waste in our landfills. India produces 62 million tons of waste and textiles make up a substantial percentage of this. This is disproportionately impacting lower income communities who don’t have the resources for adequate waste collection. With every discarded garment, we aren’t just throwing away fabric; we’re disregarding our neighbors, traditions, and our environment. 

This realization marked the evolution of my brand. I took an old garment that I hadn’t worn in years, cut it up, crafted my first scrunchie, and I kept going. Each individual garment created a beautiful, one-of-its-kind keepsake that I could reuse, again and again, and remember the fond memories that came with it. We soft-launched our "buyback program", allowing individuals to exchange their old outfits for gift cards. The response was overwhelming. It seemed I wasn’t the only one with a closet full of memories yearning for a second chance.

From a beloved jewelry company, we began our journey towards a sustainable legacy, converting once-loved garments into unique, eco-conscious accessories. This moment was an epiphany for our brand. Each vibrant pattern and texture of Indian garments has so much more to offer than a single use.

 A photograph of three scrunchies placed on a textured grey surface. The scrunchie on the left is turquoise with delicate beadwork and small floral embroideries, the one on the top right is golden with a shimmering, intricate paisley pattern, and the bottom is a dark blue color. The scrunchies appear soft and are crumpled to showcase their textures and designs.

 

A Shift in Indian Culture

The heartening part of this journey is recognizing that I'm not alone in this endeavor. There's a shift in India’s society. As newer generations come to the forefront, there's a growing consciousness about the need to be more sustainable. Young Indians are not just embracing eco-friendly lifestyles; they're championing them. We already see more and more brands turning towards eco-conscious packaging, and more awareness during festivals, weddings, and ceremonies. 

Not only do we see this on an individual level, but statistics show a rising trend around sustainability in India. With every passing year, there's an increase in eco-conscious choices made by government officials. The market for solid waste management in India is forecasted to grow 7.5% over the next 3 years, and with initiatives like the ‘Clean India Mission’, we can expect to see more environmental and public health changes in the country.

 

A half image of a place in India that's seemingly polluted with smog and smoke and the other side is clear 

 

Towards a Greener Tomorrow

Today, every accessory we create is a celebration—a blend of tradition, quality, and progress. We have embarked on a journey of zero waste, and as we transition out of jewelry, the proceeds from our remaining pieces will be channeled into nurturing and expanding our sustainable vision.

To everyone who has supported our journey so far and to those who share our dream of a more sustainable future, I extend my deepest ‘thank you’. Together, we can ensure that the stories of our traditions continue to be told, not just through our accessories but also through our actions.

 

Here's to celebrating our traditions and protecting our planet.

Back to blog

Leave a comment