“Reclaimed materials, handmade and carbon neutral are the pillars of Days of August.”
You use reclaimed materials, everything is handmade and you’re carbon neutral. Could you have started Days of August without these elements as part of your brand?
I don’t think so. Being eco-conscious is a fundamental part of who I am. If I hadn’t landed on reclaimed stainless steel as my primary material, I would have found something else to work with that had little carbon footprint.
Where do you source your reclaimed stainless steel from?
There is a machinist down where I live that cuts very large pieces – anything from signage to heavy machinery parts. His off-cuts are not large enough for him to use, but more than big enough for me. It’s a win-win!
How can a small business become carbon neutral – what are your top tips?
I think the best thing to do would be to take a step back and look at your business overall.
How much power/gas/water are you using?
Are the materials you are using harmful to the environment?
Is there anything you can change in your production methods to reduce your footprint?
Then try to think if there is any way you can source things you need for your business locally.
What are the positives and the challenges of starting and growing a business with such a focus on sustainability?
The best thing about starting a business in an ecological way is that systems are built on that foundation.
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge will be scaling Days of August. As any business that grows, the workload becomes overwhelming and there comes a time when you need to hire extra help and outsource some of the tasks that need to be done. In many cases, to save on costs and stay competitive, product-based business will decide to move production overseas.
What advice do you have for other makers/ designers/ creatives working on a side project and looking to ‘take the leap’ like you did?
Taking the leap is a very frightening thing.
First, do your research, test the market and try to plan ahead. Once all of that is done, you have to back yourself. You have to be absolutely certain you are happy to live and breathe your business every minute of every day, because that’s what it will be like. It is all consuming, especially at the start.
Also, if you wait until you feel you are ready, you might never jump.
What is next for Days of August?
I did my first show in New York in February, and went back there for the August edition to continue expanding the business. It’s quite exciting 😊