You may be tempted to buy cheap and trendy accessories from a “fast-fashion” store. We don’t blame you: many of these stores, which can be found at your nearest shopping mall, carry cute and eye-catching baubles meant to satisfy an immediate gratification fix. But what are the long-term consequences of buying these accessories?
Most of these stores mass-produce their clothing and accessories to satisfy consumers’ quick desire for the latest fashions at a low price. Because these stores often have multiple locations worldwide, they must appeal to a mass audience – and quickly, as tastes and trends change.
According to the website Good on You, “considering the clothing industry’s significant carbon footprint, the choices we make when we go shopping…can make a real difference to the environment.” Though the article focuses on the environmental impact of clothing, the same realities apply to mass jewelry manufacturing, which produces waste and toxic emissions.
Furthermore, many of these fast-fashion brands manufacture their products overseas, and the carbon footprint created by shipping these items to your nearest store location is massive.
To complicate matters, mass-produced products are made to last for only a season, so that consumers will be motivated to buy the next accessories trend in just a few months.
Think fine jewelry is the solution? Think again: if you buy gold jewelry, you could be supporting practices that damage the environment and put people’s lives at risk. According to a recent article in The New Yorker, shady practices in illegal gold mining might soon make gold “as taboo as elephant tusks or sealskin coats…” Even though the diamond mining and trading industries are more ethical than they were decades ago, “blood diamonds still exist” unfortunately.
So what’s an accessories-loving woman to do? How can you continue to wear cute, high-quality jewelry without contributing to environmental destruction and questionable business practices?
Buy a one-of-a-kind handmade piece of jewelry crafted from sustainable materials. Sumaris Jewelry has been made to last a long time and could even be something to pass down to future generations.
Here are three examples of how you can decrease your carbon footprint by wearing jewelry:
What better way to celebrate life and environmentalism than with two bright, sunny daisies? The daisy's yellow color symbolizes vitality and radiance, while the white represents purity and cleansing. By wearing these two colors together, you’ll signal to everyone that you have made a commitment to reducing your carbon footprint.
The materials of this one-of-a-kind necklace include a vintage enameled brooch, acrylic, and Swarovski crystal. When you purchase vintage jewelry or upcycled jewelry with vintage elements, you're ensuring that no more energy must be expended to manufacture something new. You’re also helping restore life to an old finding by ensuring it doesn’t end up in a landfill.
Did you know that Swarovski crystal is environmentally friendly, especially when compared with diamonds? According to a sustainability report released by Swarovski in 2013, the company is fully committed to improving its supply chain transparency and making its production processes as sustainable as possible. They’re proactively working to reduce carbon emissions, water use, and waste production.
Wear our turquoise-colored I Won’t necklace and demonstrate your commitment to clean, fresh water throughout the world. The emerald-cut aqua-glass stone in the center couldn’t be a prettier blue!
I Won't is made from a vintage brooch, a glass stone, contemporary aluminum chain, and vintage brass chain. When you add this piece to your collection, you keep your carbon footprint small by buying jewelry handmade from upcycled materials.
Furthermore, you’re buying something made with brass, one of the most environmentally-sustainable metals available on the market. According to a blog post written by metal-recycling company Lucky Group, brass “…is a sustainable metal. It is a known fact that brass product supplier and manufacturers throughout the world depend on recycled brass scrap for their resources. Producing new brass from copper and zinc is simply too uneconomical…Hence brass is an environmentally friendly alloy and is also hundred percent recyclable.” Amazing!
Did you know that dragonflies symbolize change in nearly every culture? The world is changing all around us, but we also have the ability to change our perspectives and practices. The bold, multi-colored dragonfly on our Fantasy necklace reminds us that we can always change for the better.
This stunning and color-rich necklace is made from a Czech Bijoux rhinestone brooch, faux pearls, Lucite, and Swarovski crystal. From reading this blog post, you already know that vintage components and Swarovski crystal are environmentally sustainable. But what about Lucite?
Well, Lucite is a brand name for high-quality acrylic resin, which was developed by DuPont in the 1930s.
Lucite today is “committed to the sustainable development of our business, which means that environmental, economic, social and cultural considerations are at the heart of our strategic planning process.”
According to an article from Fire Mountain Gems, “Not long after the Second World War, Lucite acrylic found its place among high-end and luxury fashion items including handles on purses and accents on jewelry.” Acrylic is an advantageous material because it resembles glass but is more durable.
Once acrylic has been produced - especially high-quality acrylic like Lucite, it's extremely long-lasting and easy to recycle into new material.Now that you’ve learned more about upcycled and environmentally sustainable jewelry, do you feel more inspired to reduce your carbon footprint?
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