“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan
The makers in the Artisanry Co. community understand the importance of sustainable work practices. We recently focussed on a few of these makers in part one of our ethical jewellery series.
In part two, we chat with more jewellery makers who prioritize sustainability in their work, sharing the message of eco-conscious creation and consumption.
Sally How – How Fine Designs
Sally is a former Art teacher and credits her creative skills to being what helps her to create individual designs for her customers. She acknowledges that we only have one planet, so she’s doing everything she can to make a difference. Soon, you’ll be able to shop Sally How’s incredible jewellery at our online shop.
“I design and make most of my jewellery designs using recycled silver sheet and wire. I also carve designs in wax and cast. More individual bespoke designs are made using Fairtrade Gold and sustainably sourced gemstones.
Ethical jewellery making for me is the sourcing and transformation of materials that have less impact on the environment, so I aim to use recycled materials wherever possible. My making processes also avoid the use of harsh chemicals if there’s an alternative available. So for example, my pickle is citric acid. This is used to remove the oxidation from silver when you heat it. I’m also careful how I dispose of it so that it doesn’t do any damage to the environment.
My jewellery is produced using environmentally friendly making methods whenever possible, creating less impact on the world. The most important issue here for jewellers is how the waste is disposed of. As copper is a by-product of pickling silver I am careful to ensure it doesn’t get into the water system, as it’s highly toxic to aquatic life and must not enter the water system. So I’m careful to neutralise my pickle solution using bicarbonate of soda and then dispose of it pouring it into a pot containing cat litter and disposing of it at the recycling facilities at my local council.
I try to buy materials which are green, especially ones that are recycled. My jewellery is made from recycled materials wherever possible. I also teach silver clay jewellery making which is the ultimate recycled product, it uses waste from x-rays and the photographic industry. My packaging is all made of eco-friendly materials. My boxes are made of eco-card and it’s FSC®-certified. My pouches are Fairtrade Eco organic cotton pouches.
I also offer the option of naked packaging, where the jewellery is simply wrapped in acid-free tissue paper to protect it. I am currently reusing bubble wrap I receive because I think it’s better to reuse it than throw it away.
I’m conscious that my design choices have an impact on the world, so I do try my best to choose suppliers, materials and processes that make less of an impact on the world.
Consumers are definitely becoming better informed about sustainable practices. I think as a sustainable company it’s part of my role to educate my customers because then they are more likely to support other businesses who care about our world. Every action has an impact. People who buy quality products will be more likely to value and love them.
Pretty Pink Eco Jewellery
Illana and Amalia, from Pretty Pink Eco Jewellery, create colourful and tactile pieces of Eco-jewellery using natural materials from the Amazon Rainforest. Their design process comes from a deep understanding of their market, and they have these close contact with their customers. You can shop their sustainable jewellery at our online shop.
“When we source materials we want to know who prepares them for us, how they work and about their lives. We try to offer the best price to our customers to ensure it will be a long relationship. We believe that an ethical business is a business where every part benefits, from the very beginning, by the person who collects the seeds.
First of all, the bulk of our materials are renewable materials that are sustainably sourced from the Amazon. We respect the natural characteristics of the materials and its imperfections, we believe it adds to its charm and its natural qualities.
We work on demand to fulfil orders so we don’t create waste, and if a design doesn’t sell, well we take them apart and re-design, but this is quite rare.
We can’t make beautiful things knowing that along the process, someone is going hungry or being taken advantage of. When people know the process from seed to necklace, all the steps taken to respect the environment, they respect that and can make a conscious choice. We believe that there is a growing trend for buying less but buying better out there.
Nature has everything we need, if we respect it we can have an ongoing source of beautiful things!
Claire Kasagi Jewellery
Claire Kasagi designs and creates jewellery predominantly from sterling silver that is inspired by all the things she loves – the natural world, animals, and all things geeky and unusual! Some of her trademark designs include my acid-etched animal print designs and her ‘Play’ range which is made up of Meeple and Polyhedral dice designs.
Claire quotes Lotta Nieminen (illustrator, graphic designer, art director), “You get to be a contributor to the realization of someone else’s dream!”
“I think it’s important to have no negative impact on the environment and to not exploit people in any way. I also think it’s important for me to source from small businesses where ever possible as this feeds directly back into communities.
I source my materials from ethical companies who are clear with where they source materials and use recycled metals and stones wherever possible. If not recycled, I know where they have come from and that are mined without exploiting workers or the environment.
I also use FSC certified packaging, which can be reused or recycled by my customers. When I need to use other companies I research their ethical practices to ensure these are in line with my own feelings and beliefs before working with them.
It’s really important to me to know that my business is not negatively impacting the planet and that I am being fair and honest with my customers about how I create my jewellery and where I source my materials. I don’t believe anyone or anything should be negatively impacted because of the jewellery I am creating.
I hope that when customers buy from me they feel positive and safe in the knowledge that I have researched and considered all my choices and decisions from where I source the raw materials, my packaging and even my stationary.
Browse our sustainable jewellers
We’re proud to provide sustainable jewellers around the UK with a fair and transparent online platform to sell their beautiful products. As a potential buyer, you can browse these stunning pieces that share a message of sustainability. If you’re a maker and would like to sell your products at our online shop, or feature on our social media, then you can contact us or find out more about joining our community.