At Frances Jaye, we strive to have values and business practices that benefit our broader community. We are aware that the way we approach marketing, selling, and purchasing products for our store matters. To occupy downtown retail space is a privilege, and we believe that we have the responsibility to use our space in a way that supports and promotes positive change. We know that we have a lot of room to grow and improve our ethical efforts for the long run and we commit to sharing that journey with you in hopes that we will be held accountable in making those efforts last. We know that even as a small team and small business, we can make a big difference—and we see that as a responsibility we can actively strive to fulfill. We would love for you to read our ethical intentions in three areas closest to our hearts: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Community Involvement, and Sustainable Practice.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
- Jenny, FJ’s owner, has been involved in DEI efforts as a sub-committee member of Downtown Holland’s Principal Shopping District for four years now. She is committed to maintaining a sense of accountability in assuring that DEI values are at the forefront of Downtown Holland’s marketing and event strategies.
- Our team is currently being guided by Christine Mwangi, Founder of Grounded in Equity, LLC in Grand Rapids, to better understand what it means to bring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion values forward in a retail space such as Frances Jaye.
- Imagery: We love our Holland community and want to better represent the beautiful faces and personalities that we serve on a daily basis. The imagery we use for our website and social media accounts should showcase the diversity of our local community and we strive to improve our efforts in this area. We have begun the process of expanding our model outreach to better represent the diversity of Holland.
- Brands We Carry: When we order products for Frances Jaye, we want to be supporting brands and makers that inspire us and carry out our mission. There are so many options available out there and we want to be intentional about who we are supporting when we order and curate merchandise for the store. One of the ways we would like to do this is by increasing the representation of Black-owned vendors at Frances Jaye.
- Right now, about 15% of our vendors are owned by people of color, with around 2% being Black-owned. We aim to increase those numbers—reaching 15% Black-owned vendors in the next 2 years.
Like we’ve said, we love Holland! We want to play an active role in creating a more inclusive community by uplifting local movements for change and positive cultural development. We aim to improve this aspect of our business in two key ways: donation and participation.
- This year we have committed to donating 2% of our total sales each month to a local charitable organization that carries the mission of diversity, equity, and inclusion forward in our community. So far this year, we have donated to The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland, CultureWorks, Be a Rose, West Michigan Environmental Action Council, and Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance as a part of this commitment. In addition, we made a donation of $500 to Stop AAPI Hate in March.
- Many wonderful organizations are doing critical work here in West Michigan, and we want to make sure that we are not only supporting those groups financially, but we would also like to actively participate in sharing, promoting, and volunteering whenever possible.
- We will continue to use our social media platform to promote the organizations we donate to and to engage our followers with content we think is socially beneficial.
- Though Covid-19 can limit our opportunities to volunteer in-person, we plan on participating in volunteer events when it is safe and promoting those events with our followers.
- We’ll use our physical downtown space for partnered drives or events whenever possible to go along with our donation commitments.
- In March 2021, we became a full-time drop-off point for Be a Rose—an amazing organization that provides free period products for those without access. Learn more about it here.
From the beginning, Frances Jaye has loved showcasing brands that create quality products. We are always looking to improve the selection of products we curate into our space—making sure that we are putting in the work to bring you pieces you can treasure for years to come. We know that the retail industry has a huge impact on the health of our planet. We can do better in promoting a healthy consumer mindset that is better for the environment. We’re keeping track of our sustainability goals in two key areas: our retail space and the vendors we carry.
Our retail space:
- Lighting is a big part of the ambiance here at Frances Jaye but outdated fixtures can be wasteful. We have replaced our old lighting with technology by the green energy group, Foresight Energy Management in hopes to reduce our total energy consumption.
- As our e-commerce business grows, we are improving our shipping supplies to include multi-functional reusable cloth bags and encouraging our customers to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.
- We recycle as much of the packing materials included in product shipment as we are able to.
- We encourage emailed or texted receipts and minimize packing materials for in-store purchases whenever possible.
- We have started using recycled paper towels and toilet paper. Plus, we are reducing our usage of paper towels by using reusable cloth towels in our employee bathroom.
- We will be making the switch soon to eco-friendly paper gift cards.
- We are in the process of contacting all of our vendors to request minimal packaging materials for our future orders.
- We want to make our most sustainable brands as accessible as possible to our customers and we are working on ways to pass on our product knowledge to you via our website collections and in-store signage.
- We recently put together a collection of our most sustainable vendors. You can learn more about each brand by clicking on their collection.