Communal Sustainability Represented Through The Echo Collection
The Style Line and Melissa Joy Manning launch their collaborative Echo Collection
Rachel (The Style Line) and Melissa (Melissa Joy Manning) joined forces with a shared commitment to sustainability and a heart to reach people while enhancing the movement of responsible consumerism
Conscious fashion is on the rise, and it is meaningful, purposeful, thoughtful… therefore, beautiful. Yes, I equate these words with beauty.
At Conscious Magazine, we’ve been publishing stories that share our fervor for the conscious fashion / slow fashion movement, and the more we introduce this conversation, the more we connect with the passionate pioneers behind it. We are also intrigued by the stories a fashion piece can tell. You can grab someone’s attention and even speak to their heart when there is a genuine narrative or a personal connection to the piece that you own. Through just one piece or one story, you can even reach a stranger on a more personal level. When you do that, doors will open.
We value when a style piece has that kind of impact, so we celebrate the pioneers and set out to tell their stories like the collaboration between Rachel Schwartzmann, Founder of The Style Line, and Melissa Joy Manning, Artist, Jewelry Designer, and Co-Chair of the CFDA Sustainability Committee (Council of Fashion Designers of America). Melissa Joy Manning is known for her use of recycled materials and sustainable stones beautifully designed with a “socially—and environmentally—responsible ethos”.
Rachel and Melissa joined forces with a shared commitment to sustainability and a heart to reach people while enhancing the movement of responsible consumerism. Together, they created the Echo Collection, a set of jewelry boxes that represent value and a place to hold our most precious treasures. The collection was developed and designed with thoughtful intention, from the meaning behind the pieces to the materials used. However, we believe the pieces represent an even bigger message – one that can speak to designers around the world.
Q | What inspired the collaboration between The Style Line and Melissa Joy Manning?
(RS): In the last year sustainability has become increasingly present in our stories. Meeting incredibly inspiring people like Melissa who have implemented sustainable practices and values in their pursuits have made me more personally aware of the impact we can make if we collectively head in this direction. Throughout this process and the creation of Echo, I’ve come to learn that sustainability can be utilized in many different ways. If anything, I want this project to ease our readers into this conversation and emphasize The Style Line’s commitment to communal sustainability.
(MJM): When I met Rachel I was incredibly impressed by her enthusiasm and desire to build a responsible design community. As our relationship progressed and we spent more time discussing our shared commitment to sustainability, it was a natural progression to work together. For me, my ethos has led my business practice for the last 18 years and my market reflects this experience. I realized that Rachel and The Style Line are uniquely positioned to educate a younger consumer about their economic power. I am confident she is the perfect partner with whom I could work to affect cumulative change in a Millennial market.
Q | What is the Echo Collection and what message do you want to deliver?
(RS): Echo is a collaborative collection of jewelry boxes between The Style Line and Melissa Joy Manning. Melissa and I wanted to create something that represents value and protects what’s closest to us. A jewelry box is the perfect product for these ideals: It protects what we value most and hence, with every purchase of the box you’ll be helping echo this changing message when it comes to shopping more responsibly. 10% of all proceeds will go to CFDA’s Sustainability Fund.
Q | Take us through the design process?
(MJM): Rachel and I wanted to create an item of beauty that would provoke thought. I have long been interested in pushing the consumers perception of precious- and what, really, is more precious than a jewelry box meant to hold your treasures? In using reclaimed wood, recycled brass and family mined stones, we were able to design an heirloom token with unexpected materials. The ethos of the project drove our design process- every material was thoughtfully chosen to reflect our shared intent.
Q | MJM, we love your brand ethos. Can you tell us why environmental and communal sustainability is important to you?
(MJM): When I started my business in 1997, there was little opportunity for American artists to earn a living working wage in the United States. As an academically trained jeweler, this was unacceptable to me. So, I started my business with the intent of producing domestically in order to create a community for other artists. As my company grew and this ethos became financially sustainable, I began looking at other ways I could use my business to create proactive change. Mining metals and stones is awful for the environment and, as an artist inspired by nature, I realized it would be incredibly disingenuous of me not protect it. So, as every year passes we look at what we can do to lessen our footprint- whether it’s partnering with family owned mines (the zeolites we used in this project are from my friend Sammy’s mine), using 100% recycled metals, carbon offsetting our shipping, or making every piece in our own certified “green” production facility we are proud of our choices. For me, being an artist is a blessing. I am incredibly grateful for my gifts and feel that using them to make the world a better place is the most important thing I can do with them.
Q | RS, we love that you are taking storytelling on the web to a whole new level – why is this collaborative story important to you and to your readers?
(RS): I have been a long-time admirer of Melissa, her gorgeous work and creative acumen. With that being said, I’m thrilled that she has graciously agreed to appear on The Style Line (on more than one occasion!) sharing both her story and endeavors in the last year. Having the dual opportunity to do this and work with Melissa on such a thoughtful collaboration has been an incredible opportunity to really emphasize the next steps for The Style Line: Moving forward, I want our readers to see The Style Line as a place of online discovery and offline connection. As we continue to grow our community of interviewees, contributors and collaborators we want to work closely with them to facilitate impact beyond the web. The site itself is a place to discover our community’s unique stories and what I hope will soon be a launching pad for distinctive and personal projects (just like Echo) that bring our community together in real-time.
Q | What’s next for The Style Line and Melissa Joy Manning?
(RS) So much! Obviously I want us to continue working with amazing people in our community like Melissa. I am also looking to grow our global contributor-base… Stay tuned!
(MJM) I’m incredibly excited by the market momentum of responsible consumerism. For the last 18 years I’ve felt somewhat isolated in this belief, so seeing the conversation unfold in contemporary culture is inspiring. That I am now surrounded by a community full of vibrant enthusiasm led by people like Rachel and your magazine is, honestly, a dream come true. For me the future is a brighter place where we will continue to partner with like minded individuals in order to create cumulative change while making beautiful product. The best design solves problems. I’m going to continue to use mine to do just that.
November marks the official launch of The Style Line x Melissa Joy Manning Echo Collection. With great appreciation, I was able to join Rachel, Melissa, and fellow guests to applaud their efforts of promoting responsible consumerism though their collaborative collection. What you should know about Rachel is that she brings an innovative voice to the world of media and blogging with the purpose of building community behind every story. As for Melissa, in just the first few moments of meeting her, I could sense here genuineness, which is a real gift to New York City. Even in a quiet exchange with her, she shared about the times she was told “no” – that she could not run a business with her ethos business practice. Despite her critics, her intuition and determination to continue has resulted with Melissa Joy Manning stores in NYC, Berkeley, CA, and an online store. So, I hope her story serves as an encouragement to our readers that even when the odds seems stacked against you, you can still pursue and achieve your dreams and make an impact in the world.
Echo Collection is available for sale on www.melissajoymanning.com, and in their Soho store located at 12 Wooster, New York.
Images: Masha Maltsava
From the Editor
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