We are responsible for the impact we make on the environment. Everything we possess traces back to a production process before it lands in our households, whether clothing, food, cleaning products, or even jewelry. Sustainable and ethical jewelry combat the issues of environmental and social welfare.
Find timeless pieces that are created from a pure and honest process. Handmade in Vancouver, Canada, you can trust in jewelry made with nature in mind - every step of the way.
Respect to the ground we stand upon and the sun that fuels all life in the air, land, and sea. Let's care a little extra in the accessories we decorate our lives in. Find jewelry that can be worn for any occasion of life. Take a piece of the sun, moon, or sea with you wherever you go, confident that it is sustainably made and ethically derived.
Why Should We Care?
What is more valuable than the shiniest diamond and rarest gold? The truth behind sustainable jewelry. When packaged in a velvet box or worn upon a formal occasion, you may not think twice about where your jewelry came from. All you think about is, perhaps, its beauty and splendor and how it matches the outfit you pair it with.
Unfortunately, you may be blindsided by the fact that the material of your classic necklace or favorite ring was unsustainable mined in one of the poorest countries of the world. Many of the most popular producers of metals, stones and jewelry are based in countries that utilize these practices.
However, most jewelry does not fall under the luxury category, but is more of "fast fashion," where the jewelry is worn a few times before it is quickly tossed out or forgotten. This type of jewelry, usually made out of plastic and metal, are not biodegradable and often release harmful toxins into the environment.
Another problem is that raw material is mined, processed, and delivered from country to country. The poorest countries are often affected—both in environment and workers. In mining metals, pollutants and fumes are released into the air. A large amount of water is needed while irresponsible mining can contaminate groundwater. The mining process also disrupts the flow of everyday wildlife nearby and has caused the death of many native animal and plant species.
Thousands of local inhabitants become displaced in mining areas. About one million children work in these mining areas, where they are exposed to extremely poor, dangerous, and harsh working conditions. Millions of other workers are exposed to toxic chemicals, leading to disability and death. With all the adverse effects of the jewelry industry, you may start to think what we can do to change that.
Change Starts with Sustainable Jewelry
Though it may be hard to find the perfect retailer for sustainable jewelry, you can still research the manufacturing process. Get insight into where the gems were purchased, the kind of social impact a brand or company has, where the materials are from, the kind of packaging used, and the overall values the brand focuses on.
As a consumer, you want to look at the quality of the jewelry piece rather than the quantity of how many you obtain for yourself. If you decide to get the jewelry you plan to or foresee yourself only wearing it a few times. Then it most likely isn't worth it. Giving into overconsumption only adds to the issue of wasted material and resources.
Additionally, you want to be mindful of the materials used in your purchase jewelry. Metals can be recycled. Gold and silver can be melted and reformed. Gemstones can also be recycled. Any recycled jewelry is better because it eliminates the process of mining and does it require cyanide solvents. Look into ethically-sourced gems. This means protecting workers' rights and places regarding health and safety measures and fair pay wages.
Recycled metal simply means that it has been re-refined. It does not dull out or looks any less finished than before. Recycled metal can have any finish and look just as if it was the same, if not better, than its previous condition. Instead of being dug up from the earth, the recycled metal is produced using scrap metals and can be recycled repeatedly without looking at their properties.
Check that the metal has been responsibly sourced and that you contribute to programs, policies, and brands that are dedicated to this. In addition, you can verify that a brand or organization meets certain standards, based on certification and audits, they take upon themselves.
A brand that incorporates sustainable jewelry into its overall mission speaks on its values. Transparency is critical when a brand knows they are responsible for the products they are delivering. Brands that stand for a positive impact will make that known on their website, with their products, in articles, or wherever they are selling their products.
Look for descriptions on websites with ethical jewelry that speak about their eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Ultimately, the brands you support are entirely in your hands.
Look into the description of the packaging. Sustainable packaging is just as important as the jewelry itself. From the pouch it comes into the box and labeling cards—an environmentally minded brand will even consider these tiny details and speak volumes on their core values. A brand that is confident in the products they offer will also provide a warranty with the purchase.
Once refined, the metal is milled. A good refiner can create high quality metal alloys. Recycled metal goes through the same refining and milling process as newly mined ore. So you can guarantee that you won't be getting any less quality with sustainable jewelry.
The Ideal Blend of Sustainability and Style: Rauw Jewelry
Though it may be nearly impossible for the production of jewelry to have absolutely no negative impact socially, environmentally, economically, or politically, there are still things consumers can do to minimize that as much as we can. Your jewelry decisions can change the lives of the land and the people near and far. Choose the jewelry that you wear wisely.
written by Katrina