The Jewellery Edit – What is Sustainable Jewellery?

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First, a little history:

The use of gold, silver and gems in can be traced back Millennia, ancient cultures such as Egyptian and Mesopotamian have included jewellery in their style for thousands of years. Jewellery has since then been an ever-present part of human civilization, consistent across time, religions, cultures, class and gender as an outward indication of personality. The pieces of jewellery we wear are a statement about how we see ourselves, how we want others to see us and how we feel.

How can jewellery be unsustainable?

Over time jewellery has transitioned from being a careful creation of metals and gems, often unique and precious into a product that is almost immediately disposable. With this, the issues of sustainability have arisen. The key issue with jewellery and sustainability is how the metals are mined, extraction techniques cause erosion, introduce chemicals to soil and disrupt natural habitats. Manufacturing is also a key issue, where thousands of products are being produced at a shocking rate; new technologies such as 3D printing, laser welding, cutting and engraving, and computer aided design mean that products can be produced en-masse in a short space of time. Not only is this environmentally damaging, it also takes business away from high-quality, traditional jewellers.

What is sustainable jewellery?

  • Jewellery using metals and gems that are sourced using environmentally-friendly practices
  • Products that are uniquely created, often by artisans
  • Made to a high-quality that will last
  • Made by brands that have energy, waste and packaging sustainability initiatives
  • Made by brands that re-use or upcycle existing products into beautiful new pieces
  • Made by people who are treated well, have a comfortable workplace and are fairly paid

What can we do as consumers?

  • Source from brands that employ environmental practices and support artisans
  • Move away from high street retailers and search for more bespoke and personal products
  • Learn about your products – is the product you’re buying sustainably made by someone who is fairly paid?
  • Revisit your favourite brands, they might not have something new every week but they will be continually producing new products

At Fashion ComPassion we only work with brands that produce jewellery ethically and sustainably, their pieces are unique and carefully created by talented artisans and designers who are fully supported by the brands. To see some of our collections, check out the Jewellery section of our marketplace.

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Tags: accessories, conscious consumers, ethical accessories, Ethical Fashion, ethics, fashion, fashion redefined, gems, gold, Jewellery, purchase with purpose, silver, sustainability, sustainable consumers, Sustainable Fashion