Sunday, June 19, 2011

The 3R's of Eco Jewelry - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

By on Sunday, June 19, 2011 2 Comments

Fairytale Recycled Necklace -  by ecoblingcouture on Etsy
This guest post is by Jessica Carter, a writer with years of experience in the diamond industry as a gemological apprentice and consultant.

The 3 Rs are becoming ever more relevant in our current world of waste and excess. We are now routinely taught in school to reduce waste by recycling products such as plastic and paper, and to reuse whatever we can.

This new found or rediscovered love of the 3 Rs has allowed us to reconnect with our more creative side. Artists are using egg cartons to mix their paints, families are using yoghurt containers as their Tupperware, and we jewelers can be using old stones and metals to create new pieces.

Everything Cluster Recycled Necklace  by ecoblingcouture on Etsy
When talking about old jewelry, how do these 3 Rs apply? As a jewelry maker, I am trying very hard to incorporate these 3Rs into my pieces, please see below as to how I have gone about doing this:

It is more important now than it ever has been before to reduce waste of all products that we as consumers purchase. We are realizing that many of our planets natural resources are nonrenewable, and as such are in a limited quantity.

I have veered away from using heavy and large pieces of metal, and have begun to create pieces that are chain or braid based in order to reduce the amount of metal I use in each piece.

Any Evening Recycled Necklace by ecoblingcouture

Many items today can be reused to create fabulous, fresh, modern jewelry so that often no new byproducts are needed. The most difficult item to find when wanting to create “reused” pieces, are the diamonds or gemstones.

I routinely check with vintage shops and customers alike to see if they have any stones that they would like to trade in for refurbished pieces, or would like to offer at a fair price. Again, in reusing already mined diamonds or gemstones, I am able to limit my carbon footprint on the planet. As well, the market for this sort of eco friendly jewelry is ever expanding; you would be surprised at the demand for these products.

Summertime Recycled Necklace by ecoblingcouture on Etsy

We all know that metals can be recycled, similar to paper and plastic, they can be melted down and basically re-start as something entirely new. I offer a discount on my custom pieces to people who bring in old jewelry to be re-made into something new.

Often times, as well, not all of the materials from the old piece are used in the new so I gain some reusable materials simply through my recycling process. In fact, some suppliers are now offering to buy up precious metal scraps saved by artisans. They gather these scraps for smelters, who generally need at least a kilogram prior to begin their process.

Using the 3Rs when creating new jewelry pieces is simply a matter of   ''where there’s a will, there’s a way.'' All jewelry can be created from the 3Rs, so be creative, get in touch with your eco friendly side and start reducing your carbon footprint today!

Big and Bold Recycled Necklace by ecoblingcouture
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  1. Marvelous guest post. The recycled jewelry pieces by eco bling couture are fabulously beautiful. Sometime vintage jewelry can be dazzling in both its beauty and in being unique, so it is always nice to see these pieces reclaimed and fashioned into something more suitable to todays sensibilities. I think a couple of my best creations were pieces in which I utilized “salvaged treasures” as one will never see these unique components in any bead shop

  2. Isn't the jewelry lovely? It's one thing to use salvaged treasures but it is another to have the knack of making them beautiful again.