Is Jewelry really Eco-friendly?
It`s always good and never too late to wish all of you the best for 2022!
During the last few weeks I have been wandering around my studio, experiencing that feeling I always get during the first months of the year: uncertainty, like a blank canvas in front of me, full of possibilities, challenges and expectations. One of good sides of it has been trying son eco-friendly jewelry design.
Happily, I could slow down a lot during the holidays and enjoy with family and friends. Even so, I took some time to reflect about the enormous changes humanity is going through and if I am contributing in any way to make favorable changes for a better planet at all. So, is jewelry really eco-friendly?
Most metals for jewelry, like gold, silver and copper are recycled. There is also a lot of fair mining happening in many countries. Jewelry can be upcycled too: many clients want to use the gemstones of an old family jewel in a new design or use the gold or silver of an old bracelet or ring for a new piece. This brings life to a new jewel, challenges the designer and pleases the customer desire of honoring his loved ones. Another important issue to consider is the source of the materials we buy to work the jewelry, having guarantee of the their ethical source and making sure there is no children labor or any harm to the people involved in their production. I feel comfortable having good suppliers who take pride in their commitment with the environment and even so I asked myself…
Are we really recycling?
Every time I finish to clean my kitchen after meals I realize with shock the amount of waste only one soul generates. Even though I try to buy from small grocery stores to reduce the plastic waste, it’s still big. Here is when I remember my mom saying after cleaning ” Oh, if money would grow like garbage!” This made us laugh a lot and always answer her… “wishful thinking mom!”
Sadly, some of the plastics we waste will not be recycled. Most of us are really busy to even ask ourselves what will happen to the trash we discard ….This makes me feel some sorrow , and at the same time the urge came to me for
Designing with recycled elements
So, knowing that it’s hard to lower that amount of waste ,why not turn this material into “precious plastic”? Eco-friendly jewelry design seems a good initiative. Small contributions may seem useless at first, but just as great actions begin with small steps, I love thinking that small contributions may count a lot when caring for the environment.
I felt the challenge to do something with it. Therefore I have been playing with a lot of plastic garbage, combining it with silver and cooper in my first attempt to create wearable beauty out of my own waste. Let me tell you, it has not been easy, but it is bringing me joy and the peace of mind that a small contribution may count.
So, after some hesitation, coming in and out of my studio, watching my bench full of trash, rejecting the idea of working with this materials I have ventured into designing with them and some results are coming out! It’s very interesting to experiment with new materials like pet bottle plastic. It has taken me some time to figure out how to shape it and to combine it with the metal. It’s not easy either to get to the exact point before it begins melting and loosing its translucent characteristics, practice makes perfect!
The experience is being good, instead of semi precious gems I am experimenting with “precious plastic”. The feeling I get ? The peace of mind a small contribution that upcycling some of my waste brings.
So, I hope soon to have wearable beauty out my own plastic waste.