People are naturally drawn to stones. There's just something about a neat looking rock... But as ethical consumers, we must question the social and environmental impacts of our collections. The mining and cutting of stones can be secretive, making ethical sourcing an ongoing challenge.
It is my intention to create pieces that treat people fairly along each point in the supply chain and share sourcing information with you, so you may understand the journey of your jewelry and make informed choices.
All new stone purchases are considered based on the traceability of origin and cutting. At times I opt for rough stones, which do not require cutting and polishing - an area of concern over worker wellbeing. I will also continue to use old stock stones, purchased from retired artists and collectors, sparing these stones from a lifetime in a dusty garage.
While I have updated my purchasing criteria, it will take time before each piece meets these standards. It is important to me to be transparent as in this transition, so check for individual stone information in each listing, and please reach out with any questions.
When possible, I use certified recycled silver. This tarnish-resistant alloy requires less frequent maintenance than traditional sterling silver, and can be cleaned as needed with a polishing cloth.
While I believe recycled metal has its merits, I am also aware that it is not a complete answer to the question of sustainability in jewelry. Other industries demand precious metals as well, so even if the entire jewelry industry switched to recycled metal, mining would still occur. Because of this, I seek out other sustainability strategies alongside the use of recycled metal.
14/20 Gold Fill:
Simply put, gold filled metal is the step between gold plating and solid gold. Usually, this is a core of brass with a layer of gold pressure bonded to the outside. Gold fill metal is required to be 5% gold by weight. Don't use polishing cloths on gold-fill, as they contain a mild abrasive that may wear away the gold. Instead, use a soft cloth or wash with mild soap and water. Our gold-fill wire is made in the United States.
All of our sterling silver chains are made in USA or Italy.
I work with care and intention to avoid unnecessary waste. I use every scrap of metal that I can, and save any leftovers that are too small to use to be refined and recycled. Even with care, jewelry studios are dirty places, and precious metals are found in unexpected spots - like our floor dust and paper towels. Studio sweeps (dust, metal shavings, and waste containing even a small amount of metal) are collected and donated to a program which refines precious metal to raise funds for emergency support to artists.
Inevitably, some materials and supplies arrive packaged in plastic bags or on plastic spools, which are not curbside recyclable. I do my best to reuse these, and when possible I purchase supplies in bulk to minimize this waste source. I save any recyclable plastics to drop off at our local center.
Each order is carefully packaged to arrive on your doorstep in low-waste, eco-friendly style. Each piece of the shipping puzzle has been considered, and is either made from natural fiber + reusable, or fully recyclable.
We use recycled shipping boxes from EcoEnclose, which is a local Colorado business, and seal them up with plastic-free kraft paper tape. Our care and contact cards are printed on recycled kraft paper by Tower Press, a woman-owned business.
Each order includes a cotton pouch and jewelry box. The cotton pouches were dyed with natural cutch bark and black mallow flowers by local artist Indigo & Goldenrod. Each one is a unique work of art and I am so excited to share them with you.
Our new, customized jewelry boxes are made from FSC-certified paperboard, with a simple logo imprint. The protective cushion inside is made from a wood-pulp material instead of the usual synthetic foam found in most jewelry boxes. I searched for a long time before finding this alternative, and am so glad we held out for it!
I encourage you to reuse first, then recycle.