Want your jewellery shopping to be sustainable but don’t know how to get there? We get it. Trying to make the ethical and environmentally-friendly choice when it comes to purchasing your pieces isn’t always an easy task; with many different brands, materials and processes to consider.
Although you may not know where to start on your sustainable jewellery endeavour, knowing what to look for (and what to avoid), can help ensure that your jewellery not only aligns with your personal style but with your values as well.
Choose lab-grown diamonds instead of mined diamonds
One of the most prominent, widely-held ethical concerns about the jewellery industry is related to the sourcing of diamonds. Many diamond mining operations have devastating effects on their local natural environments, polluting water sources and spoiling wetlands with acid runoff and other chemical pollutants.
There are also immense human costs associated with diamond mining in some parts of the world, where workers experience dismal labour conditions and diamond sales are used to fuel deadly conflicts. And even though there have been great efforts to better control the diamond supply chain and clean up the industry, these have often been severely lacking.
Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, aren’t sourced from mines at all. As the name suggests, these diamonds are produced in a laboratory rather than mined from under the earth, and so they avoid all of the severe ethical and environmental concerns with natural diamonds.
For this reason, we exclusively use lab-grown diamonds in our bespoke pieces. So, for the planet and your own peace of mind, lab-grown diamonds are always the more sustainable choice.
Go for solid gold rather than plated gold
While all jewellery has some environmental impact, some types of jewellery are better than others. If you’re trying to shop more sustainably, it’s generally better to go for solid gold rather than gold-plated jewellery.
This is primarily because solid gold jewellery lasts much longer than the alternatives. Unlike solid gold jewellery, the gold in plated or gold vermeil jewellery eventually wears out and is lost to the environment over time. And while many brands can re-plate your gold jewellery for you, this is only a temporary solution, as the gold plating will wear off again over time. Worse still, gold plating involves a range of hazardous and environmentally detrimental chemicals, including cyanide compounds.
So, if you're in the market for new gold jewellery - rest assured that our entire range of Kate & Kole pieces are created using solid 9ct or 18ct yellow, rose or white gold.
Shop brands that use sustainable packaging
Amidst all the environmental and ethical concerns with the jewellery industry, it’s easy to overlook the fact that it’s also a consumer industry. This means that product packaging is a part of almost every purchase — and usually gets thrown out right away.
Our jewellery is shipped in compostable bags and packaging that’s designed to be used again and again. That’s why when you return your packaging to us in good condition, we’ll give you a $15 discount code to use with your next purchase.
Choose made-to-order jewellery
There are so many aesthetic and personal reasons to go for made-to-order rather than mass-produced jewellery. Made-to-order jewellery is often much higher quality than the cheaper, faster alternative, so it’s likely to last a lot longer.
That means you’ll probably be buying fewer pieces over time, reducing the overall amount of materials and energy that end up in your jewellery box.
And with just a handful of jewellery pieces that you “love to pieces,” it’s safe to say you’d wear them more often!
Giving new life to old gold
In a range of industries, recycling can often be a more sustainable alternative to new production. And the jewellery industry is no different. Choosing to use recycled gold in your new pieces means participating in a more circular gold supply chain. And while this isn’t going to prevent new gold from being mined, it does help prevent unwanted gold jewellery from going unappreciated.
And the best part? All of your favourite Kate & Kole pieces are guaranteed to be made with between 70 - 100% recycled gold.
Buy less and buy better
Whether you’re opting for solid gold over gold vermeil, or you’re ready to move on from mass-produced to high-quality, made-to-order jewellery, it makes sense to buy better because it means you’ll most likely buy less.
Having a small number of beautiful pieces that you cherish means you won’t have to constantly throw out and replace poor-quality jewellery, saving on materials, production cost, packaging and so much more. Not only is this much better for the environment, but over time it’ll likely be much better for your wallet, too.
Feeling inspired? Shop our beautiful range of environmentally conscious jewellery here.