I believe that little changes in the way we live and work can have a big impact on the world we live in . All Inari Designs jewellery is made using ethically and sustainably sourced materials.
I want to create fine jewellery that is both beautiful and long lasting, and, importantly, is socially and environmentally responsible. In essence Jewellery with a Conscience.
The mining of precious metals and gemstones leaves a mark on the physical landscape of our planet as well as potentially contributing to erosion and loss of biodiversity or the contamination of soil and water by the chemicals used in the mining process. Not to mention the energy requirement. Estimates vary, however to produce one gold wedding band can create between 5 and 20 tonnes of waste via commercial mining operations!
I use recycled silver and gold in my designs. This eliminates the need for mining in the majority of my jewellery and repurposes the precious metals already in circulation.
I do this in one of three ways,
FAIRTRADE GOLD & ARGENTIUM SILVER
While eliminating all mining may seem a good choice, there is a potential ethical impact affecting small scale miners who rely on the gold they mine to support their families. As a registered Fairtrade Goldsmith, I also use Fairtrade gold mined by artisanal miners who receive a fairer price for the gold they mine as well as health and safety training and a stipend to help improve their communities. You can read more about Fairtrade gold here. By purchasing a piece of jewellery made with Fairtrade gold you are helping to support these small communities of miners and their families. I generally use Fairtrade gold in commission pieces.
In addition to recycled silver, I also use Argentium silver which is made from 100% recycled silver. Argentium also guarantee the traceability of their silver. It is also a higher percentage of silver than Sterling (92.5 vs 93.5%) and is more tarnish resistant than standard sterling silver. For further information on Argentium, please visit their website here.
Currently there is no set standard for the mining and supply of precious gemstones in the industry, however this is beginning to change and there is active work being done in this area.
I use a combination of ethically sourced and responsibly sourced coloured gemstones from highly reputable gem dealers.
ETHICALLY SOURCED gemstones are traceable from customer back to the original mine and in some cases the person who mined the gemstone. I work with ethical gemstone suppliers who work directly with the miners and are able to pay them a better price and help implement better health and safety processes. While I aim to use only ethically sourced gemstones, at the moment, supply is limited and most of these gemstones are one of a kind. Typically I use them in rings or pendants. It is my hope that as the industry moves toward a more ethical footing, ethical gem mining will become more the norm.
RESPONSIBLY SOURCED gemstones come from suppliers who have signed up to the Responsible Jewellery Council code of practice. They have visited the cutting and polishing facilities and have been satisfied that health and safety is robust and workers are treated fairly. I have formed relationships with these suppliers and trust that they are acting in good faith.
LAB-CREATED diamonds as the name suggests are created in a lab and as such there is no direct impact on the environmental landscape. They are also 100% conflict free (they have not been used to fund wars or conflict). This said, they do require large amounts of energy to create which is broadly on par with mined gemstones. Wherever possible I source my lab created gemstones from labs that use renewable power. Overall, these are my choice for diamond jewellery and I believe they are a more ethical and environmentally friendly choice. I will always state if a gemstone is lab created in the description.
NATURAL MINED diamonds. Occasionally I will use natural mined diamonds if a client requests. I will always source these from suppliers who can fully trace their diamonds back to the original mine or can guarantee their source has strictly followed the Kimberley Process, which aims to ensure diamonds have not been used to fund war or conflict. Diamond mines in Canada and Botswana are generally considered to have the most ethical operations and the GIA has recently established certification of mine origins.
MOISSANITE is a gemstone that closely resembles diamond but is a different mineral. Moissanite does occur naturally in the environment and has been found in meteors, however natural stones are tiny, thus all commercially available gemstones are lab-created. Moissanites are a less expensive alternative to diamond and have become increasingly popular in engagement rings.
Almost all of my jewellery is Made to Order. This is to minimise the amount of waste I generate. If I have excess jewellery I will melt it down and use the metal to create a new design.
As much as possible I have eliminated the use of harsh chemicals in favour of environmentally friendly options
I do not use gold, silver, rhodium or other plating as these involve the use of toxic chemicals and specialist waste disposal.
I do use an ancient technique known as Keum Boo which involves the application of pure gold to the surface of silver via heat bonding. This technique uses no chemicals, only the application of heat and pressure
My electricity provider is an eco-power service
I use recycled,/recyclable, compostable, sustainable, plastic free packaging to post your items.
My jewellery boxes are made with sustainable materials, though I am continuously searching for more eco friendly options.
I am trialing the use of plantable seed card for some of my jewellery.