Ring made from a re-purposed Tiffany heart pendant and sterling silver bangle, for Ethical Metalsmiths 2008 Radical Jewelry Makeover project.
Knowledge is power!
It’s important to consider the impact of our daily choices. Whether it’s the food we eat or products we buy, we know our actions affect other people and the planet.
I’ve been eco-conscious since my teens. My friends and I would bring trash bags to concerts and clean the parking lot after the show. When I rented my first apartment there was no curbside recycling, so my roommate and I saved bottles and cans in a closet and drove them 20 miles to the nearest recycling center a few times a year. It followed naturally to apply the same principles to my jewelry business and use recycled and ethically sourced materials.
Fortunately others in the industry have embraced the same ethos and many suppliers now offer recycled precious metals and conflict-free/ fair-trade gemstones. These are the materials I choose, and I seek out those that are independently third-party certified for socially and environmentally responsible practices.
With that in mind, it’s also important to consider the economics of mining communities. There are places where mineral wealth is the only natural resource and the livelihood of the people who live there. Some meet high standards for green practices and fair pay, many do not. Some have infrastructures that support a transparent mine-to-market supply chain, others do not.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step... There are no easy answers and we have a long way to go, but the organizations below are taking forward action towards global change.
Ethical Metalsmiths: www.ethicalmetalsmiths.org