Jewelry has a surprisingly large impact on the environment. When it comes to sustainability, something that isn’t discussed enough is the affect our jewelry has on our planet.
The harsh reality is that how our jewelry is made has a far greater social and environmental impact than we might think. Sustainability is a growing trend, and it essentially means that we are filling our current needs, without compromising future generations' capacity to fulfill theirs. This is important for natural and environmental resources, but also for social and economic resources.
In the long term, adopting sustainable practices, no matter how big or little, will have a big impact on our future, and the coming generations’ future.
Even though you may not know this is the case, the jewelry we buy is one of the keys to sustainability for the future.
What is “Sustainably Made Jewelry"?
Sustainably made jewelry is just as it sounds - jewelry that is made using sustainable processes. This means producing jewelry in a way that produces less waste, limits the resulting carbon footprint, and uses eco-friendly packaging, to start.
At INO, we place an extreme importance on producing sustainably made jewelry. This is why we consider every state of the jewelry making process carefully from an environmental standpoint. This includes everything from sourcing environmentally friendly materials that are recycled and exclusively doing business with local partners that embrace sustainable and ethical practices in their workplace. Learn more about how our jewelry is made here.
When you choose to buy sustainably made jewelry, you’re using your purchasing power to improve our future.
What is the Effect of Gold-Plated Jewelry on the Environment?
Silver-plated or gold-plated jewelry quickly loses its plating and reveals the cheaper metals they're actually made of. Lots of gold-plated jewelry is actually made of copper, and this is why your skin can turn green, which is a reaction to the copper.
Any type of jewelry that is gold-plated is, by nature, harmful to the environment. This is because cyanide, which is a very harmful chemical, is very commonly used in the plating process. There are many other chemicals that are used, but cyanide is one of the worst.
As a society, we buy a lot of cheap, gold-plated jewelry that we are only looking to wear a few times. When we’re finished with it, that jewelry may just end up going in the garbage.
As a result of this, we end up with a lot of jewelry, much of it being cheaper gold-plated jewelry, that ends up in our landfills. This leads to the leakage of these harmful chemicals into our water systems.
This jewelry is also composed of materials that do not biodegrade and will spend its entire lifetimes in landfills, releasing harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.
For some people, buying cheap jewelry and throwing it away after just a few nights out (or even just 1!) is a common thing. Little do they know, but this is having a great impact on the environment. This is why the idea of “conscious consumerism” is becoming more and more popular.
What is Conscious Consumerism?
Conscious consumerism is an idea where consumers focus on making positive choices throughout the purchasing process in order to negate some of the harmful effects on the environment that being a consumer has.
The main goal of conscious consumerism is to use consumers' purchasing power to help push the needle on making the world a greener place.
It's incredibly important to think about what effect the item you’re buying is having on the environment, and jewelry is no different!
We believe that you shouldn’t need to sacrifice quality or beauty when deciding to be a conscious consumer. That’s why we produce exquisite pieces that are sustainably made.
925 STERLING SILVER & 14K SOLID GOLD
Two of the best alternatives to gold-plated jewelry when it comes to the environment are 925 sterling silver and solid gold. While this jewelry doesn’t come cheap, the investment is worth it in the long run, because you’re paying for the jewelry's quality and long-term value, not to mention the positive environmental impact. Learn more about how you can get started with building your investment jewelry.
925 sterling silver and 14k solid gold jewelry are incredibly popular options because when you properly care for them, they’ll last a lifetime. Silver and gold are also a look that will never go out of style, so you know that a nice silver or gold ring, bracelet, or necklace will be a great thing to have in your wardrobe, even 10 years from now.
Another thing that’s great about our 925 sterling silver and 14k solid gold jewelry, is that it doesn’t use metal additives that may give you an allergic reaction, unlike many other jewelry brands.
If you're looking for new jewelry, you should consider buying pieces that will last, as these are most often the sustainably-made pieces that don’t negatively impact the environment like many other options.
While our goal at INO is to produce jewelry with a long lifespan, it’s also incredibly important to us that the jewelry is sustainably and ethically made. The good news is that we have a lot of fantastic sustainably-made jewelry options for you to pick from that fit each of these criteria.
Treat yourself to some sustainable jewelry today.