We want you to know what standards drive our business practices.
Archaeology-related terms like "excavated" and "relic" used on all East Ruin websites, products, advertisements, and materials are for branding purposes only. We are not archaeologists, nor are our products artifacts, though several of our pieces use beads and findings from genuine antiques, vintage fabric, etc.
"Made to Order" and "Limited Waste"
- Because of the nature of limited-waste practices and ethical sourcing of materials, not every East Ruin relic with the same product name will look identical.
- Each product is "made to order" meaning we do not begin to create the design you ordered until your order is placed, and the number of these relics available is based on the quantity we have in stock at the time. (We will regularly post about restocked favorites.)
- We do not keep large stock-piles of supplies on hand, and many of our materials are purchased from small businesses, are fair trade, are salvaged from would-be discarded jewelry, are repurposed from other pieces of jewelry in limited quantities, are imported from small business bead suppliers outside of the United States, or are handmade with in-house supplies of limited quantity.
- We retain as much of our materials during the design process as possible and use those parts to create new designs. We also reuse scraps from packaging materials whenever possible.
Vendors We Avoid, Vendors We Love, & Why
We try to primarily work with vendors who are aligned with our "people and planet over profits" mission.
Below is a sample of a few of the vendors we love.
- EcoEnclose believes in a future where humans and the earth are thriving together, where humans are a net positive contributor to our planet and humanity. In this future, leading ecommerce brands are a sustainable and regenerative force for the environment.
- EcoEnclose sees this future driven by a circular economy and regenerative materials production. They imagine a day when goods are endlessly recycled or reused and that any virgin materials are made from regenerative resources whose production strengthens soils, waterways, habitats, air quality, and local communities.
- In this future, every single piece of packaging can be and is recycled, so no materials and resources are wasted, and no packaging ends up as litter and in the oceans. In this future, the energy-fueling manufacturing and distribution of these products and packaging is from renewable sources.
- The Bead Chest's mission is to provide creative jewelry designers with quality beading supplies, while supporting developing communities at the same time.
- From Ghana and Kenya, to Egypt and Morocco, their team is on the ground year-round working. Direct access means better quality, fair prices, and ethical trading.
- In an age where inexpensive, generic, and mass-produced goods tend to be the norm, The Bead Chest offers a unique selection of beads made not only with love, but also beads that have a human story behind them.
- River Rocks Jewelry & Bead Shop opened in 2008, when twin sisters Christina and Theresa Albanese took over the former Dana Rudolph & Co. located on beautiful River Street in downtown Troy, NY. The shop has grown to have the largest selection of beads and supplies in the area. Hundreds of varieties of semiprecious stones, rock & mineral specimens, Tibetan crafts, fair trade gifts and accessories are all handpicked.
- Theresa and Christina are both self taught jewelry designers. Handpicking items is something they're passionate about. You won't see any cookie cutter catalog things here! As designers, they like to see and touch the materials they work with and love to shop and find special pieces. They believe that even in this online age, people want that opportunity.
- (Fun fact: East Ruin's owner Shawna Fitzsimmons is also a twin and a self-taught jewelry designer!)
- We have been using Canva since 2017, primarily as a resource for professional and nonprofit clients (did you know Canva offers a FREE Pro account for nonprofit organizations?), and also for personal use.
- Canva is dedicated to sustainable, eco-conscious practices. Tackling climate change and thinking about their own ability to reduce carbon emissions is one of the ultimate ways of "being a force for good," one of their guiding values.
- Canva’s Australian operations have been carbon neutral since 2020. As of 2021, their entire global operations, including print and subsidiaries, are also carbon neutral. They’ve now entered the Beyond Net Zero phase, where they focus on regeneration, building our impact and healing the planet.
- One bonus feature about printing with Canva is that for every print order placed with Canva, they plant a tree – it is a simple idea with a big impact. They are on a mission to heal the planet through restoring degraded lands that provide critical resources for remote communities and wildlife. By planting and protecting trees, we’re improving water retention, biodiversity and habitat protection while also creating opportunities in agriculture and agroforestry for small farmers to farm more sustainably.
- As part of the tree-planting program, Canva's goal is to alleviate extreme poverty. Work through their programs will be given to people living below the poverty line in those communities in order to create a reliable source of income for them and their families.
Note: It is our goal to one day soon be able to offer tiered pricing, much like what Rolling Grocer offers. The logistics and feasibility of this are incredibly complicated. We are currently researching this option, but if you have any advice or recommendations in this regard, please Send Us a Telegram.
Many of our practices put us at a "market" disadvantage in terms of increasing our profit margin, but we believe they prioritize the human experience and honor dignity of our supporters.
For example, the following East Ruin standards result in less profit margin but allow us to lower the cost of the product, allowing for a larger demographic of customers to shop from our store or engage in our services. It's a bigger priority for us to expand the East Ruin experience to as many people as possible, regardless of class status, than increase the profits we might make were we to sacrifice these standards.
- The hourly rate we plan to pay ourself for the labor involved in creating an East Ruin relic is below market. We calculate a fair base price that will eventually allow us to pay ourselves a reasonable rate that will be enough to pay the bills, but not an exorbitant amount that would result in extremely high-priced products. (We are not motivated by profit, but rather by education and extracting from an extractionist economy. We'd rather you purchase from East Ruin than have your hard-earned money end up propelling poor labor standards, fund unethical sourcing practices, and contribute to the decline in the treatment of people and our planet.)
- The above process is how we are able to bring relics featuring high-quality, eco-conscious, fair trade elements and an overall sustainable market of goods to individuals who would typically be unable to afford them. We hope to continually improve this process to expand the market that can enjoy our art.
- We go to great lengths to protect your privacy and place extreme restrictions on what behavior (if any) is tracked or data is captured that would allow us to better target our products to you, which would result in increased (but manipulated) sales. Online behavior tracking is how most business build consumer personas and target their advertising and marketing through Google Analytics and web-based analytics (like knowing what website you were visiting before you came to ours, or what products you're searching for in our search box, or what products you keep clicking on but don't buy). We realize that by intentionally opting out of these features, we are absolutely losing the opportunity for increased sales and are not at a competitive advantage with others in our industry. But we believe that a great product, customer service, and an engaging experience is enough to keep you coming back for more. We trust that the right audience will find East Ruin and will value the priority placed on your privacy in an age of online-tracking, hacking, and spying.
- That being said, word of mouth is our number one advertiser. If you like who we are, what we do, and what we make, tell everyone you know!