DESIGNER PROFILE: DAYS OF AUGUST
Founded in 2011 by Designer/Maker Marie-Pier Labelle, Days of August is a carbon neutral jewellry label from Adelaide, Australia.
Sustainability is the core of all design decisions. This determined that its signature material would be reclaimed industrial stainless steel, despite how difficult it is to work with.
This material not only has fantastic properties, but once paired with fashion forward design, it gives Days of August's pieces a distinct look and feel that sets them apart from other jewellery on the market.
How would you describe Days of August designs and what is your overall mission?
When I started Days of August, my priority was to make jewellery pieces that would last both structurally and aesthetically. I did not want it to be part of a throw-away culture. I want my work to be timeless, and have the potential to be worn every single day for decades and still be looking as good as new.
My style is both bold and minimalist - I am not one for bling and frills - I love clean lines, unexpected details and playing with scale.
Which materials do you work with and why?
Sustainability is at the core of Days of August, which is why I have chosen reclaimed industrial stainless steel as my primary material. It is a very difficult material to work with, but it's amazing properties outweigh that hardship.
- It will not tarnish or oxidise, so you don't have to clean it. Ever.
- It is hypoallergenic. It is the safest metal to have against your skin. Even super sensitive skin.
- It is super strong and durable to last a lifetime. Or two. (or three!)
- Being quite affordable, it makes it possible for me to make larger pieces without them being priced out of reach.
- It is a great, solid base to create earrings and necklaces by spot welding it, and using powder coating or embroidery to add colour to it.
- Best of all, it's reclaimed, which is eco friendly, sustainable which contributes to Days of August being carbon neutral.
You are originally from Canada and have worked in the film industry. Can you tell us more about that experience and how it impacted you as the designer you are today?
Working on feature films have taught me two important lessons that can be applied to any type of production or business:
1 - To produce a great film, you need all departments to be the best they can be, and work together towards the director's vision.
The same thing applies when running a business. It's not just about creating a great piece of jewellery, but also about all the things that surround the product, like the branding, packaging, website, imagery, etc. It all has to come together to create the bigger picture of what you want your business to be.
2 - It takes a long time to make a film, but the result lasts forever.
I feel like working with stainless steel is a bit the same - it is hard to work with, but once the piece is done, it has the potential to last a very very long time. It's worth putting the effort in to create something long lasting.
"I do not follow fast fashion because it contradicts my desire to have my pieces worn for a very long time."
What does slow fashion means to you and how do you engage in it?
I love slow fashion because it prioritises timeless style over trends. I have a capsule wardrobe with quality pieces that can be worn year after year.
I have the same approach in my work. I do not follow fast fashion because it contradicts my desire to have my pieces worn for a very long time. Trends only last a few seasons, and I want my jewellery to have a much (much!) longer shelf life.
Tell us what makes Days of August a Carbon Neutral Jewelry label?
Apart from using recycled materials that would otherwise become landfill, living in Australia allows me to use solar energy to power my office and studio. I am also a volunteer for an organisation called Trees for Life. I grow over 300 trees a year from seeds that are then planted in rural areas. So not only does it help with reforestation, but it also offsets all other carbon emissions my business produces through shipping, travel, etc.