The social enterprise challenging the
disposable nature of the fashion industry
EcoBling is a project that partners with Indigenous communities in rural and remote Australia to make jewellery from recycled materials once destined for the tip.
When it comes to Social Enterprise there are many options to explore. One such option is not often thought about and is frequently regarded as a member of the capitalist and consumerist machine. We're talking about the world of fashion; a world of seasonal change and constant evolution. It is a world not so different to that of social enterprise, but it is one that is present to often make money rather than change.
EcoBling saw this, they saw this and decided to take on the evolutionary and dynamic role of fashion whilst also challenging the disposable nature of the industry. EcoBling is a social enterprise project that partners with Indigenous communities in rural and remote Australia to make jewellery from recycled materials once destined for the tip. The product is good for the planet (and therefore good for people) and helps share indigenous wisdom and culture. Ecobling is a tool whereby we can celebrate and learn about our traditional custodians and it just so happens to be beautiful jewellery that everyone can enjoy as fashion and as part of a positive worldly evolution.
Associated with The One World Collective, EcoBling is focused on making a positive social and environmental change. The jewelry is made from waste materials such as old furniture and construction waste; things that might clog up landfills and contribute to an already strained eco environment. The line partners with Indigenous communities, keeping everything within Australia. Even the hands that craft the fashion are utilized from rural areas where the opportunity to engage with the many faucets of social enterprise; production, packaging, marketing, and management are all part of the process, and they are all faucets of occupation that Indigenous partners can be part of.
This does not mean though that consumers are limited in choice; they are able to browse and buy online whilst knowing that their purchases create a positive change for Australia's First Nation Peoples by helping provide jobs and by aiding in the reduction of waste spilled into our environment.
On top of providing opportunity and creating beautiful products, EcoBling also gives back to the environment. They realize that simply removing waste is not enough and as a result they focus on having a net-positive impact that relates not just to social positivity, but that has a positive environmental impact too.
What does this mean? It means that all profits go toward supporting The One World Collective as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities involved with the initiative. It gets better. The products used to help enhance the jewelry are also all organic. Even the packaging is made from recycled paper and homemade organic tapioca glue. They use an organic citrus oil as a natural stainer, all power used for production is either solar or wind, and all waste is composted.
Social Enterprise is a realm that encompasses all, even fashion. It just goes to show that you can make a difference and you can be incredibly stylish at the same time. The phrase "if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is" definitely does not apply to EcoBling. It is good, it is true, and its available today. Have a look, delve in, and go exploring.
Find out more at: theoneworldcollective.org/ecobling/
The above article by Cassie Jacobs & Alexandra MacDonald first published on impactsocialenterprise.com in 2015.