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 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 come and go, however vintage fashion is very much in vogue right now and it's unlikely this is going to change. This is great news for the style conscious out there as these original pieces are often much more affordable than buying their new counterparts. Opting for vintage jewellery also provides you with 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 it is what adds to the charm. At Powells we buy pre-loved jewellery from a variety of outlets however the majority of our jewellery comes from like-minded indivuals like yourself, most of which tend to be local to Chester and the North-West. You can browse an online selection of our vintage jewellery by clicking the link below.
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 or a fond memory and for others it may be an item that inherited from a loved one.
If this is the case for you, upcycling may be the way forward. 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. For example, a brooch can be upcycled into a pendant by simply fitting a bail and chain - It's that simple.
If you’re thinking about upcycling or recycling some of your treasures but are still unsure, 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. the owner wanted to her inherited pieces to create one ring more suited to her own style, all while retaining the original 'toi et moi' styling. Working together, came up with this idea on the right which was quickly agreed upon by the client. On this occasion we recycled the materials and incorporated them into the new modern design that the owner was thrilled with.
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.