Friday, July 27, 2012

Is Jewelry Sustainable?

I read an interesting article about the sustainability of different fabrics. Apparently cotton is less environmentally friendly than polypropylene. Also linen, when assessed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, doesn’t score as well as leather. Who would have thought it? I was also shocked to learn that bamboo, which grows like a weed, scored very poorly due to all the chemicals required for processing. It appears that those fabrics that I always deemed green aren’t so green.

How does this translate into jewelry? In the article they stated that a Rolex might be the world’s most sustainable product because it is never thrown away. A Rolex watch will be repaired and passed down for generations. The same can be said of quite a bit of jewelry. I have my Grandmother’s pearls and I’m sure that all of my jewelry will be passed onto my daughter. She has already expressed an interest.

Can I have a Rolex's sustainable!

This makes me wonder about the sustainability of most jewelry. Jewelry is actually quite sustainable if you consider items that are passed down or remodeled. Many people sell their unwanted gold jewelry which is then melted down and fashioned into new jewelry. Sometimes people do this so they can have something that they are more apt to wear. Even if you get the diamond ring in a divorce you might not wear it. Why not remodel it into something stunning and less wedding ring like?

While I’ve never given much thought to all the jewelry I buy and wear, it is nice to think that maybe it is more environmentally friendly than originally considered. I understand that gemstones and diamonds are mined and not always in the most environmentally sustainable manner. Metal is smelted and there are sometimes by products left behind that are nasty. But it is good to think that some jewelry will last a lifetime and then goes on to live another. I hope this arguments works and gets me a Rolex watch!

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