What is Eco Jewelry? While Eco fashion or sustainable fashion is often related to apparel, it also encompasses all the areas of fashion and wearable goods, including Eco jewelry. Everything is of the Earth, yet not everything is earth friendly. Many resources are extracted and collected in unsustainable ways that often violate human rights and destroy the ecosystem. Eco Jewelry or sustainable jewelry refers to jewelry that uses sustainable resources, recycled and upcycled materials, and which is made using ethical practices that respect people and planet.
Everything that shines is not always good. The jewelry industry depends heavily on the mining industry for metals and stones used in the production of jewelry. The mining industry is one of the most detrimental extractive industries in the world and uses 10% of the world’s energy. Extraction methods pollute waterways and nature, leaving people living in nearby communities unable to sustain themselves from the food their land and rivers provide, and becoming susceptible to fatal illnesses. There are many land use conflicts in populated areas, where mining is concentrated and many workers are injured and killed in this highly dangerous occupation. Although, gold mining gets most of the attention, all metal mining has similar consequences. The gem industry is equally responsible for such practices, causing wars and political conflicts related to diamond mining and other minerals. The list includes child labor, the perpetuation of poverty among miners, and political corruption that allows oppressive governments to stay in power. The conventional jewelry industry is responsible for human and environmental exploitation that is inherently funded by its practices.
Mining is the most environmentally damaging industry in the world, and jewellery is 100 per cent dependent on mined products,” says Greg Valerio, co-founder of Fair Jewellery Action. Quoted from theecologist.org
Fortunately, the jewelry industry is taking measures to minimize the negative practices and conditions attached to the extractive and production chain. There are now more conflict-free gems and metals, and jewelers are using reclaimed materials to produce fine jewelry, with more designers supporting the protection of people and planet.
At ORG by vio, we go even further to ensure that all materials are sustainable and plant-based, for those of us who want to adorn ourselves with beautiful eco jewelry, which has a positive impact on the environment and producing communities that are looking for alternatives to extractive industries. Working in collaboration with artisans and communities that have been disrupted by extractive industries, we support them and empower women to create a livelihood through their traditional arts and culture, while they continue to protect their forests and ancestral heritage.
Using seeds, plant fibers, natural rubber, managed wood and other plant materials, we can create stunning works of wearable art. Seeds are gems, too! Seed and plant based materials are precious and they make exquisite jewelry that creates a positive impact and emanates the energy of the earth.
Amazon Gold documentary narrated by Sissy Spacek and Herbie Hancock. A sample trailer of one of the many detrimental impacts of mining, extraction and deforestation in the Amazon.