When it comes to making jewelry, some gemstones have more conflict surrounding them than others. For example, many diamonds come from areas where fighting over control of these mines is common. Also, sourcing for specific gems can damage the environment, and this is one of the various reasons many fashionistas now search for sustainable alternatives. So, upgrade your wardrobe with jewelry that doesn't harm the world around us.
Defining Eco-Friendly Jewelry
What does it mean when jewelry is eco-friendly? Sustainable jewelry has little impact on our environment because miners use alternative practices to source the material. So rather than dig out various mines and blast away bits of the earth, jewelry makers may recycle old material. Eco-friendly jewelry also prioritizes worker safety when experts have to work in mines to obtain precious gems.
Often, experts design this type of jewelry by using as many recycled materials as possible. While this may not always be an option for gems, it's easy to do with metal. Many jewelers will melt down scrap metal or old pieces of metal jewelry so they can create something new.
For example, you could melt down an old gold chain and then repurpose the material to create a ring band, bracelet, or another beautiful piece. Reusing material is key to making jewelry eco-friendly since it reduces our need to gather nonrenewable resources.
Some jewelry makers also repurpose vintage pieces to blend the old with the new. This is another great way to repurpose a dated piece of jewelry without adding to the demand for mining these precious resources.
Safer Mining Practices
When jewelry isn't eco-friendly, the mining practices are also unethical in most cases. These companies may force poorly paid workers to enter into dangerous conditions. Sometimes, the mines dug out for these stones—specifically diamonds—are so massive that you can see them from space. This destroys the environment, which greatly impacts the community and animals living in the area.
Since eco-friendly jewelry reuses old material, we don't usually have this concern. And when these jewelers need to mine for gems, they rely on small-scale mines owned by families or a community. As a result, workers receive fair compensation and work under safe conditions with the appropriate gear.
We don't always have to mine for gemstones anymore, thanks to modern advancements. Lab-grown diamonds look exactly like the natural ones, but scientists create them in a lab. This cuts down on pollution and eliminates the need for mining diamonds, which is dangerous and sometimes leads to conflict. Caleesi Designs has beautiful lab-grown diamonds, as well as jewelry repair stone replacement. If you need this type of repair, go the eco-friendly route with a man-made diamond.
There's Less Pollution
There are a few reasons eco-friendly jewelry creates less pollution. First, you cut down on air and water pollution when you recycle material. Mining and manufacturing metals can lead to dangerous pollutants contaminating our atmosphere. Likewise, miners waste countless gallons of water, cutting down on an essential resource; this can also lead to run-off and toxic water supplies.
These eco-friendly jewelers also help cut down on how much material ends up in a landfill by reusing old material. Additionally, workers rely on the material within their area, so there's no need to worry about shipping material which adds to pollution.
Benefits of Purchasing Eco-Friendly Jewelry
Eco-friendly jewelry is better for our environment, but that's not the only reason to buy this over traditional pieces. We briefly explained the sad reality that many unethical companies treat workers poorly, and when you invest in those pieces, you put money in the business owner's pocket. This further feeds into that cycle. However, buying recycled or otherwise environmentally friendly jewelry stops these practices while also supporting humane companies.
Unlike fine jewelry, most everyone can afford eco-friendly pieces due to the material utilized. For example, look at lab-grown diamonds; while they dazzle like the natural ones, you can buy one with a better carat or clarity at a better price.
A Bonus: Customization Options
There's usually more room for customization when you buy a recycled piece, especially if you bring in the metals you wish to recycle. In other words, if you have an old gold bracelet you never wear, rather than replacing it with something you buy at the store, recycle the material and work with a jeweler to create something unique.
Tips for Buying Eco-Friendly Jewelry
So, we've discussed what it means when jewelry is eco-friendly, but how should you go about buying these pieces? Below, we've highlighted the key things to keep in mind as you shop for this type of jewelry:
- Know the origins of the gemstone
- Ask about the jeweler's supplier
- Shop for recycled metal
- Search out local or online artisans
Often, you can find this information out by talking to the jeweler, but if this is a generic jewelry shop, the employee may not know this information about each brand. In this instance, do some digging online to see how the company manufactures jewelry—if they don't label themselves as eco-friendly, then steer clear.
Investigate the Company
Before buying a piece of jewelry, you should look into the company. See if you can find out how they source material and whether they follow ethical practices. Look carefully as you do this, as some companies may claim to be environmentally friendly when they aren't. This marketing practice, known as greenwashing, is deceptive, and the company may only prioritize one or two eco-friendly practices.
Many jewelry lovers continuously obtain new pieces without flooding the market by shopping for antique pieces, giving them a new life. By doing this, you don't have to research a brand, plus you get a timeless piece.
Search for Lab-Grown
Caleesi Designs sells lab-grown gems, and the pieces we offer are conflict-free. Nothing beats the beautiful sparkle of a diamond, and when it's lab-grown, you can rest comfortably knowing that precious piece didn't feed into environmental destruction.