Can Jewellery Be Sustainable?
25.11.2021 ECO FASHION 0.0 0

sustainable fashion

Photo by Andie Gómez-Acebo on Unsplash

Conversations about sustainability are becoming more commonplace. And with awareness about global warming increasing across the world, people are looking for ways that they can live more sustainably. 

Almost every product we can buy today will likely come with an ethical issue of some kind or has involved some form of controversy in the past. What was once a small concern for consumers is now being focused on more, with customers looking to shop more sustainably and make eco-friendly choices. 

The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to environmental damage, with many brands trying to turn back the clock and reverse the damage that has been done, paving the way for a more sustainable future. Jewellery is a part of fashion that has long been divided in terms of sustainability, with most customers not aware of the environmental impact that some jewellery pieces can have on the planet. So, with that being said, can jewellery be sustainable? 

How Jewellery Can Be Damaging To The Environment

Jewellery Mining

With metal jewellery, there has long been a number of ethical issues associated with the mining involved to unearth the metal, including gold mining. Mining can cause erosion and, in areas surrounding mining sites, biodiversity is a common problem. Harmful waste products are often dumped into rivers and waterways, which then contaminates water and destroys local ecosystems. 

As well as this, mining requires a huge amount of energy and water. The more energy that is needed, the bigger the greenhouse gas emissions. If you are a regular buyer of jewellery pieces, then this can mean that you’re contributing to the harmful processes involved. 

Exporting and Shipping

The mining and manufacturing of jewellery tend to happen in more distant parts of the world. This means that the materials required to make jewellery often end up travelling rather significant distances, which then further increases the carbon emissions that are released into the atmosphere. With many worldwide issues, shipping is becoming more and more problematic, with many shipping channels closed meaning that ships have to travel longer distances than before to reach their destination. 

Fast Fashion

Fast fashion has long been a problem with clothing, but not many people realise that this issue also stretches into jewellery. You can go into any store and purchase items of clothing, then without even realising throw a couple of pieces of jewellery into your basket. These items are often priced quite low and made using cheap materials, which then mean that they don’t last and end up in landfills, contributing to the fast-fashion problem. 

Can Jewellery Be Sustainable?

With the above problems, it’s easy to understand why customers want to make more sustainable choices with their jewellery purchases. Choosing to purchase from sustainable brands is one way, but if you’re looking for quality and premium jewellery pieces, then there is one way you can be more sustainable: antique jewellery. 

Many people are choosing to buy antique jewellery as a more eco-friendly option to build their jewellery collection. By choosing vintage or antique jewellery, you’re not purchasing a piece of jewellery that needs to be made from new, therefore you’re not contributing to the mass production processes that are damaging the environment. 

When you buy antique jewellery, you are becoming a conservator, rather than a consumer, of jewellery pieces, as well as vastly minimising damage to the environment. Vintage jewellery was made and created in a time where mass production wasn’t possible or feasible, therefore much less went into actually creating the piece and is often made to a much higher standard. 

Is Buying Antique The Answer To Sustainable Jewellery? 

Purchasing antique jewellery is a great way to be more eco-friendly. When you buy an antique jewellery piece, you’re extending the life of a piece of jewellery that has already been made. This means that you can enjoy your jewellery all whilst knowing that you haven’t contributed any further damage to the environment. 

Whilst antique and vintage jewellery is often priced higher than fast fashion pieces, consider it as an investment piece instead. By breaking the cycle of buying into jewellery production, you’re vastly reducing your carbon footprint. 

With antique and vintage jewellery pieces, it’s much easier to restore and turn them into a piece that looks brand new, or that can be completely reimagined to create a new piece. Recycling antique jewellery pieces is also environmentally friendly and means that you’re also preserving a piece of history that can continue to be adored for years to come. For example, antique engagement rings are often very unique and beautiful, making them the perfect choice for a partner who has specific tastes, or if you’re looking for something a little different. Classic emerald jewellery pieces, such as earrings, are much harder to come across these days, so by buying vintage, you’re getting ornate and classic pieces that you can keep in your family for many years to come. 


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TAGS:sustainable jewellery, Eco Fashion

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