Sustainable Jewelry You'll Feel Good About
Sustainable Jewelry You'll Feel Good About
We are living in a strange time in which half of the world believes in climate change and human rights and the other half pretends to be blind to these two factors. It’s a well known fact that the fashion industry is the second biggest polluting industry after the oil industry and that most fast-fashion products are produced under inhumane working conditions. So, what do you do when you love fashion but also love humans and the earth? You shop from socially conscious companies like Reigning Grey.
We first came across them via Instagram during our “Women Supporting Women” campaign and we immediately fell in love with their products and most importantly what they stand for. We felt the need to introduce you to the woman behind the jewelry creations. Her name is Torey and she’s an inspiration:
LNNY: Tell us about your self and how your brand came about.
Torey: I hail from Philadelphia/South Jersey and have been in NY for just over 6 years. I’ve always been creative and thought I wanted to be a chef when I was graduating high school but turned out fashion was the right route for me.
The brand came out of literally having zero space to continue doing in house custom production when I moved to NYC, splitting a one bedroom in Bedstuy with my best friend six years ago. Once I found my work groove of retail management, accessories started as a side outlet and eventually lead to me forming a LLC two years ago.
In my small amount of downtime I love to swim, dance and really enjoy the social scene of restaurants and bars of Brooklyn and the city.
LNNY: How does Reigning Grey support women and encourages inclusivity?
Torey: Reigning Grey has always been powered by two veins: female empowerment and inclusivity. I wanted the brand to have an emotional meaning and impact the wearer. I want the person wearing the brand to leave the house in the morning feeling amazing ready to raise their heads a little higher.
My current goal is to work with women who are ready to take things to the next level. Programs like the Female Founder Collective lead by Rebecca Minkoff, Polina Veskler and Alexandra Waldman (which we’ve recently gotten into) will help create platforms to better serve our communities both socially and economically.
LNNY: What is the Reigning Grey Rework recycling program all about?
Torey: The RGR program was one of those light bulb ideas. I kept passing my old jewelry that hangs on my wall when I would leave my apartment thinking, “What can I do with this?” I still loved these pieces but they weren’t part of my brand. It got me thinking, “how many of us have things just sitting there we no longer use?” Moving into 2019 one of my goals was to make strides towards helping the environment and create less waste. What if we created a slightly lower line but kept the idea of delivering truly unique product? The program is designed to recycle, renew and reign. After signing up online, you’ll receive a prepaid shipping label where you can donate any old or broken jewelry you no longer want. We then rework into a new piece, name it after the donator and tag them in all processes from concept to celebrity photo shoot. You also will receive a 20% off coupon code just for donating, that you can use towards any purchase online as our thanks for helping create sustainability strides.
LNNY: How do you feel about the fashion industry at the moment being saturated with fast-fashion? Specifically the jewelry aspect of it and their non-sustainable approach.
Torey: I hate fast fashion and I do understand affordability. I think we are lacking a major opportunity in the educational piece for consumers. Manufacturing in America is difficult and expensive but the louder our voice is the more we can help lead towards a better future. Thankfully, I think we are making some progress towards that but I do think we have a long way to go. It’s super important to not just like something on Instagram or write “need” under an image. We need to think beyond bargain shopping and use our purchasing power to reinvest in a better future for our country.
LNNY: As a female entrepreneur, what advice would you give to any woman trying to start their own business?
Torey: It’s everything you hear it is and more. You have highs and lows all day and it’s important to create support systems around you and your business. Not everyone will understand but the ones who do keep close. Set up healthy habits because the stress is real. The groups of women meeting up and networking near you are flourishing so don’t feel alone. Do some research, reach out and get a mentor. And a big one I have to remind myself on is things take serious time so be sure to take a minute to reflect back on those goals you set and crushed weeks and months ago. We gone be alrighttttt!
LNNY: What are some tools you use to find inspiration and manage your life?
Spotify for music and business
Podcasts: current favorite is Jenna Kutcher Goal Digger
Headspace for morning meditation
Instagram for networking/connecting with other women owned businesses
Family and friends for support
NYC for constant inspiration
The next time you’re out shopping remember you have two options: you can shop from the retailer that only cares about money and not how their clothes are made or what impact they have on the environment or you can support small businesses like Reigning Grey who are run by inspiring women who dream of helping others while creating fashion that cares about how their products are made and the environment. The choice is yours.