designed with our planet + its people in mind

mirage metals approaches sustainability as an ongoing cycle of questioning, evaluating, and evolving.

stone sourcing

People are naturally drawn to stones. There's just something about a neat looking rock... But as ethical consumers, we should question the social and environmental impacts of our collections. The mining and cutting of stones can be secretive and dangerous, making ethical sourcing an ongoing challenge. 

It is my priority to create jewelry that supports the fair treatment of the people involved along each point in the supply chain.

We select stones based on the traceability of origin and cutting. At times designs use rough stones, which do not require cutting and polishing - an area of concern over worker wellbeing, due to the dust involved. Stones that have been cut and polished come from independent US-based lapidary artists, or an ethical supplier that uses their own safe stone-cutting facilities.

Occasionally, we design with "old stock" stones, purchased from retired artists or collectors. This breathes a new life into materials that may have been lost in storage otherwise.

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 in this transition, so check for individual stone information in each listing, and please reach out with any questions. 

metals matter

Argentium Silver:

Traditional sterling silver is 92.5% silver, mixed with other metal (usually copper) for the other 7.5%. Sterling silver will naturally tarnish, which appears as a dark layer of oxidation over time. 

When possible, I use a certified recycled silver, which has an equal silver content to traditional sterling, but with a different recipe for the remaining makeup. This type of silver does not tarnish as easily, so it requires less frequent polishing than traditional sterling silver. It can be easily refreshed with the included 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. 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. Gold fill refers to a core of brass with a layer of gold pressure bonded to the outside. Unlike gold plated metals, gold fill metal is required to be 5% gold by weight. Avoid using polishing cloths on gold-fill, as they contain a mild abrasive that can 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.

Chains + Clasps:

All of our sterling silver chains are made in the US or Italy.

Chains and clasps are made from traditional sterling silver, unless specified otherwise.

In 2023 we added an argentium chain option, which is certified recycled. We will continue to seek more recycled options.

plastic-free packaging

Each order is carefully packaged to arrive on your doorstep in low-waste, eco-friendly style. Every 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 100% recycled kraft paper.

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.

studio practices

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 (Sweeps for CERF). 

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.

in collaboration with the bees

Certain pieces begin as simple blocks of sustainably-raised local beeswax. They are hand-modeled and carved, or melted and poured into molds. These wax models are then sent to our local casting partner and transformed into metal. And to think - it all began with the bees and the wildflowers.