powered by light, empowered by action
a 7-minute read about how we strive to deepen the breadth of green innovation into our business culture.
in nature, nothing exists alone.
with this sentiment, glassybaby was founded in 2001 with the mission to spread light: to spread the light of hope and comfort that glows from each glassybaby. to spread a light of kindness by giving 10% of our revenue to nonprofits that help people, animals and the planet heal.
tied to these principles is the duty to coexist philanthropy with business, humans with nature. from first glow, one of our fundamental values has been sustainability. we strive to be environmental stewards as part of our business plan, and we want to leave this earth a little better than we found it.
glassybaby has donated over $8 million to nonprofits. lee rhodes, founder of glassybaby, sees our actions and the things we do day to day as more important:
“having every glassybaby made in seattle and berkeley is an honor, but, more than that, it is our duty as citizens of the world, of the earth. giving back money is not enough. we have to be a role model, live our values, our truth.” -lee rhodes, founder
having a homegrown product is our niche.
by having each glassybaby handmade locally, we support one of the largest glassblowing communities in the nation, here in seattle.
it is important to us to have close communications between our design team and the team making each glassybaby. every glassybaby has a soul, and a tightly knit team is a key ingredient to creating each one.
sustainability is built within our framework.
literally—our packaging is 100% recyclable and made of 40% post-consumer waste.
our ribbon: it's made of recycled plastic bottles. we use approximately 13 million inches of ribbon in a year, which has translated to 226,908 recycled plastic bottles.
our shipping boxes: they come from a company in tacoma, washington that ensures sustainable harvesting, transporting, and handling practices are used in every phase of the forestry and paper making process.
our candles: each tealight that is included in your glassybaby purchase is a “goodlight,” a colorado-based company supporting responsible harvesters, providing paraffin-free, lead-free, clean burning, plant-based candles.
the 100% pure beeswax candles we sell in the stores are hand-poured in virginia, using cotton-wicks, and have a clean burning flame with no synthetic fragrance oils.
we are a manufacturing company that uses gas and electricity. being frank about our energy usage sparked us to look at every part of the business we can be more sustainable. like going solar in berkeley. in 2017, we offset our energy usage by 20%.
you may laugh, but seattle is not a prime place for solar panels. when we were looking for a space for our second hot shop in 2015 and found the perfect space in berkeley, we were keen on implementing solar panels.
from sand to hand to heart:
we don’t locally source the ingredients to make the glass because we can’t. there’s no company in the united states that provides the range of color we use. so, we source our color glass from family run companies in germany and new zealand. it’s crucial that we have suppliers that we trust and that we know what’s in the glass we purchase. we don’t poison our environment with the material that we use.
there are over 500 new chemicals that are introduced into the world every year. people, animals and the planet cannot biologically respond to these chemicals. we don’t want to contribute.
our glass is minerals and sands from the earth, and each decision we make about our ingredients and our product is consciously chosen.
one of our most requested product color is fuchsia—hot pink. we have not found a source of color glass that does not include toxic metals, so we don’t make a glassybaby in this color.
until we find clean ingredients, we won’t make it.
behind the scenes: recycling the broken glass
our product is delicate. it can break during manufacturing. after products come out of the annealing process, the glass can break if it cools down too quickly. our warehouse accumulates the broken glass to give to a seattle-based company called bedrock industries, “specializing in trash beautification since 1992.” bedrock recycles and reuses all of the glass for home décor glass, garden art glass, and tumbled glass.
we make art with our hands, and we make decisions from our heart.
as a corporate retail company, our value book is written by a local family.
being conscious is being aware of the impact our actions have on others. let's spread sustainable light: the kind that's from the heart.