With lots of jewelry brands on the market, buying jewelry online or in-person doesn’t always give all the information you want in terms of knowing whether a piece was sustainably and ethically prepared or not.
The jewelry industry has a massive environmental footprint. After all, there is a lot of mining, transportation, processing, and labour that goes into anything from a diamond ring to a handmade bracelet.
While major corporate jewelry companies are well-known for having highly questionable practices, more consumers are moving online to jewelry makers that are more transparent and ethical.
Here are the questions to ask yourself to find out whether the jewelry you’re buying is sustainable.
How Will You Define ‘Sustainable’?
A lot goes into sustainable jewelry.
You have to think about where the materials are from, how they were extracted, who handled them along the way, how the jewelry was put together, and what will happen to the jewelry after you don’t want to have it anymore.
How Transparent Is The Supply Chain?
It is a lot easier to track metal than it is diamonds and gemstones. These pass through a lot of hands and in a lot of countries before they reach you.
If you’re buying new, ideally, the jewelry will have a traceable supply chain and be certified as ‘conflict-free’, meaning you aren’t purchasing something with origins from rebel groups, military activity, or violence.
Where Are The Metals And Stones From?
More sustainable jewelry brands are using recycled metals and stones as opposed to virgin materials.
Metal and stones can be used again and again, being repurposed not only from the jewelry supply chain but also from other sources such as computer parts, smartphones, and computer circuit boards.
Are They Made From Low-Impact Processing?
The process of cutting and styling metals and gems into jewelry pieces can take a lot of energy and chemicals.
Low-impact processing is one way to counteract this energy use with some companies also engaging in behaviours to offset emissions as well. Find out a little more about how a company creates their jewelry from start to finish and this information should become clear.
Is It Cheap Or Is It Quality?
If you buy something that’s relatively cheap, you can bet it’s not going to have the best sustainability rating attached to it.
Compare that to premium artisan earrings or a high-quality bracelet and you know what you’re getting is far more likely to be sustainably made and with ethical methods.
Are There Any Sort of Certifications Attached To A Jewelry Piece?
We hinted at it earlier but some jewelry is certified as ethical and sustainable, though not all sustainable jewelry is. Even so, it’s another way to identify that a piece meets your standard for sustainability.
Fair Trade, the Kimberly Process for diamonds, Fairmined for metals, and other sustainability certifications are all signs that the seller put forth the effort to produce the most sustainable jewelry they can.
How Does The Brand Present Itself?
A lot of jewelry brands will promote themselves as sustainable and ethical. They make the effort to communicate that they are doing things differently than the big brands. They offer more transparency and legitimacy than claims from other jewelry companies.
Consider buying jewelry from sustainability-themed and ethically-themed jewelry brands.
Are You Buying Artisan Jewelry?
Artisan jewelry is a lot easier to verify as sustainable than going through a midsize to large jewelry brand.Corail Blanc is a fast-growing ethical and sustainable jewelry brand, offering handcrafted and artisan jewelry from makers across the country. We believe the future of jewelry is one where sustainability is a priority. No matter where you are shopping your necklaces, rings, bracelets, and other jewelry, ensure what you’re buying is made ethically and with as minimal an environmental impact as possible. Shop with Corail Blanc today.