words Alexa Wang
Sustainability in fashion is indisputably a hot topic right now and the importance of it only increases with time.
As we continue to learn, it’s more important than ever for consumers to educate themselves, ask the right questions, and do their own research. If you are one of those people who understood the extent of the negative impact the fashion industry has on our planet, you should be aware that you can personally contribute to help reduce these negative effects by making conscious decisions. Whether you choose to buy jewellery made from sustainable and timeless Akoya pearls, or you prefer semi-precious gems, every choice you make matters. There are plenty of brands out there which claim to be sustainable, but how can you be sure that they actually practice what they preach? Take a look at the main aspects you should consider before shopping for jewellery.
It is a well-known fact that some precious stones have dark origins. Diamonds are notorious for being the reason wars have started in Africa and also, diamond mining has been fuelling the international drug trades for many, many years. As a conscious consumer, you don’t want to be a part of this, so you should only buy your jewellery from brands that are transparent about where their materials and gemstones come from. Ethical brands will usually use recycled and upcycled materials like recycled gold and silver, or recycled bronze. Always check the information on their website and social media before you make any purchase. If your favourite sustainable brand uses ethically sourced materials, conflict free stones, ethically sourced diamonds and fair-trade gold, you hit the jackpot. Always check the information on the website and social media before you make any purchase.
Minimal Supply Chain
Another thing you should look for in a sustainable jewellery company is the size of their supply chain. If they aim for a minimal supply chain that uses fairtrade practices, including fair wages, it’s worth taking a second look at that particular company. Ethical brands will always care a lot about the environment therefore, they always aim to reduce production waste. Also, do they recycle and use old materials to create new items? Are they involved in any “green” campaigns? These are all important points you need to clarify before deciding if a brand is really sustainable or not. If you can’t find all the information you need on the website, don’t hesitate to connect with your favourite ethical brand on social media and ask them all the questions you have.
These days, being environmentally conscious is as important (if not even more important) as looking stylish, and more and more people are transitioning to slow fashion every day. Thankfully, there are also more and more brands that change the way they do business and become more eco-friendly. But, for a company, sustainability extends beyond the production process and it should reflect in all aspects of the business, including the packaging. If a brand claims they are sustainable but they deliver their products in plastic bags, it might be time to switch to another company. Plastic-free and recyclable packaging is available world-wide these days, so there really is no excuse. Plus, it’s easy to use and cost-effective, so choose brands that use this type of packaging.
Labels and Certifications
With the slow fashion movement on the rise – which aims to motivate people to be more mindful of the choices they make when it comes to purchasing their clothes and accessories – consumers all over the world
expect the jewellery they wear to be made responsibly and with respect for human rights and the planet. Therefore, mindful consumers have started doing their own research when it comes to choosing a sustainable brand. Depending on the origin of the brand, different countries have their own standards and regulations in place regarding what constitutes as sustainable. Although keeping track of all the certifications and labels can be a difficult task, there are a few basic things a sustainable brand should have, so keep an eye out for them as they can help guide your search. Narrow down your favourite brands list and keep only the ones that implement sustainable business practices into the core of their business strategy. Check for any kind of fair-trade certifications and fair-mined (for metals) they may have and make sure they meet their country’s regulations regarding sustainability.