Recycled Fine Jewelry
If there’s one category that has seemingly been reluctant to take up the mantle of sustainable production, it is jewelry. Among jewelry connoisseurs, there’s still this idea that the “finest” jewelry must be made with virgin gold and diamonds hewn from rocks hidden deep below the earth. Of course, there has always been room for re-setting a family heirloom, but I would still say a vast majority of jewelry buyers don’t seek out secondhand, recycled, or lab-grown options.
I know when I got engaged – something like 12 years ago – my fiance-now-husband was primarily seeking style and price point over raw materials. And more recent data reiterates that even sustainability-minded consumers will choose style over ethics when push comes to shove.
And I sympathize with that! Of course aesthetic and function matter when we’re spending our hard-earned dollars on something.
The obvious solution is to make a sustainable product that doesn’t need to wave around their credentials to be attractive.
Sustainable and Stylish
That’s what I like about Ana Luisa. While their ethics are front and center, their jewelry speaks for itself.
Curving snake studs, glittering rings, those recently-everywhere pearl drop earrings – these are things you actually want to wear, things that make you stand out without shouting.
I asked my sister to pick out a couple things from Ana Luisa ahead of her wedding day and this is what she picked:
The Bride Wore Snake Earrings
My little sister Jenny is a talented fine art photographer who currently works at a toy company designing packaging and branding. She has always had a penchant for the romantic and the unusual – and was obsessed with Victorian Trading catalogs throughout much of her childhood. The items she chose reflect that. Since both are gold-plated, they’re also quite affordable, at under $75 each.
I love the way the curve of the snakes play against her naturally curly hair:
Her wedding was full of eclectic touches, from mismatched vintage plates and multi-color crystal goblets to gold “silver”-ware. The flower arrangements were a burst of color (as seen in the first image), and her dress made all the little kids think she was a princess.
Jenny chose these items simply because they suited her. I told her nothing about the Ana Luisa’s credentials before she made her choices, and I think that represents a way forward for sustainability-minded companies. We shouldn’t have to put a disclaimer on the things we’re doing right. We should be able to lead with quality and attractiveness.
That being said, Ana Luisa uses recycled gold; traceable, lab-grown diamonds; and ethical, in-house gold plating in their designs.
Jenny’s honeymoon plans changed dramatically in light of recent global health concerns, but she and her husband have been able to hang out at home, work on their projects, play video games, and generally be a couple this week.
She’ll be able to wear these jewelry pieces in a lot of contexts and, I must admit, I’m envious of her for getting to keep them, even though I’m the one who offered them!