What could be unsustainable about jewellery, you might wonder? Before quite recently, I had never given it a second thought myself. But after doing some research I realize that not even this industry is without shame.
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When mining the gems and metals used in jewellery the working conditions are often very bad and highly unethical, with unsufficient rights and pay. It also has a huge negative impact on the surrounding environment, with effects like deforestation and toxifying nearby ecosystems. Also, if you´ve seen the movie Blood diamond and think it´s only fiction – think again. The money from the gem mining industry is often used to fund terrorism, and the stones are hard to trace back to their origin.
When creating jewellery it´s not rare that animal products are used as tools or as a part of the piece. Animal skin and fat are used when working the metals. Corals are exploited and used as part of the jewellery, as well as animal bones and leather.
Harsh chemicals that hurts the environment are often used when producing and processing the metals, both when mining but also in the design studios.
So next time you buy jewellery, make sure you do some research first. Here are some tips on what to look for to find the best vegan and sustainable jewellery brands:
- Recycled materials – slow fashion that reuses already existing materials like silver, gold and gems
- Man made gems – lab grown diamonds
- Vegan materials such as organic cotton and faux leather
- Small business production to increase transparency
- Timeless design that will last forever
In my previous post I wrote about Tepla, a vegan and sustainable jewellery brand that produces small scale and ethical. I own a pair of earrings from their Classic collection, and I can say that I am happy with the weight (very light), the functionality, and the design! If you wish to invest in a piece from Tepla you get 20% off all April with my code VASHION20.