In a word, using sustainable materials and engaging in ethical and transparent sourcing procedures throughout the jewellery supply chain constitutes sustainable and ethical products. It doesn’t engage in conflict with the environment and gives back to its workforce through fair pay and secure working conditions.
On a micro level, however, this sustainable sector resembles the sustainable fashion industry in that it is incredibly complex and rather muddled. They have a lot in common, including overconsumption and supply chain issues. Mining, however, adds another layer of complexity to the jewellery supply chain. This raises new issues regarding social and environmental welfare.
So, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of why you should buy ethical and sustainable jewelry and how this purchase benefits you.
You’re Supporting Responsible and Eco-friendly Material
For every carat of a diamond, an estimated 250 tons of soil must be moved. We mine about 148 million carats annually to put this in perspective. Because of their size, the mines may be seen from space. And that only involves the extraction of diamonds, a little stone the size of a fingernail. There are issues specific to the mining of precious metals (such as gold, silver, and platinum), such as:
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) generated from solvents and vapours containing hazardous air pollutants are examples of manufacturing pollution (HAPs).
Water pollution and waste
Massive volumes of water are needed for metal mining, but it also taints groundwater and drinking water sources. Toxic substances like cyanide, mercury, and sulfuric acid eventually run out. On that note, sustainable jewelry is made using environmentally friendly, ethical sources for its materials.
Or, even better, some companies are really starting to explore the option of using recycled metals and gemstones. If you are worried about unnecessary waste and the safety of the environment, as well as how your purchasing habits and outfits affect the environment, investing in this kind of accessories can give you the peace of mind you require.
You’re Cutting Down on Your Carbon Footprint
Cheap jewellery, like fast fashion, is frequently worn only a few times before being thrown in the trash. The poorer materials (and green skin) are left behind as the silver or gold plating swiftly fades. Metal and plastic “gemstones” don’t biodegrade once they’re in a landfill, which results in the release of poisons into the air and water.
Our boxes of accessories are overflowing as a result of the innumerable blog posts titled “x Pieces of Jewellery Every Woman Should Have”. This type of accessories market is expected to rise until at least 2023 thanks to an increase in the number of working women, falling gold and silver prices, rising e-commerce sales, and a rising GDP per capita.
However, there is some positive news to report. According to a recent study, more than 80% of buyers preferred and were willing to pay more for conflict-free jewelry.
You’re Stopping Worker Abuse While Supporting Smaller Brands
One million kids are reportedly employed globally in small-scale mining activities. In addition to the mistreatment, they frequently suffer from trafficking and long-term exposure to hazardous dust and particles, which can lead to irreversible health problems. In nations including Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Indonesia, Mali, Nigeria, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, there have been reported instances of dangerous child labour.
Asking questions before purchasing is the best thing you can do for the environment and the people who make it. Despite their best efforts, many manufacturers are unable to afford or perhaps possibly reach the level of activism and source openness that we ultimately require.
No brand is perfect, but some are undoubtedly headed in the right direction. To make sure of this, you need to be clear on what they mean when they use the terms “ethical” or “sustainable.” More to the point, being interested in shopping from a sustainable jewelry shop means showing your support for independent small businesses, which is also great for the economy especially if they’re in your local area.
You Get to Explore More Unique Designs
Women appreciate a wide range of jewellery designs. The great news is different shapes and styles can be created with recycled and repurposed materials, and when employing creative handcrafting techniques no two pieces end up exactly the same.
This guarantees you get unique accessories that go just as well with any attire. And they leave zero waste! You can even ask a small jewellery store for a bespoke design if you require one so one else will have something remotely similar.
There’s no doubt, in addition to the abovementioned factors, sustainable accessories can enhance your style too. And, best of all is you can give your friends and family jewellery that has been specially made and encourage them to spend their money more consciously by promoting eco-friendly accessories in this way.