Sustainable Shopping Guide
September 25, 2017
by Marisela Feldman

EthicalShopping

These days, influencers and tastemakers are taking into consideration the impact of style on the environment. The consequences of fashion can remain hidden without extra effort on behalf of shoppers, who must take time to understand the backend of production and sourcing in order to evaluate how sustainable an item is, or isn’t. There are layers and complexities to jewelry production- much like the work itself. To avoid doing the research while keeping a small footprint, buy vintage, and support local businesses.

Often the mystery of an antique–not knowing who wore it, or where or how it was made–deters shoppers from choosing the old over new. Those prescribing to a more wabi sabi approach to style and design can appreciate the intrinsic value of a piece that has lived (in many cases) longer than the wearer! Regardless of the origin story, antique pieces have inherently smaller footprints than brand new designs because they have simply changed hands before reaching the wearer, as opposed to extracting raw new material from the Earth. A vintage piece of quality is sold with the integrity of the original design intact, making it a green choice for those who concerned about the sustainability of their purchases.

Ways to shop sustainably:

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1. BUY VINTAGE

It is always better for the environment to repurpose old materials rather than extract virgin resources for new designs. It’s also cost effective–our vintage diamonds often appraise for higher than what we sell them for!

2. SUPPORT LOCAL

Support local businesses that collaborate with the community in meaningful ways. When buying jewelry, ask where production takes place. Brands with local studios are less likely to outsource. If the jewelry doesn’t have to travel very far, it can keep a relatively small footprint. Lauren Wolf Jewelry is produced within walking distance of Esqueleto. Our production team works directly with the community on custom design work, as well as collaborative endeavors with high impact nonprofits such as Creative Growth.

3. GIVE BACK

Look for cause based brands with empowering giveback models, like our own Zelma Rose, who gives a portion of proceeds to Team Rubicon, an organization empowering veterans to provide emergency relief in parts of the world affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

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4. RECYCLE

Heirloom stones and inherited jewelry can be refreshed with the help of a talented jeweler. Precious metals and stones can be very sentimental, especially pieces that have been passed down for generations. Fashions may change, but that doesn’t mean we have to go out of style! A simple repair or update might be all an older style needs to once again be relevant for the wearer.

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