Switching to Sustainable Jewelry: What You Need to Know
Guest Post by: Dan M, Digital Marketer
Premium fashion brands have been embracing innovative ways of manufacturing accessories. While vintage clothing rises, designer brands are executing practices to promote sustainable fashion. Recycled goods and fresh ingredients are now used to create sustainable accessories.
The goal of fashion designers is to create a fashion industry that utilizes fiber-to-fiber recycling in the future. No doubt that sustainability has weaved its way into the fashion industry. As a result, major fashion brands have noticed this and shifted production towards sustainability.
Sustainable jewelry, for instance, is items made from lab-created diamonds. These diamonds are grown in highly controlled laboratory environments with the use of advanced technological processes. The processes duplicate the conditions under which mined diamonds develop when forming in the mantle.
This means that your lab grown diamonds are made of actual carbon atoms arranged in the characteristic diamond crystal structure. They are made of the same material as mined diamonds. The only difference is that, unlike natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds display visual characteristics such as:
- Color zoning
- Metallic inclusions
- Weak strain patterns
- Colors of ultraviolet fluorescence
Why Opt for Sustainable Fashion
- They are of High-Quality and Affordable
Quality is an important factor that you must look out for when buying sustainable accessories. Sustainable accessory brands use harvested bio-based materials like bamboo. The use of such materials helps to reduce the consumption of synthetic materials.
When it comes to diamond jewelry, for instance, look for good ratings in clarity, carat, color, and cut. And yes, the higher the quality, the more expensive the jewelry will be.
But some diamonds have impurities like dirt ingrained in them. This could be due to the environment they grew in. The good news is that that’s not the case with lab-created diamonds.
Because they are created in a lab as mentioned, which gives them a more controlled environment. As a result, these diamonds tend to have fewer defects. That makes them brighter and whiter compared to natural diamonds.
Lab grown diamond earrings are extremely famous considering they are highly sustainable and of high quality. But this does not translate to a huge price tag. You can save between 30% and 40% on those diamond studs for women. You would probably not afford this if you went for mined diamonds.
Lab grown engagement rings are becoming famous as well considering they are cheaper, highly customisable, sustains longer for daily use, available online with money back guarantee.
2. They Are Unique With Well-defined Styles
Style is important and that’s why it guides us in our shopping. Sustainable accessories or fashion help in defining unique styles. One that’s not influenced by passing trends.
Sustainable accessories are meant to serve you for a long time. That’s why sustainable brands strive to create timeless and original items. These products make you feel better compared to wearing something disposable.
Diamonds, for instance, are naturally occurring minerals containing carbon, which makes them rare. They are surrounded by four carbon atoms and connected by a strong covalent bond. This bond is the strongest type of chemical bond. The precious stones have a high market demand due to their unique structure.
3. Claims to be Good for Health and Skin
Rarely do we think about our health and our skin when talking about fashion. Yet, that is something we should be considering. That’s because the skin is the largest organ on the body and clothes and accessories sit on it all the time.
Research suggests that textile dyes are highly toxic and potentially carcinogenic. So you’re better off being careful when choosing what to wear. Go for brands that use natural dyes that won’t hurt you. Additionally, natural dyes and colors give clothes amazing hues and shades that don’t fade away.
When it comes to diamonds, they are more than just their vibrant colors. That’s because these precious stones give off radiation and positive energy that soothe the soul and mind. If you believe in astrology, it’s believed that diamond vibrations help to repair:
- The liver
- The urinary tract
- Digestive organs
However, it’s important to note that there’s no scientific proof of these health benefits as they are still being debated.
4. Improved Workforce Standards
Harsh chemicals used during production can cause diseases among employees. This can also result in birth defects among children. To make it worse, such brands have kept their prices low at the cost of unethical labor practices in developing countries.
These organizations don’t provide a conducive working environment for laborers. By switching to sustainable accessories, the money you’re spending will help workers. So opt for sustainable and ethical brands. Because they treat their employees respectfully and give them the required support.
