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Showing posts with label ethics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ethics. Show all posts

Friday, March 3, 2017

Lian & Méz watches - wearable sustainability

Lian & Méz logo
Image provided and used with permission.

The watchmaker’s art is alive and well in the age of the smartphone.

That’s a bold statement to start with, but what Lian & Méz are doing with their crowdfunded sustainable watch is even more unusual. They are mixing finest German precision watchmaking with Swiss-made traditional movement and a sustainable and eco-friendly vibe. Designed to appeal to those who like to make a statement with classic jewellery while still remaining ethically sound, the Lian & Méz range has straps handmade from Piñatex pineapple leaf fibers. These fibers are a natural byproduct of pineapple farming, which gives growers another source of income alongside their fruit harvest.

The watches are a real talking point, not only because they look good, but because of their ethical strength. What’s more, they are fully customizable, with cases, dials, indices and straps available in a variety of colors. The cases are available in 36mm (ladies) or 40mm (gents) diameter with the straps sized accordingly, and the straps themselves are interchangeable. The company hopes to receive enough pledges to enter full production soon but in the meantime, if their target is met, those ordering watches by pledging money will be contacted at the end of the fundraising process to finalize their order. All watches bought through the crowdfunding campaign will come with a two year warranty.


The Kickstarter page is very detailed, with information on the history of the company and the founders’ hopes for the future. It has taken them two years to reach this stage, concentrating on the sustainability and quality aspects of their product. They are hoping for €25,000 on an all or nothing basis by the end of March 2017, and if that goal is achieved they hope to start full production of their Fifth Season range shortly afterwards, with delivery to backers over the summer. Using the hashtag #wearsustainable, founders Julian and Feramez are stressing their respect and responsibility to the natural world as well as tapping into the current interest in low-impact living.

The duo hope that their Kickstarter campaign funds will allow them to place their first large order, produce tooling, work on new designs, shake up the watch industry and support the pineapple-growing countries where they will source their Piñatex pineapple leaf fibers.

Levels of backing can start from as little as €1, but to get their hands on a watch, backers will have to choose at least the Super Early Bird offer of one watch for €139. This offers a saving of almost 50% on the projected retail price of €269. There is an option with an extra strap for €185 and an offer for couples of two watches plus extra straps for €359.

Lian & Méz has been featured in many of the leading German and English business magazines for their mix of fashionable design and ethical sourcing. In addition, Piñatex has been approved as a vegan product by PETA.

One of Lian & Méz’s watches would make a memorable gift for someone on a special birthday, or allow couples to commemorate a significant date in their lives. Interested would-be backers have until the early hours of Monday 27 March to place their pledge.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

What is a Lifestyle Job and How to Find One

Almost everyone must have dreamed at one time or another of finding that elusive job that chimes with their existing lifestyle. The one which doesn’t feel like a job; where it’s almost an embarrassment to look at the monthly paycheck because it’s so much fun just going to work every day. The one which pays well enough that daily living is comfortable and unexpected bills are not a mad scramble for the last available penny.

A Lifestyle Job for the Salary
The official definition of a lifestyle job is a job which allows the holder to live a defined level of lifestyle to which they have aspired.

Often, a lifestyle job such as this starts out as a part time franchise, independent distributorship or similar operation, run alongside a dayjob to make some extra money. It takes up a few hours a week and brings in perhaps a couple of hundred pounds a month. Many people start off looking for extra income to pay for a holiday, their children’s schooling or a credit card bill. Once they have built up a customer base of their own, the option is there for franchise holders to take their involvement further. Using the tools and marketing provided by the company, they can opt to grow the business, recruiting new members to 'the team' or 'the downline' and benefiting from a cut of the value of any sales made by these new recruits. In an ideal model, this eventually provides enough income for the founder (and their immediate family) to live at a level typically higher than they would have managed without the entrepreneurial streak. It is often not sustainable beyond a single generation, but provides inspiration for younger family members and customers to try their hand at something similar. Even for part timers, a lifestyle job offering good chances of repeat business (health, nutrition and dietary products, homewares or cosmetics, typically) can provide a worthwhile strand of additional income.

Businesses which offer the option of residual earnings like this are often online operations using advertising or websites to sell products or concepts. They are popular lifestyle businesses as they are easily scalable and yet can still be run by one or two people. Such a network or multi-level marketing model may not appeal to everyone, but that is not to say that they are bad – many people have had great success from selling health and wealth-centric products and advice.

Business opportunities are often promoted by word of mouth advertising, linked in short social media posts, offered via advertisements or found through an online search for phrases such as ‘work from home jobs’ or ‘earn extra income’. Not everyone will make a success of every opportunity, and it is advisable to research thoroughly before committing to any franchise. Some people may even try several different companies before settling with one that best suits their way of working.

A Lifestyle Job for the Love
The other definition of a lifestyle job is something which chimes with the holder’s ethics, morals or existing interests. So an animal lover could end up working for a rescue charity, or someone interested in fashion could land a position as a buyer for a High Street store, for instance. These positions are often a great way to achieve high levels of job satisfaction, since the employee perceives that they are being paid for doing something they would be doing anyway. The pay may not be great but the feeling of being able to make a difference often outweighs the salary question.

These positions are typically found in many organisations. Large companies such as hospitals, academic institutions and councils have a wide range of roles to attract many different people, whether their skills lie in the vocational, practical or back room spheres. IT specialists, auditors, maintenance staff, retail workers, pastoral carers, rehabilitation workers, fundraisers and many more experts can be found working alongside the medical, nursing and clinical staff in large teaching hospitals, while universities and colleges also have the feel of being small towns in their own right at times, with professional help of all kinds available on campus.

Of course, for some people, it is possible to hold both varieties of lifestyle job. Their dayjob could well be in one of those specialist fields where they are using their existing qualifications and skills, while their sideline could be providing a little extra cash by running an independent business using the power of online marketing.

Just because it is sometimes possible to have your cake and eat it too.