We feel lucky that we get to do what we love. It's hard work, but immensely satisfying. We like beautiful things and creating them in a responsible and mindful manner makes them even more precious to us. Here's how we make changes to contribute where we can:
We maintain all casting and assembly work in Canada and have been upcycling vintage & deadstock components in our jewellery from the start. Whenever there is excess that we are no longer using, component overstock is made available for sale in our store to other budding designers or donated to a local charity.
All raw materials for Tamara Steinborn Jewellery are 100% North American made. We save all silver polishings, filings, and other scrap for refining and use reclaimed silver in casting.
Our re-used shipping boxes and packaging aren't pretty, but that's how we've gone 20 years without using a single new box. Besides, it's what's on the inside that counts :)
Sustainable Retail Store
Canadian and Artisan Made
At least half of the jewellery in our store is designed and created in our own studio, We also create a rotating selection of non-GMO soy candles and stained glass jewellery and home decor using lead free solder under the Summon Design Studio label. We carry a large selection of jewellery from small scale producers, as well as from larger jewellery design companies that support in-house design and production and/or fair trade.
Working with vintage and upcycled stock is part of our regular design and purchasing mandate. As well as selling vintage items, our displays and fixtures are created using salvaged materials such as barn wood & wood pallets that we take apart and rebuild over and over again. All usable packing papers and bubble wrap/peanuts received in shipments are used for wrapping breakables in the store or for shipping from the studio. As a result, we have not used new packing paper or bubble wrap from day one. All paper, bottles/cans, printer cartridges, electronics and light bulbs are recycled.
When you wear a piece of Früg jewellery, you know that you are supporting causes that we believe in:
Operation Come Home/ BeadWorks is a social enterprise offering street-involved and at-risk youth a safe and creative space to design, craft, and sell one of a kind jewellery. So far, we estimate that we have donated enough beads, chain, components and findings to fill about 40 large shoe boxes. The jewellery is sold at their re:Purpose storefront at 150 Gloucester St. in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Beadworks uses jewellery and art as a means to offer youth a supportive space, a creative outlet, a healthy meal, social opportunities, business skills and is often used as a stepping stone for youth to access other supports and services.
Kindred Kats Each year, our brick and mortar store, Kindred Shop + Studio, hosts a fundraiser and adoption event for an animal rescue organization. In 4 years, we have helped raise approx. $8000- for cat rescue, money which goes to cover vet bills and other urgent needs.
Community Focus We are active members of the neighbourhood in which we do business, working with and supporting our neighbours to create a better and more creative community for businesses and residents alike. In 2019, Früg co-owner, Nathan Dubo, became a volunteer board member of the not-for-profit Wellington West Business Improvement Association, and chair of the Marketing and Events Committee - representing over 500 area businesses and commercial property owners. Our BIA's mandate is to "work to build community around a thriving commercial mainstreet district, and to help create the conditions for businesses to succeed and give back to our neighbours." If you're in Ottawa, be sure to check out the great, independent shops along Wellington St. West (Wellington Village + Hintonburg)