The Ethical Practices of Bar Jewellery

Worn by Meghan Markle and Emma Watson, the designer Sophie McKay of Bar Jewellery tells us about how to be sustainable during the lockdown

Sophie, how are you facing the lockdown? As Founder of the London based BAR Jewellery, a minimal jewellery brand that is sold internationally and worn by Meghan Markle and Emma Watson, I well understand the issues that small business owners are facing right now. Alongside this I also consult for fashion brands as a Womenswear Designer. When the lockdown approached, I knew immediately that the way I treated my staff and suppliers would be key. These people have allowed the brand to thrive and are key to its future success. Having time to talk in depth about ways we can collaborate and improve has been so important. We have been talking back and forth with suppliers about sustainable packaging solutions for example, sharing information and bouncing ideas off each other to reach mutually beneficial solutions. More importantly than anything else, it has allowed me to see the people I deal with day to day on a more personal level, rather than just their normal work persona, I think this deeper connection will really improve how we collaborate when we return to work 'as normal'.

You say that sustainability is a way to approach business. Will anything change in the way to approach your work after this emergency? The only thing that will change, will be that we will have an even deeper focus on sustainability and ethical practise as this has been vital to our success so far. I think that as our customers priorities are changing due to the pandemic, they will appreciate this approach even more than before. We are already taking this time to look at every aspect of the business and making changes now or putting targets in place for how we can improve in the future. Aiming to be sustainable or ethical is an ongoing process and we are constantly learning from those around us and our customers.

Which is your priority to reach your clients, and what are you doing to keep a tight bond with them? Having customers ordering from us during this difficult time has meant even more than ever before. We know it is a hard time for everyone right now and so their support is so encouraging. We are focussing on storytelling on our instagram, giving our customers a deeper insight into how we work and the processes that go into creating the pieces. With our stockists, we are constantly talking with them and giving as much information as possible to ensure they are able to communicate our message to their customers and that we can support them through this time.

Do you think communication can help products to survive? While we can't connect with people right now in person, people are more than ever looking for a personal approach and we hope to connect with people by being as open, honest and transparent as possible. I think that there will be a shift in the way that people interact with brands due to the pandemic and that connection will be key to future success.

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