Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sustainable Bling

It's here! It's here! I was so excited when my package from Hoover & Strong arrived yesterday. Besides the simple joy that comes from receiving a big box of metal (which, trust me, is kind of like opening presents on Christmas), I'm excited because this is all recycled metal!

Wait, what? Remember my waxing on poetically about sustainability and how much I've been wanting to reduce my impact as a jewelry maker? Well, I opened an account with Hoover & Strong, a refiner in the United States that takes scrap precious metal from around the industry, melts it down, and sells a product we makers can whip into jewelry. Like that beautiful piece of sterling silver sheet shown above. (Read more about Hoover & Strong's commitment to recycled metals.)

I still have some non-recycled metal to use up and get out the door, so it will take me some time yet for all of my jewelry to be fully constructed from recycled silver. But, think of it like a farmer making the decision to turn organic. It can take up to seven years for soil that's been tainted with petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides to be certified organic. My process will be similar, although I sure hope it doesn't take seven years!

What all of this means is that I'm no longer contributing to mining, which is not only harmful to our planet but to the thousands of men and women employed in this way. It means that I'm using what we already have around us, instead of creating more (much in the same way that I use leaves which have already hit the ground). And it means that you can feel better about your purchase of Tangerine Treehouse jewelry.

Watch for labels noting jewelry that's comprised of recycled metals. And if you'd like to learn more about the impact of mining and what we can do to effect change, let me suggest a few links:
Rust Belt Research Blog
Fair Trade Jewelry

Happy Tuesday!


Ashley said...

Thank you so much for sharing this information about recycling scrap metal! I had heard about it, but have not had the time to do some research on refiners. What a wonderful way to stay green!

Meghan said...

Hoover & Strong is a great company and one of the few offering recycled metal products. As a retailer of sustainable jewelry, I am really looking forward to the time when they carry ethically sourced diamonds too.

kait said...

I'd heard of H&S from my time working for someone else, but I didn't know they had recycled metal available. Thanks for the heads up!

Laura Crawford said...

Thanks everyone! It's great to get such a response - it definitely gives me hope that things are changing. And, Meghan, my understanding is that Hoover & Strong is currently making the switch to Canadian diamonds. :)