How to Assess a Brand’s Sustainability
Some brands get into fashion sustainability with the need to make a difference. But other brands only do it with the intention of getting clients to believe that they are eco-conscious.
Some brands greenwash clients into thinking that they are working towards reducing their impact on the environment. This is usually meant to lure clients who prefer sustainable brands. But here are ways through which you can tell if your preferred brand is sustainable:
- Check Out the Brand’s Website
Search the brand’s website and look for transparency while going through the web pages. You’ll possibly notice a green-friendly terminology that’s there for everyone to see. But can the brand back up its claims about sustainability? To find out more, you can ask the following questions:
- Do they donate to environmental charities? How about non-governmental organizations?
- What does the site say about its sustainability? If there’s no information, then that’s a red flag.
- Is there information about how the brand treats its employees? Is there any form of discrimination or unfair wages?
- What’s their total carbon footprint? A lot of brands strive for low carbon, which doesn’t equate to all indirect emissions.
Is there information about their supply chain? Because a sustainable brand would be proud to reveal its renewable resources. They’ll want to show off their tremendous efforts in making their production ethical.
2. Read the Mission Statement and Brand’s Story
The brand should be able to display its sustainable core values on its website. If not, take time to research who founded the organization and why. Check to see if the founder cares for the environment or not.
Look out for interviews and articles about the brand if any. Something that will give you a glimpse into its motivation. If you’re unable to find the founder online and only a business-like-sounding name, you may want to rethink buying from them. That’s because the brand may have other goals in mind other than protecting the environment.
3. Green Certifications and Standards
Official green certifications help in identifying sustainable brands. The good news is that there are a lot of certifications and standards that set high standards. They prove that what you’re purchasing is genuine.
But keep in mind that these certifications cost money. This means that prominent brands have the money to meet the rigorous requirements. Unfortunately for small businesses and startups, they can’t afford it.
That’s why you must pay attention to the under-dogs as well. They may not afford to print the green label on their products. But that’s not to mean that they are not worthy of recognition.
4. Inspect the Organization’s CSR Policies
Examining a brand’s corporate policies is the other way of checking whether they are sustainable. A lot of large fashion brands practice some kind of corporate social responsibility. It’s something you can find on their websites during research.
However, the information found is something that should be taken with a grain of salt. That’s because brands tend to exaggerate the good in their CSR reports and ignore the bad. They do this just to keep their stakeholders happy.
An instance is where an organization says that they comply with the labor laws. What they are actually saying is that they aren’t criminals. If they were to say that they recycle their paper waste, nobody would care. In any case, this is done in developed countries.
But if you read that they are developing eco-friendly methods of dyeing clothes, well, that’s above and beyond the norm.
Packaging is said to account for 30% of municipal solid waste. So to be truly sustainable, an organization has to take into account how much packaging they use. Remember there is the option of online shopping for consumers.
So go for brands that allow you to select less on your order. Alternatively, you can opt for brands that don’t use unnecessary packaging.
There are also brands that have integrated green packaging solutions. They use biodegradable materials instead of plastics. The advantage of this is that it reduces green gas emissions. There’s also more energy-efficient manufacturing and fewer plastics in the ocean.
6. Ask the Brand Directly About Sustainability
You may have finished all your options. But haven’t determined whether the brand is truly sustainable. That’s the reason you need to ask them directly and don’t be shy about it. Be specific with your questions in probing about green certification and ethical standards.
The good news is that you don’t even have to write a letter or call customer service. You can simply message the brand directly on social media. If they give the same turnaround as is the case on its website, it could be that they have something to hide.
Keep in mind that an honest and authentic sustainable brand will be happy if you asked.
Final Take Away
We are sure you know how polluting and exploiting the fashion industry can be. Now you also know how sustainable fashion helps in reducing environmental problems. In the same way, the benefits of sustainable fashion are often glossed over.
In reality, sustainable fashion is good for the planet. There are also many benefits people get when shopping for sustainable clothes and accessories. From having a long-lasting and valuable wardrobe to creating a unique personal style.
Generally, sustainable fashion contributes to reducing water pollution and CO2 emissions. It also supports fair working practices.