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TheDaily Ritual

Inspired indulgences: What we explored and experienced at Sustainable Decadence

Sustainable decadence: Is it possible? Can we be unapologetic bon vivants and still live sustainably—to have less (and better) instead of more? We thoughtfully reflected on these questions recently at an Eco Sessions event in Toronto appropriately titled Sustainable Decadence.  

Sustainable Decadence was conceived of and hosted by Sarah Jean Harrison of Peace Flag House—a unique creative agency cultivating the visual language and narratives of purpose-driven brands. I had the intimate pleasure of participating and speaking about this compelling concept alongside other like-minded founders: Nadine Woods of Mayana Genevière, Sammi Smith of Soft Focus, Mariane Oliveira of Mary’s Brigadeiro and Lucy Cullen of Terus.

Mary had fond childhood memories of enjoying traditional Brazilian treats called brigadeiros with her family in Brazil, but did not like the processed and unhealthy ingredients typically used. She wanted to share these South American indulgences with the world, but insisted on making them ‘better’ first by sourcing fair-trade pure cocoa and working with as many local suppliers as possible.

Lucy had a career in the hospitality industry, but grew tired of all its waste. She developed a consulting company that helps restaurants work towards becoming more sustainable—minimizing waste and saving money in the process.

Nadine’s vision was to design a high-end line of intimate apparel celebrating and supporting womanhood journeys. This began when she was pregnant with her first child and she could not find luxury lingerie that fit real women’s bodies, and were made with ethical materials and manufacturing practices.

Sammi spent several years as a fashion designer working with some of Canada's mass-market brands and became disillusioned with the fast-fashion supply chain. When she left her 9 to 5 life behind, Sammi found herself contemplating the typical home office uniform and set out to create a sustainable loungewear collection of easy, casual clothing that the gig-economy generation could practically + stylishly live in while working from home.

As women, it is empowering to share ideas and stories about our individual and collective journeys. Each of these purpose-driven, powerful entrepreneurs brought their visions to life—committing to taking something we had personal experience with and doing it better. Like these founders, I used my background and knowledge of the spa and wellness world to create irresistible sustainable luxury experiences equal parts ethical, elegant and addictive; I wanted to share sensorial-driven body care and pure botanical perfume fragrance products free from worry.

Being invited to speak and share the stage with these inspiring women was an experience I will not soon forget. Here is why this topic is so important to Cūrata Sustainable Luxury:

- Sustainable decadence is close to my heart and is an essential ingredient in the Cūrata story. At the beginning of our journey, I knew that Cūrata had to be decadent, opulent and luxurious. These words are too often associated with wasteful and harmful business practices—we make them completely sustainable.

- We believe many people struggle with sustainable decadence as a concept. For too long, we did not understand the impact of our consumption—and are now starting to. If you know better, you should do better. We feel that consumers want to do good and are becoming increasingly aware that our wallets and how we spend our hard-earned money can have a huge impact, but it can still be hard to navigate.  

- With all the green washing (deceptively promoting the perception a brand’s products, aims or policies as environmentally friendly) going on, it is difficult for consumers to decipher what is really good and what's happening behind the scenes.

- We often hear about what we can’t do, can’t use or can’t buy to be conscious consumers—what can we do? Enter: Sustainable Decadence.

- We decided to be apologetically decadent and fully sustainable at the same time. This path can be challenging—especially for a young brand creating a physical product. It necessitates more ground work and research. Unfortunately, you cannot always take people, suppliers and manufacturers at their word. As such, making the conscious decision to ‘walk the talk’ meant more work—having to thoughtfully consider each end-to-end element making up every finished good, from processing ingredients to packaging.

What’s more, our mission (in addition to creating obsessively opulent, ethically elegant experiences) is to ensure that the rata brand is sustainable from a 360-degree perspective. What does that mean? In the world of Cūrata, 360-degree sustainability is:

- Clean and certified non-toxic product formulas—biodegradable and safe for humans, animals and the world we share

- Working with smaller, specialized suppliers as much as possible to encourage passion-driven supply chain management and conservation in addition to premium raw materials

- Selecting and sourcing product packaging that does not increase waste—avoiding plastics as much as possible and using materials like glass, metal and paper that can be recycled and/or reused within our own ecosystem; given how conscious we have all become of the global plastic problem, Cūrata supports Plastic Oceans via our 1% For The Planet partnership

- Selecting and using paper and paper products that are FSC© Certified

- Working with printers using non-toxic and biodegradable inks for packaging

- Employing business practices that support fair, responsible and transparent trade and human relations

It may seem like a lot, but there was no other path for Cūrata and our sustainable luxury values. It is the duty of this generation’s entrepreneurs to create purpose-driven brands, products and services that are not just headlines, but healing—people and the planet.

We are responsible for making a promise to the world—a guarantee that customers can confidently enjoy anything Cūrata produces with a clear conscious and unapologetic opulence. What is more, we are proof new models that are good for the world can be even better for business and the bottom line.

We are not establishing alternate models, but rather are redefining the model for all businesses and industries—one that makes money not in spite of the sustainable efforts it takes, but because of them. Enjoy.

Until the next experience,

Serena Rogers — founder and principal, Cūrata Sustainable Luxury


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