Jewelry Design beyond Gold and Gems; Ethical and Sustainable practice
“Diamonds are a woman’s best friend,” Marilyn Monroe hit the right notes while expressing a woman’s undying affection for jewellery. There’s something about those shiny, ornate pieces that make you feel unique and one in a million, a feeling we revel in. Gold, silver, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and precious gemstones have adorned the crowns of Maharajahs and fanned the pride of Maharanis. Caretakers have fiercely guarded them, preceding sleep and the danger of being killed for possession, such is their aura.
So bright they shine, that we miss the dark secrets delving in the shadows. Mining and processing these gemstones cause irreparable damage to the environment with soil erosion, destruction of arable land, and water pollution due to non-biodegradability being severe charges. Plenty of social issues are also entrapped in this outwardly glittering world- child labour in factories, dangerous working conditions in mines and black money trade.
The ‘Blood Diamonds,’ diamonds traded in Sierra Leone to illegally fund conflict in war-zones, are a terrible example. And to think we flaunt such objects on our body, which are responsible for death and destructions of thousands, is regrettable.
This generation of environment-conscious millennials has realized the concerns and expressed their support for sustainable jewellery.
Manufacturers and gem barons too are taking efforts towards ensuring that jewellery production meets ethical norms. The movement towards sustainable and ethically sourced jewellery is gathering momentum. Plenty of respectable dealers are practising upcycling, recycling and exploring alternative materials to make flattering ornaments.
Some practices gaining popularity:
Use of bio-resins, biopolymer clay and other renewable mixed materials to reduce the burden on the environment, yet giving a gorgeous appeal.
Brands work with local artisans, ensuring they are well looked after regarding wages, healthcare, and comfort. Local elements are imparted to the intricately handcrafted pieces, lending uniqueness and beauty.
Parts of the earth-sun, water, fire, sky, and land are creatively infused in the jewellery pieces, it creates environment consciousness and also helps make a statement with bold designing.
Sourcing of diamonds and other mineral-gems from ethical mines that meet environmental and social standards, from conflict-free regions.
Ever seen the beauty in coke-bottles, PET bottles, beer cans and vinyl records? Designer jewellery is moulded out of these, dainty pieces that will leave you dumbstruck knowing their origins.
Glass, platinum and recycled silver are proving to be worthy and recyclable substitutes to traditional jewellery.
If you wish to shine as a jewellery designer, it is essential to keep yourself up-to-date with these upcoming trends for sustainability. Environment protection is the primary objective today. A Diploma course in jewellery design and Fine Jewelry Design course in JD Institute of Fashion technology, arms you with the relevant knowledge and skill-sets to become an ethically sensitive designer in addition to discovering your creativity.
Knowledge of material properties and marketing skills are also a part of the course and will help develop a foothold in this massive, million-dollar industry.
To conclude in the words of Ragini Mittal -“ The best piece of jewellery is the one that speaks for itself.” Make sure your jewellery is elucidating the right message.