Our Sustainability Progress


We are always working to improve Miss Milly’s sustainability. Here’s some info on our progress and plans

Growing up wearing hand-me-downs from her older cousin and with a father who often asked why lights were on in unoccupied rooms, our founder, Sarah, has waste avoidance ingrained so the ongoing endeavour to make Miss Milly more sustainable is a positively accepted challenge.

We approach sustainability with a prioritised action list of reducing where we can, followed by reusing and finally, recycling. And we are sharing our actions with you in a format that shows what we have already introduced or actioned, what we are currently working on and, with full transparency, what we are struggling with.

In Spring 2022, Miss Milly proudly took part in the inaugural Small Business Britain ‘Sustainability Basics’ course working with Small99, Sustainable Pathways and Oxford Brookes University, and would heartily recommend it to all small businesses as a great resource and network for information and ideas.

What have we done?

Reduce

  • We have reduced the number of manufacturers we work with to three and all of these are located in the same city so that we can consolidate logistics where possible.
  • We import stock by sea rather than air whenever possible.
  • We have not used any polyester in our scarves for a few years now.
  • We have moved to a new integrated website, ordering and bookkeeping system, which  greatly reduces the amount of paper and ink we use.
  • Majority of plastic jewellery packaging and scarf packaging was compostable. Having learned that home composting is only possible with a high heat source unavailable to most households, we have switched back to packaging that can be recycled with soft plastics at larger supermarkets as we feel this is more likely to happen.
  • The warehouse uses DPD and Royal Mail for parcel delivery, the two top scoring courier businesses in the UK in terms of environmental impact.
  • Replaced standard jiffy bags with FSC approved Jiffy Green ones.
  • Replaced standard grip seal bags with oxo-biodegradable ones.
  • Cycle to local meetings where possible instead of driving.
  • Office heating is turned down or off and extra layers encouraged.
  • Turning office sockets off at the wall overnight.
  • Calculated our digital footprint to help us see the impact of wasteful emails in particular.
  • All waste paper printed on one side is reused for notes.
  • All cardboard boxes are reused where possible.
  • Grip seal bags are reused until they are no longer fit for purpose.
  • The findings and chains from otherwise broken jewellery are kept to repair other broken pieces.
  • Some of our broken jewellery is returned to the supplier for repair or reuse.


Recycle

  • All paper and cardboard is recycled after being reused if possible.
  • All paper with confidential data is shredded and recycled.
  • We have changed gift packaging supplier to one that uses FSC certified paper with all products being recyclable after use.
  • We suggest that trade customers receiving faulty scarves (i.e., with a pull or snag) in their deliveries donate them to charity or sell cheaply rather than throwing them away.
  • Some broken jewellery is donated to our local primary school for art and craft projects.

What are we doing?

Reduce

  • The Covid 19 pandemic has reduced our overseas travel to zero since June 2019 and once we can travel again, we will be halving our trips to visit suppliers from twice a year to once.

Reuse

  • Dispatching all retail order jewellery in gift boxes with the hope that they will be kept for storing the jewellery and lengthening its life.


Recycle

  • Educating trade customers that most of our jewellery and scarf packaging is recyclable.
  • Replacing our grip seal bags with oxo biodegradable products.

 

Miss Milly is currently in carbon debt and working with Make It Wild to calculate our carbon emissions and offset these by planting trees in Yorkshire. We have no intention of greenwashing and recognise that offsetting is not a solution in itself but is a positive step that we are able to make whilst working on emission reduction.

We are also in the process of moving our payment provider to Stripe and will be looking at their Stripe Climate project, where users donate a percentage of sales to emerging carbon removal technologies.

What are we struggling with?

  • Getting information from most of our UK and overseas suppliers about their practices and sustainability data, and encouraging them to work more sustainably.
  • Getting information on more sustainable materials for our products that can be sourced by our suppliers, and that is before we even consider the cost impact.
  • Finding out how to sustainably dispose of compostable and biodegradable plastics in bulk.
  • The realisation that home compostable packaging requires high heat to biodegrade and therefore isn’t a great solution. It can also contaminate recyclable materials if disposed of with them. So we feel we’re back to square one with the product packaging and will continue to look for a replacement for plastic sleeves.

BE PART OF OUR JOURNEY


Thank you so much, I'll absolutely be recommending you. These are gifts but I'll be back for myself soon too.
Happy Customer
Absolutely thrilled to bits, the necklace is the perfect match to a dress I bought recently. Can't wait to wear it!
Happy Customer
Where have I been all your life! My brooch is amazing; every bit as good as the internet photo and then some!
Happy Customer
The contents of my beautifully wrapped parcel are absolutely gorgeous and the speed of service was outstanding!
Happy Customer
Just to say thank you not only for a beautiful product but outstanding service. Will recommend and return.
Happy Customer

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