We’ve all repurposed something at one point in our lives. Whether it was making an arts & crafts project out of macaroni noodles, creating a quilt from t-shirts that we no longer wore, or using an old sock as a dust rag.
Repurposing materials, even if it’s simple household items, can make a significant impact on our environment. We live in a society where fast fashion and ever-changing trends make it difficult for us to stay mindful of waste and pollution. In this article, we will highlight the importance of sustainability and the ways that repurposing jewelry can help diminish the environmental harm that stems from wasted material.
- Recycling Metals
Recycling existing gold and silver products lessens the need to source new material, yielding far less damage to our environment. Although jewelry may not be as easy to recycle as your average household papers and plastics, the environmental benefits are worth taking the extra steps.
Precious metals, such as gold and silver, can be melted down and recycled time and time again without losing their value or condition. They can even be melted down at a jeweler's bench since they don't require a very high temperature to melt.
- Reusing Materials
Upcycling materials and reusing pieces from old jewelry is a fun and efficient way to reduce wasted material. There are endless ways to reuse materials, whether it's in the form of giving old jewelry a second life or crafting one-of-a-kind home decor.
Some examples of eco-friendly materials to repurpose into jewelry include:
If you're struggling to feel inspired before a new project, Pinterest is a great starting point and has hundreds of projects to gain inspiration from! You can also sign up for our VIP newsletter for more renewability tips.
- Reducing Pollution
With metal mining taking up a hefty amount of the world's energy and increasing our carbon footprint, opting for recycled jewelry is a guaranteed way to slow down the rate of pollution.
Here are just a few ways that recycling metals is more sustainable than mining:
- Recycled gold produces up to 99.8% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than mined gold
- Recycling platinum produces about one-twentieth of the emissions that mining for platinum does (That’s a 95% reduction)
- Recycling silver produces around 14% of the emissions that mining for silver does
Harvey-Walker, B. (2021, March 3). Why choose recycled precious metals for your jewelry? https://bennhw.medium.com/why-choose-recycled-precious-metals-for-your-jewellery-52fce4558b4c
- Supporting Ethical Production
Choosing sustainably sourced and recycled jewelry diminishes extractive mining processes and unethical production methods.
Not only does recycled jewelry benefit the environment - it also supports small businesses! There are hundreds of independent businesses and family-owned stores that offer hand-crafted, ethically produced, and sustainable jewelry.
In a world that's been taken over by fast fashion brands and wasted resources, being cautious of where jewelry comes from and how it's produced should be every consumer’s priority.
- Inspiring Change
Your choice to shop sustainably also has the power to inspire change in our society. The more informed the population becomes of the importance of upcycled and ethically sourced products, the more motivated they will be to encourage others to do the same.
Despite current environmental damage that is present in our world, we have the power to turn things around, one choice at a time.
Jami Mark, jewelry designer and founder of Renewable Jewels, crafts original pieces from beautiful ancient artifacts. She gives these treasures a new life by repurposing materials and creating distinctive pieces of wearable art. Read more about the inspiration behind her work and get a glimpse into her renewable jewelry success here.
You can also follow Renewable Jewels on Instagram to stay up-to-date with all of Jami’s latest creations!