Shopping With Soul members and sustainability - Sarah Bonner from Bon Design
Sustainability and environmental impact is something that is becoming increasingly and urgently important for customers to consider when they are making buying choices. At Crafty Fox Market, we’re proud to say that many of our Shopping With Soul members have either founded their creative businesses on sustainable principles or have adapted their working practices to be more environmentally minded as their products have progressed.
In the second of our members’ story series examining sustainability, we meet Sarah Bonner from Bon Design. Sarah has recently joined our Shopping With Soul directory with her beautiful range of ceramics and prints and it was great to hear more from her about the importance of the environment for her business.
I create handmade, highly detailed prints and ceramics inspiring the botanical in urban life. My work takes inspiration from nature and the outdoors and has been created as a medium for calm and clarity. Painting and creating pottery is a method of mindfulness, and each piece is created with a sense of peacefulness and is intended to be a beautiful addition to the contemporary home.
All of my work is sustainable, with each piece being ethically sourced; my designs are printed on recycled high-quality paper and packaged in a biodegradable sleeve. The ceramics are made from an earthenware clay; which takes less energy to fire, and hand-painted with lead-free slips and glazes.
Was sustainability a consideration for you when you first conceived and started your business, or was this something which evolved over time?
Sustainability has always been a consideration for me, however when I first started out I needed to test materials, and I really had no idea how amazing quality recycled paper could be. So, I started with printing on a high-quality textured paper to begin with and then once I researched into recycled materials and local companies, found an even better paper that is 100% recycled. My ceramics have always been sustainable in the way that they are made; there is so little wastage in making ceramics, as you can recycle and re-use the leftover clay.
To what extent do you think the sustainable nature of your business is important to your customers?
I think that a lot of people want to be more sustainable, especially with how much we impact have on our environment day to day. If makers can minimise their impact on the environment, even in a small way I think that customers appreciate that.
Has there been a financial impact, whether positive or negative, on making your business more sustainable or environmentally conscious?
It will always impact a business slightly to be more sustainable; my margins are higher with my prints being on recycled paper for example. However, I feel that for the long term and for me to be true to what I want from my practice – to be environmentally conscious is the only way I would want to be. I feel that small batch making and handmade items should be our focus for the future, away from the mass produced and mass-made throw away culture that has been prevalent recently.
What has been the most fulfilling thing about making your business more sustainable?
The most fulfilling thing has been to be true to the core values of my business, and these are the values that are true to myself and what I would like to achieve too. Sustainability is core value of my business; from the method of making of creating small-scale batch made ceramic pieces that are hand-built, to creating prints from my original paintings on recycled paper with biodegradable packaging. I really feel strongly about the values of my brand and I think that they are so important as they link very strongly with being environmental and loving nature and the outdoors and are synonymous with being mindful and connected with nature.