Posted by Bonne van der Ree on

Right here, right now

Bonne van der Ree
CEO and founder of BonBon Boutique...."Keeping this jolly bunch together whilst ideas fall out of my head".

17 March 2020

I needed a few days to settle my panic. The fear for my family's health, for loosing my beautiful staff and my business, left me lethargic. I tried to be present with my little 2,5 y.o. at home, to make the most out of a bad situation, to take care of myself, to 'get in touch with my creativity', but really I spent the last few days stuck to my phone, my daughter glued to cartoons on TV.

This virus has me questioning everything about our society even more. The way we treat animals and our planet. The way everything revolves around making money. The way we over-consume... To the point that we have now actually destroyed our Mother Earth. It makes me so intensely sad.

Today my mind is starting to open again. Extensive financial help will be coming from our government. I intend to use this catastrophe to turn my company in the same direction I started turning my personal life a while ago. It needs to be greener, more responsible.

In my personal life I've made a few changes in the past years that really feel good:

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ I switched to a plant based life style

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ I shop for food at the local organic market, small bulk stores and the organic supermarket. I use my own bulk bags wherever I can, this way my plastic waste has reduced dramatically.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ We go glamping somewhere in Holland. I've flown around the world so much in my life while modeling, I feel I have to counter-balance that now.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ I (almost) stopped buying clothes. I've purchased about 10 items in the past 2 years, all of them either second hand, or produced consciously and vegan ( GOAT you guys are a blessing).ย 

You might not be aware of this, but the clothing industry is more polluting than ALL air and boat traffic together!ย 

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ I swapped as many plastic items in my household and for personal care as possible for plastic and package free options. I use a shampoo bar, a regular soap bar, a menstrual cup, washable pads, bamboo toothbrush, biodegradable floss. I'm using up all the make-up I still have, recently wanted a new mascara and found one with minimal plastic (mostly paper packaging).

I've made a lot more changes, but the important thing is, I want to really put my business on the same track. We did start to at least use earth-friendly cleaning products in the past year. Responsible toilet paper (from The Good Roll), wooden and loofah dish brushes, re-usable cotton dish clothes, bulk coffee beans and teas in our own bags (from Simon Lรฉvelt).

But there is still a lot more to be improved:

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ Our biggest challenge will be reducing plastic packaging. We don't use any plastic in the orders we send out (other than maybe the cushion in the jewelry box). But ALL our materials come into our studio in small individual plastic zip locks, that are put together in a bigger zip lock and then put together in an even bigger plastic zip lock. We do try to reuse as many as we can and eventually put them with plastic recycling when they break, but actually we have a massive pile of them that we don't have a need for.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ We've signed up with Pieter Pot to have our groceries for BonBon delivered in glass jars, that are returned, cleaned and refilled by them. Can't wait for this!

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ And then our materials... I've been having some very mixed feelings about our materials lately. The gold filled we use is mostly produced in the US, with companies that try to be as green as possible (one operates solely on their own solar power!). About 80% of the gold they use is recycled, the rest responsibly mined. However, there are still some made-in-China parts and items that I feel are questionable and need further inquiry. That means we might phase out our gold filled Fine Stackers and some other of our lovely and best selling pieces.

Would you be willing to buy full gold for maybe triple the price?ย 

Hard choice.

And what about semi-precious stones... How are these mined? Would you be open for man-made stones? Or glass? Synthetic string for some of our bracelets... Natural string will wear much much quicker, so what's more sustainable?

I have a lot more questions like this that will need an answer and that might have consequences for our collection the way it is now.

Any thoughts on this from you? We appreciate all input and suggestions!

Would you feel better about our items if you knew they were fully sustainable? And would you be willing to pay extra for it?

Thanks for reading all the way through this :)

I hope it means you feel the same about these things as I do. Let's make some changes together!

Much love, Bonne

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Handmade, what does it mean

Handmade, what does it mean

Bonne van der Ree
By Bonne van der Ree

Handmade... What does handmade mean exactly? When one of our items is labeled 'handmade' it can mean a couple of things:๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ We made it from...

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