A long-time advocate of ethical and environmentally friendly design and a self-confessed “rock geek”, Melissa Joy Manning is carving a unique path through her industry. We sat down with the designer to discuss balancing ethical principles with growing a global brand.
Melissa Joy Manning has placed the environment and ethics at the forefront of her brand’s ethos since its inception in 1997. Manning says: “As an artist inspired by nature and community it would be disingenuous of me not to honour either.” From design to sourcing and production, each step in the process of creating a Melissa Joy Manning piece is carefully considered.
In a nutshell, Manning maintains a: “Zero waste standard while adhering to green production practices by making each piece in our California studio, jewellery is hand made to order using 100% recycled metals purchased from certified manufacturers and we buy our stones directly from mine owners.” They are also as committed in head office, using only “recycled paper, soy ink and responsible electricity”, plus, every box shipped is carbon offset.
"For me, being an artist is living an authentic life true to my beliefs while expressing my ethos through my work."
It sounds exhausting, but for Melissa these practices are inherent in her business philosophy: “We’ve become more sustainable as we’ve grown,” she explains.
This holistic approach extends to her design philosophy too: “I’m a total rock geek so when working with gems it’s my intent to let them speak for themselves – I’m just giving the stones life above ground.”
"It is our goal to lead the way in ethical business practices and we continue to find new ways to lessen our impact on the environment while providing living working wages."
So what’s next for this pioneering brand? Aside from modelling the ceiling of her NYC boutique after our very own gilded version in the beauty hall, Manning is partnering with a major university on a greenhouse gas emission survey, and is “excited about the industry’s commitment to both environmental and social responsibility. The need to change is immediate, and as an industry we have to work together to design and develop standards that protect not only the planet but each other.”
Join Melissa Joy Manning in-store from 13 - 14 October. Find out more