Valona’s values and principles are based on quality, elegant aesthetics and sustainability – in design and materials as well as in production and deliveries. We are a small operator on a global scale, but we want to do our share in the shift towards a more sustainable, responsible and transparent manufacturing and consumption culture. We want to spread awareness of and to increase the demand for environmentally friendly and humane alternatives to mass produced jewellery. We want to carry our responsibility for a better future for all.
It is essential to us at Valona that our products are produced with utmost respect for the environment. As the main production material we use Finnish birch plywood, which originates from sustainably managed Finnish forests. The raw material comes from 100% FSC and PEFC certified forests. These certifications ensure sustainable wood production, but also the preservation of valuable natural sites and the protection of waters close to the forest.
Although plywood is a feather-light material, it also withstands time and wear well. It is a recyclable and climate-friendly option, too. Wood binds carbon and thus carbon stored in wooden products also stays out of the atmosphere throughout the product’s life cycle – and even afterwards if properly recycled. In addition, the production and processing of wood is very energy efficient compared to other materials, so the carbon footprint of wood products is therefore small.
We strive to minimize the use of plastic in our production and supply chain. All products are packed in beautiful cardboard packages that are flat and thus can save space when transported. Many of our 3D decorations can also be efficiently delivered in envelope-form. When possible, we use all waste material from packaging by using it as recycled material for new packages.
We also avoid any unnecessary packaging and printing when possible. For example, we do not send a paper receipt to our consumer customers, as an electronic version is delivered with the order confirmation. Some of Valona’s brochures and other paper material have been printed on eco-friendly recycled paper whenever possible regarding quality and colour definition.
The Korona series is made of nested rings with close to no waste material left between the individual parts.
Responsible design principles – Zero waste
All of Valona’s latest product designs are based on a zero waste design principle. This principle aims to minimise any excess waste generated when manufacturing a product. In certain Valona products, waste material generated from one product during the plywood cutting stage is reused as material in other designs and models, keeping the leftover waste material to a minimum.
Zero waste thinking is present already at the initial design stage. When designing new models, Elina develops the next design based on the surplus material from previous models. In chain jewellery series like the Halo series, this is especially evident. The Korona series is created of nested rings, with practically no waste material left between the individual parts. Of the zero waste series, Halo and Korona have won awards in domestic and international design competitions.
Our stud earrings are similarly made from the middle parts of other products, for example, the drop-shaped Pilke is created from the inside of a 2D-Drop jewelry and the round-shaped Pilke from the inside of the Halo ring. A small amount of surplus wood material is burned insofar as we are unable to reuse it.
Zero waste design is best realized in our following product lines:
Valona is proud to be a Finnish brand – all from the inspiration of the design language to the final touches in packaging. We take responsibility for the local operating environment, and therefore want to be involved in creating domestic jobs in Finland. We have manufacturers, producers and craftsmen all over Finland, from Lapland to Ostrobothnia and from Southern Savonia to Helsinki. We know all the manufacturers personally, which is important to us. Local production is also more environmentally friendly when the distances in the production chain remain short and are also achievable over land.
By favouring domestic work we support local employment, and we can also be sure of working conditions and employee rights. Similar to the clothing industry, jewellery is often made in countries with cheap labour, where it is challenging to follow and regulate ethical standards. Long production chains quickly become obscure and impossible to grasp. That is why we want to keep Valona’s own production and manufacturing as close as possible. However, ethical operating principles should also be expected from international players, and with this emphasis Valona strives to influence the implementation of social responsibility also in the international markets.
Quality and durability
We guarantee that our products are the high-quality result of careful and professional work throughout the production and supply chain. The birch plywood we use is the best available quality and will last for years when properly taken care of. The wood can also be easily maintained and repaired. For example, Himmeli parts bent by moisture can easily be straightened by pressing them back into shape when wet.
It is important that our products stand time and wear physically but also aesthetically. Valona’s design language is timeless and suitable from one season to another. With this principle, we also support the trend of making slow and deliberate consumer decisions instead of fast-paced shopping hysteria. Slow and ethical fashion decisions are not only good for the planet, but also for us. We believe that products purchased with true intent and thought also stay closer to our hearts longer.
The Pilke series’ drop-shaped earring is made from the centre part of a 2D-Drop earring or necklace
The journey continues
We are proud to already call Valona an ecological and ethical jewellery brand with a strong sustainability agenda, and we aspire to further strengthen our stance as a zero waste and eco-friendly interior and jewellery design company. However, there is always room for improvement and we do see the need to develop our sustainability practices further.
We cannot state that all our production materials are 100% Finnish, even though most of our production does take place in Finland. There are certain parts, such as silver hooks, that we have to order from abroad for availability reasons. We order the hooks from within the EU.
In packaging and paper materials, we at the moment have to use some non-recycled paper to ensure the desired quality and colour definitions.
Valona’s workshop uses electricity generated by wind power. We truly hope more and more companies chose a renewable energy source to run their operations locally and globally. This is one of the most efficient ways to reduce our mutual carbon footprint and to preserve the precious natural environments also for future generations.
At Valona, we will continue to strive to take the principles of responsibility and sustainability into account at every stage of a product’s life cycle – from the blank notebook page at the designer’s table to the unique moment someone unboxes a Valona product with a warm smile on their face.