Sustainable sit-down: Head of Medley, Amber Hodgman talks circularity and Medley's Imperfect Sale
1. Can you define what the imperfect products are and why they are imperfect?
In the retail industry we use quality control to ensure products adhere to the companies standards, some retailers having higher standards than others. Sometimes these standards can result in product failing QC for very minor cosmetic issues, this is the caveat what we have reframed as imperfect.
2. Why are we selling jewellery that is faulty or "imperfect"?
Well why not? Essentially the product still functions, so instead of scrapping and melting down the metals (which is how we deal with products in the jewellery industry) we can offer our community the product at a great price! If the product is faulty, it's rejected at QC and sent back to supplier but the products in this sale technically still passed QC, they just didn't pass our DC outbound. Our amazing DC team has high standards but we think there's still value to give in these imperfect styles.
3. How does selling these pieces allow Medley to be more sustainable?
Ultimately with any product you create, you have to think of the whole lifecycle. How to turn a product's lifecycle from linear to circular. We have to look at the end use, where is that product going when it's deemed 'valueless'. Metals and stones are very valuable, we mine our earth to source them, we need to care about how they are treated. By giving these products are chance to be loved by a customer, we can prevent them from being scrapped and reduce the energy and material consumption required to remake them.
4. Why does Medley place such a huge emphasis on their efforts towards sustainability and reducing waste?
We feel it's very important to value the products we make. There's so much effort that goes into designing, mining, producing, marketing and so on. Many people touch the product along it's production line and a lot of energy, whether it's carbon or people's time is invested. Even if the end product isn't 100% perfect, it's still worthy of a second life.
5. How does Medley use circular design methods?
Our key circular design method is our recycled material use. We are exploring more ways to embed circular design but for now it sits predominately in our materials rather than our design per-se.
6. Can the jewellery sold in the imperfect sale be repaired/ reused to ensure we embrace a circular economy?
Yes, generally jewellery can be repaired by a specialist however the jewellery in the imperfect sale is more cosmetic so it's about embracing the imperfections like fine scratches on the surface. Medley doesn't currently offer a repair service but we always encourage customers to message our customer service team so we can recommend a repairer right for them.
At Medley, we don’t believe in destroying imperfect products, in fact pieces that arrive to us with slight imperfections still have plenty of shine to give and deserve to be worn.
As such, we’ve just launched our first annual ‘Imperfect sale’ to give our Medley Posse the opportunity to take home some of our most coveted styles that may have minor flaws, like scratches and/or small dents, at generously discounted RRPs.
Our Imperfect items have not been worn or returned, rather they were considered 'imperfect' by our quality control team on dispatch.
All of our Imperfect pieces have been passed as wearable, however due to their cosmetic imperfections, we considered them unfit to send out on full priced orders.
The Medley team have personally vetted each product and declared the flaw of each piece included in our sale so minor that they are not worth being destroying or discarded for. By participating in this sale you are also accepting that these imperfect flaws are to be celebrated and the discounted RRP is adequate compensation for the imperfect piece. Our returns policy therefore does not apply to product purchased in the imperfects sale and is deemed final sale.
Unfortunately our complimentary engraving does not apply to products purchased from the imperfect sale. Please place your order and reach out to customer service team if you are interested in paying an additional fee for engraving and we will do best to make this happen.
All products purchased in the imperfects sale are final sale and cannot be exchanged, returned or refunded.
This is our first time running this sale and we hope to continue doing this annually for our Medley posse.