You might have noticed in some of my product descriptions that I use eco-friendly sterling silver where possible. So, I thought you might like a bit more information about what I mean by that.
Silver mining and extraction
Silver ore is mined in underground and open pit mines in, which can be problematic in terms of the working conditions, and in the use of child labour (in Africa and Asia children as young as 5 are involved in the mines). In addition the environmental impact of mining is huge, and toxic substances can pollute the air and water sources in the area of the mine.
The silver is extracted from the ore using either a smelting, or chemical leaching process which again can cause massive problems with pollution.
What is eco-friendly silver?
So, instead of using traditional silver, I always opt for the eco-friendly sterling silver option where possible. I source my certified eco-friendly recycled silver from reputable suppliers. This is basically using scrap jewellery, medical equipment, electronics and giftware which is melted, cleaned and tested for purity before being formed into wire, or sheet ready to use for making jewellery.
I also use my own silver scraps to create pieces of jewellery, melting the scraps into little balls for decoration on certain pieces, or in the case of my bubble studs (below), they form the piece itself!
I wish I could just stick to using recycled silver, but at the moment I can only source it for sheet, wire and some tubing. Components and chain that I incorporate into my designs are harder to find in this greener option! If anyone knows of any good suppliers for these, I’m all ears.
The recycled silver is a touch more expensive, but to me, it’s so worth it.