Sustainable and Ethical Practise
"Do what thou will, yet harm none"
Our aim is to create enchanting jewellery with sustainability and ethics at the forefront of everything we do, to consider the possible harm with each action. We don't claim to be perfect, but it is our aim to work sustainably by using recycled and found materials where ever possible, supporting local and fair-trade, prioritising environmental care and being kind and fair to others. To create long lasting talismans that will be cherished but are easily recyclable.
Across the below channels, are examples of how we try and achieve this. It is important to be transparent, especially when selling products to the environmentally-conscious customer. It can be confusing and misleading when investing products that are marketed as sustainable and you deserve the right to be able to make an informed decision that suit your ethics. There are big brands quite obviously green washing out there, which makes it hard to fully trust what is advertised, we strongly recommend you to ask questions from businesses.
From the founder:
It’s important for me to lessen my impacts on the world and its inhabitants in the way that I work and live. I studied Marine & Natural History Photography at Falmouth University, researching conservation and human connections with nature. The photographic projects I worked on inspired me to help to preserve nature and be more conscious about the source of materials. I’m now always seeking new ways and materials to create more consciously with my handmade jewellery. I started silversmithing because I love to lose myself in the process of making things and I wouldn’t want to give up this passion because the materials don’t match my ethics.
I have dedicated this year so far into researching more about the materials I use, finding eco-friendly alternatives for even the seemingly small things and questioning suppliers so that I can be a more responsible, environmentally conscious maker. Whilst I could keep these findings to myself and provide an eco-friendly niche to my own work, this wouldn’t really be kind to the planet in the long run. I believe that environmentally friendly processes and materials need to be widely shared with others for the greater good and I hope to inspire other makers to learn more about their materials, make more conscious decisions and to match your ethics with your work.
If you have any tips you would like to share then please drop me an email: Becky@oflandandsea.com
Sustainability in the workshop:
Energy – Of Land and Sea's studio space is based at Jubilee Wharf Gallery, Penryn. Our electricity is sourced from renewable energy, including solar panels and the Jubilee Wharf wind turbines.
Jewellery Pickle – The cleaning pickle used in the making process is biodegradable and food safe, instead of any nasty, polluting chemicals.
Soldering – We use recycled silver solder and a blow torch fuelled by a refillable propane tank.
Silver scrap – Our precious metal waste by melting down my silver or gold scrap into balls and then incorporating it into my designs. The silver dust is also collected and kept aside in a jar so that I can use it to create textures on my work, or it is sent to Cooksongold to be recycled.
Recycling and upcycling:
By nature, the jewellery industry recycles most materials due to their high value. There is also very little waste created during the manufacturing process. Silver is highly recyclable, it can be melted down and reused again and again. The problem is getting it out of the ground. Although generally, silver comes to market as a by-product of the industrial mining of other metals, such as copper, zinc and gold, the fact is - you can’t mine without leaving an environmental footprint. With that being said, Philip Newman, metal analyst at precious metal consultancy GMFS, says more and more silver that is used for industrial purposes is being recouped and reused. (theecologist.org,2009)
THOUGHTFULLY FORGED BY HAND
Thoughtfully considered materials:
Wire, sheet, solder, bezel – All of these products are ‘eco-silver’ or recycled 14k gold from Cooksongold and kernowcraft - a recycled alternative to freshly mined precious metals. Eco silver is made from melted down old jewellery, computer parts and medical supplies to create high quality sterling silver.
Silver chain – We manufacture recycled silver chains through a UK based metal refinery. They melt down unwanted scrap silver from old jewellery, medical supplies and technology to recycle into 925 sterling silver.
Brass – The brass industry throughout the world depends on the recycling of brass scrap for its survival. Making brass from new copper and zinc would be uneconomical and wasteful of raw materials so, since new brass articles are made from recycled scrap, brass is said to be sustainable. In the UK brass manufacturers use almost 100% brass scrap. (Resources.schoolscience.co.uk)
Earring Scrolls & Jewellery Findings – Jewellery findings such as earring scrolls are mass produced and made from untraced, mined precious metals. Usually you will find jewellery pieces on the market that are labelled as made from ‘eco-silver’ or recycled silver, however the mass-produced earring backs and scrolls on these pieces are made from new sterling silver, so the whole piece of jewellery is actually not recycled, which is misleading to the consumer.
Of Land and Sea create our own findings using recycled sterling silver, we also buy tricky components such as earrings scrolls made from recycled sterling silver from a local metal refinery.
Gift wrap and packaging – Each piece of jewellery is packaged ready for gifting in tissue paper made from recycled t-shirt offcuts, we also supply some items with a cotton 'spell' pouch to help conserve the jewellery from the natural process of tarnishing or oxidising. Our thank you notes are also hand written on recycled card. I like to add in a few extra treats to your orders which can either include foraged dried flowers, hand-picked seaglass or a seasonal tea for you
Ethically sourced stones – We use hand picked Cornish seaglass or pottery to create unique one off pieces of jewellery, as well as, ethically sourced gemstones. We use local raw quartz crystals, bought from a local individual who collects the crystals by hand during his rock climbing expeditions around Cornwall. All other gemstones and non-native crystals are sourced from ethical, fair-trade sources, reclaimed from old jewellery, or bought second hand. The source will be mentioned in each individual listing transparently.