Jewelry is a complementary accessory, but buying new items can be expensive. Plus, some pieces can have a dark past.
Making recycled jewelry can be an economical alternative and allows you to have control over the design.
Taking old pieces that are never worn and recycling by having them melted down into new ones is a good option. Silver, gold and other pure metals that you already have may be preferable to buying since it is cost effective and doesn’t require manufacturing new ones.
Gold jewelry, for one example, takes up as much as 80% of gold that has to be mined, and to make only one gold ring can create as much as 20 tons of waste. Mining for gold also uses toxins like cyanide, leaving environmental and health hazards behind where it is gathered. Over half of all gold that is available for purchase is mined from indigenous communities (NoDirtyGold.org).
Check the No Dirty Gold list for jewelry retailers that are ethically and eco conscious if you would like to buy new, and ask jewelers questions about the origins of their jewelry, which they should know.
A neat jewelry compilation from WebEcoist shows 25 examples of environmentally inspired designs. Some, like the rings that need to be watered since they can contain a live plant, are quite extreme.
Others reinvent cast off materials, like old typewriter keys and cleverly turn them into edgy cuff links.
For some do it yourself jewelry inspiration, look through these 40 designs compiled in a slideshow by Trend Hunter. They will likely spark design concepts for fashioning your own jewelry with recycled objects. Changing old jewelry up by redesigning it into quirky pieces, or incorporating reusable items like buttons are just a few ideas on the list. Also, you can take parts from jewelry that is not really liked and combine or switch them into new accessories. For instance, a gaudy necklace can be repurposed into a charming bracelet or earrings that are more wearable.
Whether recycling everyday materials or remaking items from old jewelry for a new personalized piece, jewelry makes a statement. In choosing responsible pieces, part of that statement can reflect an environmental and societal awareness.
Image Source: Google Images
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