Every business has an environmental and ethical impact: a small, family run Australian jewellery brand is no different. Plus of course creating jewellery has its own unique array of sustainability problems and considerations.
If we expect big businesses and governments to make changes to help make the world a better place, then we believe that even small businesses and individuals like us need to play a part too.
At Simone Walsh Jewellery, we're not perfect but we do our very best to create eco-friendly, ethical and sustainable jewellery - and we're always striving to improve where we can.
How you can make a difference
Shopping small from independent designers and small, local businesses is one way that you can help to make the world a better place. It will shift some of your shopping away from everything you purchase being mass-produced - sometimes in very bad circumstances - and shipped in large quantities over long distances.
It also means being supportive of people who are working for themselves in small and local businesses, which has all sorts of benefits in your community.
Our eco-friendly jewellery
Here is a rundown of how Simone Walsh Jewellery aims to make a difference by operating an eco-friendly, sustainable and ethical business:
- The majority of our jewellery designs are created with recycled precious metals, including sterling silver and gold. These recycled metals have been refined and are exactly the same quality as newly mined metals.
- All scrap metal left over from creating our handmade jewellery is collected for recycling. Gold and silver scrap is ultimately sent off to be melted down, refined and reused again and again.
- Simone also occasionally creates recycled handmade jewellery designs which are specifically intended to recycle as much scrap metal from our business as possible so that only small pieces are refined.
- When selecting chemicals to use in our business we always opt for safer and/or lower impact alternatives where available.
- We use gemstones in our jewellery designs. For stones which may otherwise have a high value and cannot be guaranteed to come from an ethical source, we try to source lab grown or simulated gemstones as an alternative. As well as their environmental and ethical benefits, lab grown stones have a beautiful clarity and colour, yet are far less expensive. We do use natural gemstones as well, but generally less expensive ones which have fewer ethical issues associated with them.
- Simone Walsh Jewellery recycles or composts any suitable materials generated by our business. In particular we compost our office paper in our worm farm. Our worms are all named Warren, by the way :)
- We also aim to use recycled or otherwise eco-friendly products as much as we possibly can.
- As our jewellery business has grown, we have partnered with an ethically-run jewellery workshop in Indonesia which is staffed by highly skilled local artisans to create some of our components. This helps us to keep up with production demands and makes our intricate designs possible.
- We seek to use suppliers that have worked to lower their environmental impact and are generally socially responsible.
Environmentally friendly packing & shipping
We've worked hard to make our packaging and shipping products as eco-friendly as we can. Here's a helpful rundown:
- The mailing boxes we use for most orders are reusable, recyclable and biodegradable. They are taped closed with kraft paper packing tape and our mailing labels are paper.
- Small products are likely to be posted in a padded jiffy bag which is made from kraft paper and post-consumer recycled paper. It's both compostable and recyclable.
- The shred we use for padding our mailing boxes is recyclable, compostable and biodegradable.
- Our jewellery gift boxes are recycled from post-consumer waste. They are great for storing your jewellery or other small items. They can also be recycled, but remove any internal wadding first.
- The 100% cotton wool wadding used at the top of many of our gift boxes can be composted, but the bottom piece of poly wadding cannot: you will need to dispose of it as regular rubbish if you can't find a use for it (we're still looking for a solution to this issue).
- Any printed materials included with your order can be recycled. The thank you card and disposal information card are printed on recycled paper and can also be composted
- If you buy small items such as earring backs or chain extenders they will come in small re-used plastic ziplock bags which previously held some of our jewellery components.
- We partner with Australia Post to ship our orders. Australia Post provides carbon neutral delivery for all parcels they ship.
Thanks for shopping small and supporting an eco-friendly business.