You might think that in the UK, we are a nation of tea drinking addicts and as a true Yorkshire girl, you really can’t beat a cup of Yorkshire Tea, but like the majority of brits, I have fallen in love with the café / coffee culture, which pre lockdown was fully adopted within the UK, with a surge of independent high street coffee shops, as well as the more well known ones. The freedom to meet a friend, colleague, family member for a coffee, chat and maybe that sneaky piece of cake is something I’ve certainly missed throughout lockdown. Not necessarily the coffee itself, but the social aspect of the café culture, the ability to have a face to face conversation, and engage with people rather than via social media.
In the UK, we now drink as a country over 95 million cups of coffee per day, as a family we have really embraced the café culture, not just for two tired parents to get their caffeine fix but it plays an important role in our family social life. Weekends are normally consumed with walks, bike rides, activities all of which we always end up in a café.
Lockdown may have put an end to the café culture as we know it, for the time being, but it is estimated that now over 1/3 of the population owns a coffee machine, with single use coffee pods leading the way in popularity, with apparently the industry seeing a spike in orders. The queue outside our local Costa Coffee Drive Thru last week, reflects how us brits really do need our daily caffeine hit.
As a Nespresso Owner, I must admit I do love the convenience of single use pods, a variety of flavours, barista style coffee all from the push of a button. In the UK, Nespresso do have a recycling scheme for their coffee pods, which up to the launch of the business we were regular users of, finding it a convenient and easy way to recycle. However, after some research I was still shocked to discover that even with coffee pod companies offering recycling over 29,000 per year still end up in landfill.
My morning daily Nespresso caffeine fix soon became my inspiration to build my business on. I launched Thanks Suzanne last year, as an online lady’s boutique, as I love shopping, clothes, accessories. As I was building the business, I began researching the impact of fast fashion on the environment, and as a shopaholic I knew that the market was already becoming saturated with amazing independent high street boutiques, so not wanting to re-invent the wheel and repeat what had already been done, I wanted to create my own individual brand, but I knew I wanted my brand to be as sustainable, and eco friendly as possible. After numerous morning daily Nespresso fix, I started looking at the pods, and wondered what else they could be used for.
So this year we launched our own Jewellery Collection, out of the coffee pods, and in doing so we have put a great deal of effort into making sure that every aspect of the coffee pod gets re-used.
The aluminium pod itself is the main component of our jewellery and provides the start of each piece of jewellery which we handmake. Obviously, we need to clear the pods out from the coffee, this is quite a lengthy and time-consuming process, which leaves me with a lot of coffee. The coffee then goes straight into our compost heap or directly onto the garden as fertilizer. Yes coffee can be used as fertilizer, we will be posting a blog very soon about this and how with every jewellery order placed, we aim to send you some coffee for your plants and gardens, making our whole cycle even more sustainable.