When it comes to sustainability, for many, the environmental damaged caused by fast fashion comes to mind. Although this may be true, many do not think about the impact buying new jewellery can also have on the environment. If you’re wondering what you can do the next time you’re in the market for a new piece of jewellery, here are some sustainable alternatives you may want to consider.
What is the Problem?
Just like fast fashion, costume jewellery is not built to last. Being mass produced using inexpensive materials means that finishes fade quickly, discolouration occurs and exposed base metals may leave a green tint on your skin. As a result, these items are often worn just a handful of times before being thrown away and ending up in landfill. The vast majority of these items are not biodegradable meaning it’ll sit there forever. Overconsumption of costume jewellery leads to further issues involving air and water pollution, ecosystem loss/damage, and greenhouse gas emissions. All a result of the overproduction of throw away products.
The solution? Don’t contribute to the fast fashion aspect of the jewellery world and invest in a real, quality piece of jewellery made from precious metals and gemstones. These pieces are tried and true, guaranteed to last. This is clearly evident with the huge selection of vintage and antique jewellery we carry, some of which are over 100 years old and look as good as the day they were made.
Locally Sourced Vintage Jewellery
It’s no secret that trends tend to come and go, however vintage is very much in vogue right now. This is great news for vintage jewellery lovers as now you can be stylish and trendy with original vintage jewellery which is available at affordable prices. Buying vintage jewellery also gives you a wider selection to choose from, with pieces ranging from the Art Deco era to the 60s and 70s, there is so much to choose from!
Owning vintage jewellery is like owning a piece of history, it’s unlikely you will know exactly what the piece has experienced but at the same time, the mystery behind a piece is also what adds to the charm. Here at Powells we buy pre-loved jewellery from a variety of outlets however a large portion of our jewellery comes from locals who are looking to give their precious pieces a new home. You can visit our website to browse our selection of vintage pieces.
Upcycling Or Recycling Your Beloved Pieces
We’re all guilty of holding on to items we don’t use or wear as we once did, and it pains us to let them go. For some, the item may hold a sense of nostalgia from a fond memory and for others it may be an item that has been passed down in the family from generation to generation. Upcycling is a great way to revive these beloved pieces and family heirlooms. Different from recycling, upcycling turns old items into something new without breaking down the product, giving it a new lease of life, whereas recycling is a process that reuses the materials which can be made into something new. You can get creative and upcyle your own pieces or work with us to turn grandma’s rings into something you will cherish forever. If you’re thinking about upcycling or recycling some of your treasures, here are some pieces we previously worked on with some lovely clients to convince you further.
The two rings pictured above were very sentimental to a dear customer of ours, she wanted to use the rings to create something more suited to her style, all while retaining the original crossover style of the diamond ring. We came up with this idea on the right which was quickly approved by the client. On this occasion we recycled the materials and incorporated them into the new design. This was a successful conversion and the client was over the moon!
The lovely Art Deco brooch above belonged to a client who wanted to upcycle the piece into something she could get more wear out of. She came in with the idea of completely dismantling the brooch and using the metal to make up a whole new pendant. She was surprised to learn that after a little visit to our local workshop and some skilled goldsmithing, the brooch was easily converted into a beautiful pendant without affecting its timeless appeal.
If you have a piece of fine jewellery you would like upcycling, book in for a consulation and we will be happy to discuss your options.
Thank you for reading.