6 Tips On Shopping Sustainable Jewellery

Just like the fashion industry, jewellery can come with harmful costs for human lives and the planet. Luckily, today we can witness a shift in mentalities with the rise of conscious consumers, asking more questions about the brands’ ethics and processes. However, it is difficult to define sustainable or ethical jewellery as we cannot often be guaranteed of the true origin of the materials. As always, we have to demand transparency, but even so, it’s often hard to make the difference between real concerns and green washing. Let’s start with an overview of the problems surrounding this industry. 

The main issue lays in how the metals are mined. The extraction techniques can cause erosion, loss of biodiversity, contamination of soil with toxic chemicals and waste of water -both used to extract metals and gemstones. All of the above threaten our earth’s resources and increase pollution of lands. They can be present even when strict environmental rules are followed. This is why tracking eco-friendly jewellery is so hard.

We also have to be careful about the brands’ manufacturing processes. They can use different substances, such as toxic dyes, that are bad for the environment and the workers. Let’s not forget about the working conditions of the people, often payed unacceptable wages.  The way we judge the sustainability & ethics of a jewellery brand is by analysing the treatment of the workers, the extraction and manufacturing techniques, the effects it has on local communities and the environmental impact of the mines. Every brand has a different approach to address better ethics, so we gathered a few examples of what to look out for to buy jewelry more mindfully.

1. Handmade

Rose & Fitzgerald believes the method in which each product is created is as important as the finished good itself, and that the provenance of the materials used is a crucial and meaningful part of the process. Each piece the brand produces is handmade by individual artisans using luxurious materials that have been sourced locally.

2. Eco-Friendly Packaging

Ara | the altar works with recycled precious metals, trusted suppliers and through a sustainable production. All of the products are presented with a hand printed organic cotton ribbon and a hand printed, GOTS certified natural organic cotton drawstring bag, made in a carbon neutral factory as part of an ethical supply chain. Moreover, the postal packaging is recyclable and biodegradable. All orders are packaged with a business card made from recycled pulp, printed with plant based ink.

3. Recycled

Holly Ryan is dedicated to craftsmanship. Each piece is handcrafted in her studios, from locally sourced, sustainably produced materials and recycled metals. Recycling and waste reduction form an important part of the brand’s daily routine, recycling everything that they can. They’ve also launched the H/R Recycling Initiative: through this closed loop system, they invite people to save pre-owned Holly Ryan jewellery in the original jewellery box and return it to them for store credit. They also offer repair and replating services for worn-in jewellery, along with recycling items that you no longer wear.

4. Local

Appreciative of considerate craftsmanship, Elisa is committed to sustainability and localized production. All of her pieces are handmade and casted in Geneva. The furnishers of the metal used are also located in Switzerland to support and promote local artisans and minimize her environmental footprint. She then packs every piece in a cotton or linen bag stamped by people working at the EPI, that contribute to the social and professional integration of disabled people or with social and professional difficulties.

5. Certified

All of her jewellery is designed and handcrafted in Coralie’s workshop in Barcelona. The founder uses certified gold and silver, to offer ethical and eco-responsible choices to the consumers. Fairmined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations who meet world leading standards for responsible practices. With this, she’s also hoping to be able to grow the Fairmined community that fights for decent conditions of mine workers.

6. Social

Purpose Jewelry is crafted by young women rescued from human trafficking, making them able to earn a fair wage and gain employable skills. The brand has worked with hundreds of young women around the world for the past 10 years, making sure every artisan receives freedom and hope for the future. Holistic care is provided through their non-profit, International Sanctuary, and includes education, health care, and counseling. Their program provides every artisan with the life skills and opportunities to succeed.

6 Things to Look Out For When Purchasing Jewellery

Just like the fashion industry, jewellery can come with harmful costs for human lives and the planet. Luckily, today we can witness a shift in mentalities with the rise of conscious consumers, asking more questions about the brands’ ethics and processes. However, it is difficult to define sustainable/ethical jewellery as we cannot often be guaranteed of the true origin of the materials. As always, we have to demand transparency, but even so, it’s often hard to make the difference between real concerns and green washing. Let’s start with an overview of the problems surrounding this industry. 

The main issue lays in how the metals are mined. The extraction techniques can cause erosion, loss of biodiversity, contamination of soil with toxic chemicals and waste of water -both used to extract metals and gemstones. All of the above threaten our earth’s resources and increase pollution of lands, and can be present even when strict environmental rules are followed. This is why tracking eco-friendly jewellery is so hard.

Then, we have to be careful about the brands’ manufacturing processes. They can use different substances, such as toxic dyes, bad for both the environment and the workers. Of course, let’s not forget about the working conditions of the people, often employed and payed at unacceptable standards. So, the way we judge the sustainability & ethics of a jewellery brand is by analyzing the treatment of the workers, the extraction and manufacturing techniques, the effects it has on local communities and the environmental impact of the mines. Every brand has a different approach to address better ethics, so we gathered a few of them to give examples of what to look out for to buy jewelry more mindfully.

1. Handmade

Rose & Fitzgerald believes the method in which each product is created is as important as the finished good itself, and that the provenance of the materials used is a crucial and meaningful part of the process. Each piece the brand produces is handmade by individual artisans using luxurious materials that have been sourced locally.

2. Eco-Friendly Packaging

Ara | the altar works with recycled precious metals, trusted suppliers and through a sustainable production. All of the products are presented with a hand printed organic cotton ribbon and a hand printed, GOTS certified natural organic cotton drawstring bag, made in a carbon neutral factory as part of an ethical supply chain. Moreover, the postal packaging is recyclable and biodegradable. All orders are packaged with a business card made from recycled pulp, printed with plant based ink.

3. Recycled

Holly Ryan is dedicated to craftsmanship. Each piece is handcrafted in her studios, from locally sourced, sustainably produced materials and recycled metals. Recycling and waste reduction form an important part of the brand’s daily routine, recycling everything that they can. They’ve also launched the H/R Recycling Initiative: through this closed loop system, they invite people to save pre-owned Holly Ryan jewellery in the original jewellery box and return it to them for store credit. They also offer repair and replating services for worn-in jewellery, along with recycling items that you no longer wear.

4. Local

Appreciative of considerate craftsmanship, Elisa is committed to sustainability and localized production. All of her pieces are handmade and casted in Geneva. The furnishers of the metal used are also located in Switzerland to support and promote local artisans and minimize her environmental footprint. She then packs every piece in a cotton or linen bag stamped by people working at the EPI, that contribute to the social and professional integration of disabled people or with social and professional difficulties.

5. Certified

All of her jewellery is designed and handcrafted in Coralie’s workshop in Barcelona. The founder uses certified gold and silver, to offer ethical and eco-responsible choices to the consumers. Fairmined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations who meet world leading standards for responsible practices. With this, she’s also hoping to be able to grow the Fairmined community that fights for decent conditions of mine workers.

6. Social

Purpose Jewelry is crafted by young women rescued from human trafficking, making them able to earn a fair wage and gain employable skills. The brand has worked with hundreds of young women around the world for the past 10 years, making sure every artisan receives freedom and hope for the future. Holistic care is provided through their non-profit, International Sanctuary, and includes education, health care, and counseling. Their program provides every artisan with the life skills and opportunities to succeed.

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